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These workshops provide unique opportunities to explore contemporary challenges within a framework of traditional American Indian culture, history, and values. Ty draws upon his vast repertoire of native stories, flute demonstration and vocal songs, and the inspiring sacred Hoop Dance. He engages participants in insightful discussions and activities that are both entertaining and educational.


Ty draws from deep wellsprings of knowledge, distilled and refined over many generations, yielding a profound sense of the universality of the human spirit and its inclination toward harmony, balance, beauty, peace, and the sacred. Through movement and dance, sound, and music, Ty conveys this universal spirit through his stories, music, and dance, in performance, workshop, and lecture settings. 


Dance, music, and story are intertwined with humor and audience interaction in a seamless dramatic narrative presents four evocative lessons for the audience:


The beauty of dance is often discovered in the message it presents. The Hoop Dance is just such a dance; one of a message of interconnectedness and of beauty. It is a metaphor for the process of regeneration apparent in our lives in many guises. The four colors of the hoops are symbols of interdependence and unity - the four human races, the four seasons, the four directions of the compass. As the Hoops move they speak of renewed creation of all of the universe.


Click Here for a Hoop Dance Demonstration



The need to connect with others and communicate with understanding is universal. Within the Native American culture there are hundreds of languages, and through common gestures and signs people have been able to communicate without having one dominant language. There is unity and sense of cooperation in sign language ... it is a language of beauty as well as function.


We each have gifts to share with the world around us. Our individual gifts help to shape the world as well as to sustain it, and through our individuality, together we strengthen each others’ lives. Ty Defoe has chosen to honor the elders of the Anishinabe and Six Nations in his role to continue tradition with song, dance, and story. The gifts meld our individuality into a strengthened whole. 



The Spirit of the Eagle is a Spirit of Ascendancy soaring high into trees and higher into the sky. From there is a vantage point that shows no borders or boundaries. The eagle sees the earth and its people as a whole. Humans, too, have within themselves a desire to soar, a higher self toward which they yearn to aspire. As eagles rise on their wings, humans can rise on the aspect of character.


The Eagle is a noble animal held in high regard within the Native American culture. We should try to be like the eagle and see things without boundaries, and to see people as belonging to that whole as well as to many different groups.


Click here for Video Feature by Miccosukee Magazine for Ty's Program at the American Indian Festival


Creating Multidisciplinary Performnace with Ty Defoe:


Performance Art workshop where participants create a three minute, multidisciplinary piece that can serve as the groundwork for a longer piece/project. We will use self-identification as the seed for exploration and then branch out. Students will refine their creative process through guided exploration of mind, body, and spirit.

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