Pattern, Strait Dance Suit
with Ribbonwork Instructions
Straight Dancing is a unique style which is easily distinguished from other styles seen at American Indian pow-wows. However, unlike pow-wow styles which derive from a social setting, the originating context of the Straight Dance is the ‘formal war dance” ceremoni-als which are still held today. As care has been taken to maintain the traditions, so too has the dance style remained little-changed.
The Straight Dancer moves with the war dance song in a graceful and dignified manner, weaving his way along as he rounds the drum in the center of the arena or dance arbor This is a conservative dance, without the spins, fancy footwork, flamboyant movements, and acrobatics of the Fancy Dancer. While the Straight Dancer may appear to simply weave and bob gently in time with the music, these conservative movements are somewhat difficult to achieve, as they must be carefully coordinated, remaining in strict time with the song and drum. This graceful style and smooth, fluid motion often gives the impression that the dancer is floating effortlessly, just inches above the dance floor This is the Straight Dance.
The Straight Dance Suit, or Ribbon Suit, is the foundation of this regalia, consisting of a pair of aprons, a pair of leggings, and a dance trailer. These articles are all decorated with multiple layers of different colored ribbons which are cut, folded and sewn into beautiful geometric designs. This pattern will show you how to cut and fit the suit and make the ribbonwork to complete it. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and will help you create a beautiful and authentic Straight Dance outfit that you will be proud to wear.