JAWS celebrates Aboriginal week
J.A. Williams High School hosted a hoop-hero last week.
Dallas Arcand, a world-class hoop-dancer and musician was at the school on May 23 to help celebrate Aboriginal Awareness Week.
Arcand performed at a presentation in the morning for students from JAWS. as well as an afternoon presentation for students from Dr. Swift Middle School, Kikino School, and Caslan School.
“Every year JAWS. does something different to celebrate Aboriginal Awareness week, this year we are honored to have such a talented performer visit our school,” said JAWS principal Terry Moghrabi.
Arcand won back-to-back World Championship titles in hoop-dancing in 2006 and 2007. He also helped coordinate and performed in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics opening ceremonies, and has shared the stage with Canadian music legends Colin James and Nelly Furtado.
“Wherever I go, whether it is performing in the Olympics or the Calgary Stampede or at a middle school, I am happy to be there, to perform and celebrate my heritage,” Arcand said.
Arcand is from the Alexander Plains Cree Nation near Edmonton, and travels throughout North America doing presentations. He performs in many different musical genres, dabbling in different styles and varieties from traditional Aboriginal flute music, to hip-hop, to blues and folk. He began his presentation at J.A.W.S with a traditional flute “Honour Song”.
“I like to start every performance with an honour song, a way to honour the land and the people,” Arcand said. “It’s the heritage that makes this land so important.”
Performing with Arcand was his son Dallas Arcand Jr. who accompanied him on the keyboard and performed various hoop dances. Arcand was happy to perform, and quick to point out a lesson to all of the students regarding the importance of finding what it is you love to do.
“I am so lucky to be able to travel throughout North America and perform with my family,” Arcand said. “This is what it is all about, finding something you love and doing it with the people you love.”
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