Manitoba

Performing, teaching powwow dances virtually 'good medicine': Winnipeg siblings

A pair of Winnipeg siblings went from learning powwow dancing to teaching it in less than five years and are now holding virtual classes for those who want to learn.

Jayden and Dreyden Flett-Roulette teach grass, jingle dress dancing every weekend through Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata

Jayden and Dreyden Flett-Roulette teach powwow dancing, similar to the kinds demonstrated at the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Virtual Youth Powwow in March. (Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre/Facebook)

A pair of Winnipeg siblings went from learning powwow dancing to teaching it in less than five years and are now holding virtual classes for those who want to learn.

Jayden and Dreyden Flett-Roulette are hosting weekly powwow dance classes every Saturday through Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre to pass on what they've learned over the years.

"I like to encourage other girls my age and I love teaching and it makes me feel good," Jayden said on CBC Manitoba's Weekend Morning Show on Sunday.

The pandemic put some of the lessons on hold, but earlier this month the Indigenous-led community organization put the call out for kids aged eight to 15 to take part in a free weekly class virtually.

"Because of COVID, I couldn't teach, and I really like that Ma Mawi gave me a chance to teach kids again," Dreyden added.

"It's like a link and everybody joins and we all have fun. We do exercises, we do slow routines and we demonstrate two styles of dance."

The free classes are open for anyone within the age group, they say. Classes are every Saturday at 5 p.m.

Jayden and Dreyden were students at Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata not long ago.

In 2016, they started going to Powwow Club and learned the dances they now teach.

Jayden loves to wear her rainbow regalia and dance the contemporary jingle dress dance.

"I like the way it makes me feel and I like the sounds of the drum, the jingles, the bells," she said.

Her brother likes to do the grass dance, which is traditionally performed at the beginning of the powwow.

"It just makes me feel really good. It's really good medicine."

With files from Stephanie Cram

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