Bear Dancing into spring

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Two young dancers flail their colorful shawls. Hundreds of people gathered May 23-26 for the annual tradition.
Friends and family rejoiced for the annual spring celebration in honor of the bear.
The Southern Ute Bear Dance singers perform a set of traditional songs during the celebration. They use wooden growlers that lay across the metal growler box, creating the beat for the dancers.
Bear Dance participants hold hands as they wait for the beats of the growlers to kick in.
The weekend thunderstorms threatened the dance, but couldn’t keep the eager dancers away.
Bear Dance singers stay in sync with one another during the song performances.
A group of dancers fill the Bear Dance Corral. The couples move the rhythm in a synchronized fashion, complete with the colorful regalia worn by the dancers.
Young participants direct each other. The dance requires careful guidance between partners.
The Bear Dance brought cheers from spectators during the warm, Monday afternoon on May 26. Guests migrated inside the dance corral and found themselves part of the historic routine.
The warm sunlight graced the Bear Dance Corral on Monday, May 26, making up for the previous days of thunder and rain.
David Boyd grinds his wooden growler during one of the traditional Bear Dance songs.
The Bear Dance came to an end Monday, May 26 with a full day of ideal dancing weather and a hefty feast for all to enjoy.
Dancers of all ages partake in the traditional Ute celebration of spring.
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum
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The annual Southern Ute Bear Dance made its return to Ignacio during Memorial Day weekend from May 23-26 and once again brought a large crowd of participants who showed their commemoration for the bear. The dance is held yearly in the Bear Dance Grounds and featured the energy from dancers of all ages. The celebration is a women’s choice dance, and all guests stationed inside the corral are encouraged to participate.

 

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