Veteran. Educator. Lakota. Grass Dancer Danny Garneaux dedicates his life to The Red Road, while he shares his traditions with others. Life on the Powwow Trail begins with the blessing of beliefs and culture, which Danny Garneaux describes to us here at Powwows.com!
Interview by Dawn Karima, Native American Culture Editor
DK: You are such an inspiration when you dance!How did you find your path to start Grass Dancing at Powwows?
DG: Miss Dawn, the reason I chose Grass Dance was thanks to four older men who showed me the Old Style. They told me the stories of how the Grass Dancer and how he served his people by dancing down the grasses so our people had a place to put up their tipis. They also shared the story of the little boy and how his legs were healed through that special song. They told these stories through the dance and it spoke to me.
DK: Amazing miracles happen when we seek out the old paths! What role does dancing play in your life at the present time?
DG:Our Grandpa Dan Garneaux was involved in educating the public on who we are. He shared for 40 years, my dad shared for 40 years as well. I am third generation educator. Grandpa Dan had us dancing as soon as we could walk.
DK: You are such a tremendous educator! What lessons have you learned as you lead others on this path?
DG:I have been sharing and educating for more than fourteen years myself. Some of the more important things that dancing has taught me was to honor those traditions, honor those feathers we wear and know where they came from. If you can’t tell the stories of your feathers, you have too many. Also, many elders tell us we were BORN Lakota…everything else is extra blessings.
DK:Yes, your people have such beautiful ways!
DG:One thing about our Lakota people is we are everywhere!!! Ask around at any powwow, good chance there is at least ONE Lakota there…dancing or watching.
DK:So true!Lakota ways form the foundation of many powwows, so please share some insights with us?
DG: Some of my important tribal traditions are our spirituality and how to walk the Red Road. Always listen to the Elders, because getting to their age is not luck alone.
DK: Righteous!What do your Lakota values mean to everyone else on Powwow Highway?
DG:The influence on life that dancing has is simple. Always learn from teachers, young and old, no matter which nation. There is no correct way to live because life was meant to be experienced…not followed like a book.
DK: If someone feels that their way to live life includes dancing, how would you encourage them to start?
DG: I encourage other people to start dancing by being in the circle. BE the example and show everyone-no matter the age-if I can be out here with these 43 year-old legs, anyone can.
DK:It’s a blessing to be able to do what you love, especially when it means entering the Circle!
DG: Powwows are powerful by what we bring to the circle…we all play a part. No matter if you have been dancing for the first time or have been dancing for 32 years like myself. Every single one of us completes that circle. We pray when we dance, we honor our ancestors who made sure we would still be here today to tell our stories.
DK:I so much appreciate you sharing your story with us!
DG: Thank you for the opportunity!And finally, we are ALL human beings…or People…as our ancient tribal names remind us. Remember who we were born to be…honor and respect and love one another!
Read more: http://www.powwows.com/2015/01/17/born-lakota-grass-dancer-danny-garneaux/#ixzz3kJJXalb4