Diego James Robles
Southern straight dancer Aldrick Jackson, Diné, of Dilkon, Ariz., dances on Saturday night, Jan. 25, during the Winslow Residential Hall Youth Powwow, in Winslow, Ariz.

Arizona Pow Wow Brings Teens, Adults Together for Season’s First Dance

Diego James Robles

Nonetheless, more than a 100 dancers and several hundred people attended the event to usher in the first pow wow of the winter season. Yazzie, Diné, of Teesto, Arizona, put the event together for the children of the Northern Arizona Academy.

"I am one of the sponsors for the sophomore class and we were talking about how we can make money for the kids and I know how to coordinate a pow wow, so I figured, let's go ahead and make this happen," Yazzie said.

Originally, the fundraiser was supposed to be just a pow wow performance but Yazzie thought more money could be raised. And eventually, at least $3,000 was raised for the academy.

"It was really fun,” said Bob, Diné, 15, “Especially since I hadn't danced in a long time. It was Bob's first pow wow since the Navajo Nation Fair in September.

Instead of dancing in his category unchallenged, Bob decided to dance with perennial champion Spike Draper, Diné, of Upper Fruitland, New Mexico, in the men's category.

Southern straight dancer Ryland Jim, Diné/Hopi, of Twin Lakes, N.M., (Diego Robles

"I came in second place, but I think I gave him a run for his money,” Bob said. “The whole time I was thinking 'what would Isaiah do?’” His older brother Isaiah is arguably the best fancy dancer in all of Indian Country.

Despite the crowded conditions and limited categories, Brian Yazzie was glad he came.

"I love pow wows and I didn't get my fix for New Year's Eve," Yazzie said laughing. "They cancelled at least five of them on that day, but thank God for this one."


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