Southern Ute Bear Dancers Shoshone Thompson and Keifer Goodtracks-Alires break off on Monday, May 27 during the final hours the Bear Dance, a Ute springtime celebration spanning four days.
Young dancers put their best feet forward.
Using wooden growlers laid across the growler box, Southern Ute singers brought familiar songs to the many dancers throughout the four-day celebration.
The color and movement of Bear Dance is exemplified by the youngest of dancers.
Filling the Bear Dance Corral, couples line dance in a synchronized rhythm, accentuated by the colorful fringes adorning the women’s traditional shawls.
A set of young Bear Dances kicked up dust throughout the weekend, drawing applause from the spectators both in and outside of the corral.
Young dancers stand with practiced patience as they prepare for a line dance with their peers.
Bear Dance Chief Matthew J. Box addresses attendees in the final hours of the Southern Ute Bear Dance.
Dancers line up with their chosen partners.
A young Bear Dancer shows focus during the line dance.
Young dancers pair up with their peers during the Bear Dance.
Dancers from all three Ute tribes make their way to Ignacio each year for the springtime celebration.
In the warm afternoon light, young dancers prepare to pair up for the day's last dance.
Catman Shane Seibel keeps a close watch on the dancers throughout the weekend.
Girls, each wrapped in a colorful shawl, eagerly await the opportunity to pick out their dance partners in this women's choice dance.
A traditional cradleboard shelters a newborn during the Bear Dance.
Dancers of all ages step in rhythm to the Bear Dance songs, including Southern Ute elder Kathleen Hatch.
Southern Ute Bear Dance singers bring rhythm to the Bear Dance.
Elders visit the Bear Dance corral to watch younger dancers and visit with relatives.
The swish of a woman's shawl represents the rhythm of the Bear Dance.
A pair of young women hold their partners tight during the Bear Dance.
Wooden growlers resonate on metal, creating Bear Dance music.
Keona Whitey steps in sync with the Bear Dance songs.
The warm light of late afternoon bathes dancers as they break into pairs during the final songs.
Girls line up with warm smiles, laughter and determination as they face their dance partners.
Young Southern Ute tribal member Neeka Ryder adorns a traditional dress and shawl for the spring Bear Dance.
Beaded gloves and vest adorn a Northern Ute Bear Dancer during the Ignacio celebration.
A young Bear Dancer in traditional clothing.
A well-dressed youth makes Bear Dance music, sitting alongside more experienced Ute singers.
Long lines fill the Bear Dance Corral on the final day of the Southern Ute Bear Dance.