Fancy Shawl Dancers
The most modern of the ladies dance style originated in the 1950's and 1960's as a tourist and competition style of dance. The Fancy Shawl Dancer traditionally is said to be mimicking a colorful butterfly as it floats over a grassy, wildflower spotted meadow. The dancer is up on her toes to provide the allure of flight with the shawl and fringe symbolizing wings and swaying grass. During honor beats of the drum, the dancer might spin to the beat as a butterfly tossed by a sudden gust of wind. There are additional stories relating to how this dance style developed and its origin.
Dance steps are individually choreographed, but always are in harmony with the beat of the drum. Many of the moves are very intricate. The spectator who is close enough to watch the movement of the feet will be rewarded with the added dimension, but the overall effect can be seen from any distance. Though the fancy shawl involves more motion and agility than most women's dances, the grace of the woman is always expressed. The regalia is brilliantly colored, and often adorned with beautifully designed beadwork. Beadwork is also often a compliment to the shawl, which is an integral part of the dance.