Eddie Swimmer is an accomplished dancer, storyteller, and public speaker. His programs include dance, storytelling, plant lore, and explorations of stereotypes. He performs a number of Native American dances including the Apache Spirit Dance, Iroquois dance, Cherokee traditional dances, and Northwest coastal dances. Raised in the Big Cove Community on the Qualla Boundary, Eddie Swimmer first learned dancing from his family. By watching traditional dancers, he learned Cherokee dance steps. After attending Western Carolina University and Brigham Young University, he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he studied with Tony Whitecloud, founder of the modem Native American Hoop dance.
For several years, Eddie Swimmer held the title of the World Champion Hoop dancer, and for more than ten years, he toured the world with Native American dance groups, performing throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Eddie Swimmer performed in the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, at the 1994 World Cup Soccer Tournament in Dallas, and in the 1993 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Also in New York he choreographed a hoop dance number in the Broadway production of “Annie Get Your Gun.” He is the founder of the native dance group Native Movements. Eddie Swimmer has also toured extensively with numerous musical groups: Robbie Robertson’s “Music of the Native Americas,” Tony Hymes of the Jeff Beck Band, The Edge of U2, Joanne Shanadoah, Ulali, Floyd “Red Crow” Westerman, and Buffy Sainte Marie. After eighteen years based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Eddie Swimmer has relocated to his home in Cherokee. His portrait appears on the U.S. postage stamp for the Native Dance Series. He has been working with the Cherokee Historical Association to create new, more authentically Cherokee dances for the new production of “Unto These Hills.“