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Competitive dancing expanded for Rock Ledge's annual Powwow Sept. 22

Sept. 12, 2018
       The ninth annual Garden of the Gods Powwow at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site will highlight an increased number of dance competitions Saturday, Sept. 22.
       Celebrating American Indian culture, the event will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
       The schedule includes storyteller Sebrena Forest at 10:30 a.m., the Seven Falls Dancers at 11:15, the Grand Entry of Dancers at noon and a ceremony in which
A young dancer participates in the Grand Entry, while military veterans (background) line up for their honor ceremony during the 2016 Garden of the Gods Powwow at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site.
Westside Pioneer file photo
military veterans will receive gifts.
       The competitive dancing events are planned for the afternoon.
       In keeping with past years, the dance circle will be on the hay field near the ranch's Rock Ledge House, with drummers positioned nearby. On the perimeter will be a variety of craft and food vendors and non-profit community organization booths
       Admission is $8, with price breaks for ages 55 and over and 17 and younger.
       Free parking will be available in the large public lot off Gateway Road at 30th Street.
       Overseen by the Colorado Springs Parks Department, the powwow is planned by a volunteer committee involving local Indian groups and the ranch's Living History Association (LHA).
       In its early years, the event offered exhibition dancing only, but a couple of competition categories were introduced in 2017, according to Debra Howell, a lead committee organizer.
       Scheduled this year are the categories of Team Dance, Hat and Boot, Jingle Dress Side Step, Women 21+, Men 21+, Golden Age Women and Golden Age Men - all with cash prizes. There is also a category titled Tiny Tots (ages 5 and under), in which some money will be awarded, she said.
       The competitive aspect is helpful to the event “because it attracts other dancers, who will come and bring their families,” Howell explained. “It's a nice addition to our powwow.”
       The dance judging is handled by other dancers or people knowledgeable of the art's fine points, she said.
       Howell also noted that the Rock Ledge committee is only arranging the powwow's exhibition dance elements. Various individuals, groups or families have stepped forward to sponsor the different competitions, including the providing of prize money, Howell said.
       The 2018 Powwow's master of ceremonies is Steve LaPointe, arena director Sid Whiting Jr., head man Nick Souksavath and head woman Viki Eagle.

Westside Pioneer article
(Outdoors: Rock Ledge Ranch)

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