The Announcer, Arena director, and Head Dancers

597 Views There are many leadership roles to fill to make any pow wow run smoothly and be enjoyable for all. The people chosen to fill lead positions are well respected in their communities, and are expected to be role models for the younger generations.

The Announcers

No pow wow is complete without Announcers, who are also referred to as MCs (Master of Ceremonies). They are the orchestrators and motivators. They keep the Dancing and Singing Contests moving along and keep the public informed about what is taking place. The more the announcer knows about the dances and songs, the better he/she will be able to keep the events moving along and be able to call more specialty numbers. They may also entertain by telling jokes, making comments and giving directions. The announcer sets the atmosphere for the crowd and contestants.

The Arena Director

This is the individual or individuals whose responsibility it is to keep track of the dance contests, singers and special events. The arena director(s) makes sure the dancers know when their dance session is about to be called and gives them updates at intervals so they enter the dance arena at the correct time for their particular competition. The arena director makes sure the singers know the order in which their drum group will play. He or she makes sure the judges are ready. They assist the announcers in keeping the pow wow going in an orderly fashion and help out with whatever is needed in the vicinity of the dance arena. The arena directors are very valuable in assuring a successful celebration.

Head Dancers

The Native American tribes have always strived to present exemplary role models for members of the tribe to follow. The Head Male Dancer and Head Female Dancer are such role models. Individuals who exhibit outstanding traditional qualities are asked to serve in this capacity. The responsibilities of this position include being present throughout the pow wow activities and leading the dancers by being the first to begin each dance. One male and one female head dancer is usually chosen for each age group in the competition. Being chosen for this position is a great honor.