Hip Hop Hoop dancing opens windows to the world

Terrance Littletent and Chancz Perry dazzle students with storytelling, humour, and hip hop hoop dancing


Even before the stars of the show appeared on stage, students at the local school were already feeling the thrumming power of drums and high singing, and moving and clapping along with the energy pounding from the footlights.

It was Thursday morning at Killarney School, and time for the Hip Hop Hoop Dancing event in the gym. Everyone was there – students, teachers, and staff – with standing room only.

And they were about to get a big surprise.

Created by two amazing men, Terrance Littletent and Chancz Perry, the 40-minute show was a fresh mélange of drama, humour, and cultural history, punctuated with incredible dance, and driving and compelling contemporary indigenous music.

In short, it was a cracker.

Littletent, a member of the Kawacatoose Cree Nation, grew up on a reservation north of Regina, Saskatchewan. And that is where he absorbed much of his traditional teaching, through family members and elders.

He went on to become an accomplished Grass and Hoop Dancer, and is currently recognized as a World Renowned Hoop Dancer. Littletent is also an educator, producer, and works as a cultural liaison in the public school system.

He teamed up with Chancz Perry, an amazing dancer and choreographer, who also sports university degrees in both criminology and dance. 

In the show, Littletent ‘teaches’ Perry the meaning of each of the hoops, and Perry gradually progresses through the awarding of each one to finally become a hoop dancer himself. 

On the way, stories of the history of indigenous peoples, and of the historical enslaving of black persons, are entwined with dance and cultural dialogue – much of which opens the audience to the concept that all things and all people share common bonds.

The performance peaked when Littletent eventually emerged, in stunning, full hoop dancer performance costume regalia. 

The lights went off, the ultraviolet went on, and the atmosphere in the gymnasium was transformed into another world as he danced his hip hop hoop magic and the hoops flamed. 

Perry soon became part of the dance, which was a wild meld of both hip hop and traditional hoop dancing, and the gym audience went a little wild.

It was an inspirational show to remember. 

Afterwards a bunch of the kids lined up in a very, very long row to ask the men questions, including, “How old are you?” (Terrance is 41 and Chancz is 49, which floored everyone…), and “Why do you dance?” Terrance said, “Because I can.” And, “How many times have you put on the show?” Answer: 130 school performances, and, “Where do you get your hoops?” Answer: Walmart. Although they used to be made from willow.“I had gone to the Manitoba Arts Network Conference last year, and I saw them do a 20-minute show,” said Jane Ireland, co-chair of the Killarney Parent Advisory Council (KPAC). “They were amazing. I knew kids would really relate to it, and it would be an amazing tool. Their way of blending together their two stories shows how we are all connected. It was very inclusive.”

HOOPIN’ IT UP – World-renowned Hoop Dancer Terrance Littletent (left) and award-winning hip hop dancer and performer Chancz Perry (right) team up during their amazing Hip Hop Hoop Dance performance held on Thursday morning in the Killarney School gym. The duo has toured 130 schools with their vibrant, multi-cultural, inclusive show. The event was hosted jointly by the Killarney Parent Advisory Council (KPAC) and the Killarney–Turtle Mountain Arts Council.

WORLD CHAMPION HOOP DANCER – Above, left, world-renowned Hoop Dancer Terrance Littletent displays some hoop magic, illuminated by UV alighting his costume and hoops. On his right is Chancz Perry, an award-winning hip hop dancer and performer, swinging a few hoops of his own as Devon Bonneau, who manages the stage, light and sound, looks on. “Art can take you around the world,” Littletent told around 500 thrilled students at Killarney School, during the Hip Hop Hoop Dance Event held in the gym on Thursday morning.