Hoop dancing has been a lifelong engagement for Lawrence Roy Jr.
Born in Saskatoon and a member of Little Pine First Nation, his mother was instrumental in his development, investing from an early age with gymnastics lessons and Wushu. He learned Hoop Dancing in elementary school, joined a hoop dance troupe, began to travel the powwow circuit, and has never looked back. Lawrence now dances with 30 hoops, has performed all over the country, and teaches Hoop Dancing as part of school programming and in community centres. He is regularly at Wanuskewin Heritage Park engaging visitors of all ages as part of their daily dance presentations.
For Lawrence, dancing is all about health, and maintaining a good connection with Mother Nature. When he dances, he tries to feel the sky, the wind, the sun, and talk with everything around him.
He is the proud father of nine children, eight of whom (all but the youngest) are also skilled hoop dancers. Roy takes his children to help him teach dance at the Friendship Centre, which is says has been one of the most rewarding aspects of his vocation.
“I really love making those connections through dance. It doesn’t matter what nation you’re from, people are so intrigued by the dance,” said Roy. “Everyone can make that rhythm, even inside their heart.”