Individual Dance Competition Guidelines

AIA Competition Guidelines and Rules

Any number of Contestants from each lodge may participate in the Individual Dance Competitions. The top ten dancers in each category will perform and be recognized at the powwow.  The top three (3) dancers in each category will be recognized with awards at the Powwow on Friday, July 29, 2022.

All contestants must check in and receive their number at the American Indian Activities office. This will take place Monday, July 25, 2022.

If you have a question about the Old Time vs. Contemporary Northern Traditional categories please bring a picture of your dance clothes to check in and one of the Judges will advise you in which category you should compete.

A mandatory meeting of all judges and competition team adviser and youth chairman will be held one half hour after the conclusion of the Opening Arena Show, on Monday, July 25, 2022. The location of the meeting will be available at registration/check-in.


  1. There are six (6) Men’s categories and four (4) Women’s categories of Individual Indian Dance competition:
    1. Men’s Chicken Dance
    2. Men’s Contemporary Traditional
    3. Men’s Fancy Feather
    4. Men’s Grass
    5. Men’s Old Time Sioux
    6. Men’s Straight
    7. Women’s Fancy Shawl
    8. Women’s Jingle Dance
    9. Women’s Northern Traditional
    10. Women’s Southern or Lakes Traditional
  2. Dancers must wear appropriate authentic clothing. The judges are the final authority of what constitutes appropriate authentic clothing.
  3. Dancers must dance in the style of their clothing. In Preliminary competition, if you are eliminated in one dance style, you may change dance clothes and dance in another style, if scheduling time permits. You must be registered in both styles. Dancers may not compete in the finals in more than one category.
  4. Losing a major article off your dance clothes during the contest may lead to disqualification at the judges’ discretion. Arrowmen should not self-disqualify for any reason unless they are physically unable to continue dancing. The judges are the final authority on what constitutes a major article. Having your clothes properly maintained and secured tightly eliminates this problem. [Note: During Individual Dance Competition, a Dancer Emergency Repair Team (DERT) may be available to assist in minor repairs of your dance clothes.]
  5. All dancers must be under the age of twenty-one (21), and be registered conference participants at the time of competition.
  6. Dancers must be prepared to compete either indoors or outdoors.
  7. All participants must display the contestant number they were issued at check-in so that the judges can read it. The number is to be attached to the front of the dance clothes.
  8. Overstepping a song may result in placement being lowered.
  9. No part of any protected species may be worn in any manner. Violation of this rule will result in automatic disqualification. Please be aware of all state and federal laws regarding protected species.
  10. Within the guideline found in the U.S. Code concerning the American Flag, flags are not to be used as wearing apparel. Therefore, no type of U.S. flag(s) will be permitted as part of a dancers dance clothes. Flag motifs in beadwork and quillwork are acceptable.
  11. National Order of the Arrow Face Paint Policy. Order of the Arrow National Conference and activities conducted beyond the individual lodge will not permit face paint, body paint, or wigs to be used in social or competition dancing or in ceremonies or ceremonies competition.
  12. The Boy Scouts of America policy regarding firearms and knives, as stated in the Guide to Safe Scouting will be followed. While we are guests at a university campus, we will abide by the campus policy regarding weapons.
  13. The judges will determine the judging criteria and all decisions are final. The Head Dance Judge will have the final determination of any judging result or discrepancy and will field any concerns or complaints.
  14. Dancers are asked not to leave the dance competition area until dismissed by the MC the day of competition to ensure all judging results are finalized.
  15. All dancers are encouraged to participate in the coaching of their American Indian clothes. This will take place immediately after the dance competition. The importance of this to the Arrowmen is to help dancers to improve their dance clothes.  Also, AIA staff gets to meet you and start to consider selections for Youth staffs at the National Jamboree, National Indian Seminars, and future NOACs.

    NOTE: There will be no competition for individual skill dancers. (Hoop, horsetail, etc.)

All dancers are invited to The Conference Festival Powwow on Friday, July 29, 2022.

Please contact James Barton, 2022 NOAC AIA Competitions Manager with any questions (, phone: 843-557-7038).