By Will Colford, SnowSeekers Inc.
JJ First Charger, who competed at the International Hoop Dancing Competition in Phoenix, Arizona, has used his dedication to teach others the art and importance of his art. Quentin Ross Crazy Wolf describes JJ as his best friend. There is a heartfelt tone and deep admiration in his voice. It is clear JJ has mentored Quentin through some times.
“JJ is dedicated. It took him a long way to get where he is … a long way.” To perform at the level JJ does, Wolf says, “He had to practice at least two hours a day on top of teaching.”
Wolf can’t speak for Lethbridge, but for the Native community, JJ and especially the art of hoop dancing, has had insurmountable positive influence and cultural significance. Seeing him perform on stage, JJ appears to be concentrating on the hoops he picks up, but, according to Wolf, “Each hoop you pick up, there’s a meaning. It matters.” At least that’s what JJ told him during teaching.
Wolf, however, no longer practices. “I have my own family now. Three kids I have to be a father to. I dedicate my time to them instead.”