Shake the Bush Dance

With the beginning of accompaniment from a water drum and a number of horn rattles in the center of the dance area a number of women form two lines. They stand in place singing with the ‘orhestra’ during the slow introductory songs. With a change of tempo the first two women face backwards to the pair behind, as do every other pair of women in the column. Half way in each song they exchange places as in Giyowa. Soon pairs of men set themselves between these pairs or women and dance as partners to one couple. A slangy English name for this dance is “Kick Dance” for the hop, brush, and forward kick of the foot which are its steps. The dance originated West of Iroquoia among the “O’dani’sta hono”…Naked People. The NY Seneca call it “Shaking a Bush Dance”.

This dance is originally from the Tutelo Nation.   The dance was adopted by the Iroquois when the Tutelos (small Sioux Nation) were adopted into the Iroquois Confederacy.

2 or more singers, usually about 6-10, in the middle, water drum and horn rattles.

Women lead the dance, by two pairs of women, two in front, two behind and then first by singing the beginning songs of the dance, along with the men singers. The women’s voices are of a higher pitch sound.

When the beat changes, then the dancing begins.

Step style is of a hop and kick type of motion, hence it is sometimes called “Kick Dance”. The pairs face each other, with one pair dancing backwards

When the beat changes again, the women switch places, continuing with the beat and continuing dancing, with the second pair taking the lead

Men join in pairs and dance with the women, two men with two women and at the change in beat, switch places.

Also known as “Naked Dance”