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Men's Fancy Dance

The Men's Fancy Dance originated in the southern United States. The origination of this dance was for the purpose of entertainment. It is still the main feature of the dance today.
The bright colours of the outfits and the fast moves of the dancers provide an entertaining sight for onlookers. Men's Fancy dancers wear two brightly coloured bustles on their backs. Some dancers choose to make their bustles out of man-made feathers while others choose eagle feathers.
The dancers also wear a cape made of cloth, ribbon or are fully beaded. They also wear matching front and back aprons. In addition to their regalia, the dancers wear porcupine head roaches, fur-leggings and bells.
The Men's Fancy Dance is, in many respects, a test of a dancer's endurance. A dancer must be physically fit and well-coordinated because the dance requires a great deal of muscle control. It also permits the dancers to display highly complex dance steps and body movements.
The dance steps are all done to incredibly fast beats of a drum. While the steps vary according to the individual dancer, dancers commonly bring their knees up high with their bodies moving in time with the drum. It is common for a dancer to drop to the ground and leap back up to his feet without missing a beat.
Source: Saskatchewan Indian June 1997 Special Powwow Issue v27 n02 p27.

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