While exploring Turtle Island, I meet people who forever change me. How they live gives me the courage to think outside the box and find the passion within to make this world better. I really want you to meet some of these superheroes: Modern Warriors who are blazing new paths and facing the challenges of today's Indigenous reality.

"My Hoop Dance Hero! James incorporates such a unique fusion of hip hop/b-boy dance and traditional dance, and he's become such an iconic part of ATCR's performances. With his cheeky smile and incredible steps, James not only challenges you to like his dancing, he inspires you to want to learn it too! "

James Jones

This star's taken hoop dancing to new heights with ATCR and now teaches powwow fitness classes across the country. He's also a really, really nice guy.

Current Beat: Artist and Traditional Hoop Dancer

Heritage: Cree (nêhiyaw) from Tallcree First Nation in Northern Alberta

Current location: Edmonton, Alberta

James Jones 1

Describe yourself in one word or sentence: I’m driven and passionate.

How has your life changed since dancing with ATCR? It has changed immensely. Touring all over the world has opened so many doors, and I’ve gotten to meet some amazing people. Mostly, I’ve learned just how hard you have to work to stay successful. And I don’t only mean performing and training, there’s also the professional, business side of art. I spend countless hours every day on my laptop and phone solidifying my next moves.

James Jones 2

How do you stay healthy on the road? I’ve never been a fan of fast food, but when I’m running through the airport or sitting on a tour bus my options are limited. I try my best to scope out healthy foods but sometimes you've just got to eat! Luckily, I’m able to stay really active on tour because we’re performing every night. That’s a lot of cardio!

Would you have the same fan base 10 years ago? What’s changed in society? I don’t think so. Social media has completely changed our awareness of current artists. Growing up, I had nothing to relate to. I didn’t know about powwow dancing or any ceremonies. Now, we can discover new ideas, trends and research with the click of a button. I’ve had so many incredible interactions with fans through social media - for example, a mother recently sent me a photo of her young boy who said I am his favourite hoop dancer. He'd styled his long hair to look just like mine. I was really touched.

When do you feel at your best? When I’m dancing and inspiring others to uncover their own unique talents.

James Jones 4

One piece of advice you have for youth: Don’t give up on your dreams and believe in yourself. If you work hard and give it 100% you will be successful. Guaranteed.

What does "the Good Life" mean to you? Feeling gratitude. It wasn’t until I quit drinking and living a negative lifestyle that I was able to connect with the Creator and give thanks for life’s small gifts: my family, dance, and finding balance within myself.

James Jones 5

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