Dances have traditions or legends connected to them. They are either for men or women and competitions are divided into age and style categories.
Men's Grass Dance
The grass dance tells of it originating from the movements of the early scouts seeking a site. When the grass was high in new areas, scouts would dance a special way to flatten it and make it acceptable for a new camp or meeting site. It also reflects warrior movements such as a stalking game or an enemy (including a movement representing one of the warrior's legs being staked, unable to move, and battling with this leg in a held position).
Strands of yarn or ribbon hang from the dancer's arms and waist representing grass. The dance motion flows like the rippling prairie grass. A headdress called a "roach" is worn with two feathers attached in such a way, they rock or twirl as the dancer moves. The dancer must move with the beat of the drum ending with both feet on the ground on the final beat.
This stately dance involves a slow-moving or non-moving bouncing step, rhythmically dipping and swaying to the beat of the drum.
Dresses of buckskin, wool or other material are heavily decorated with beading, quill work, elk teeth, bone, antler or shells. The colors for this dance tend to be more subdued than in other dance styles.