Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member Jorge Gonzales-Zuniga, 21, is making a name for himself in Indian Country through traditional dancing. During the last week of November 2019, he had the opportunity to travel to Australia with Phoenix-based dance group Indigenous Enterprise for the second time.
The group stayed in Australia for a month. During their stay, they were the intermission entertainment for the two-day Dance Rites festival in Sydney. Dance Rites is an Indigenous dance competition that celebrates the First Nations dance, and it featured more than 200 performers. The dance festival was held outside the world-famous Sydney Opera House.
Gonzales-Zuniga had the privilege of representing the SRPMIC through his hoop dancing, performing alongside three other dancers who were from different tribes. Along with being the entertainment, the dancers also participated in a private, sold-out Q&A panel and a short dance performance inside the Sydney Opera House.
“I was proud to be introducing myself in O’odham and to say what tribe I’m from,” said Gonzales-Zuniga, recalling his experience from the Q&A.
Gonzales-Zuniga has been hoop dancing since 2015 and dancing with Indigenous Enterprise since 2016. He revealed that he and the dance group might travel to London, England, in May for another event. He stated that he never thought dancing would take him this far, and it’s only the beginning. Gonzales-Zuniga has performed at the Native Art Market and various events around the Community.
If you would like to know more about Indigenous Enterprise, visit their website at www.indigenousenterprise.com.