The Bear Dance continues to cater to the Ute people who show pride in their culture.
The Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy (SUIMA) students line up for a group photo prior to the Bear Dance grounds blessing offered by Bear Dance Chief, Matthew Box.
Bear Dance Chief, Matthew Box explains the etiquette of the Bear Dance to the SUIMA students and early dancers to the Bear Dance.
Last minute adjustments were made by both boys and girls before neginning the Bear Dance, Friday, May 22. Elliott and Nathaneal Hendren prepare to enter the corral.
Southern Ute Bear Dance Chief, Matthew Box gives last minute instrcutions to the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy (SUIMA) before they enter the Bear Dance corral. SUIMA tradionally open the Bear Dance, by singing and dancing the first dances.
Girls wait patiently as Bear Dance Chief Matthew Box prepares to bless the Bear Dance grounds.
The first line of Bear Dancers have SUIMA students, guides and early dancers to begin the 2015 Bear Dance.
After weeks of practice, with growlers in hand, the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy boys ready themselves, along with Bear Dance Chief Matthew Box and other ‘growlers’ to officially kickoff the weekend with the first song.
The Bear Dance is a woman’s choice dance – as indicated by the ‘flicking’ of the shawl fringes to the prospected dance partner.
Fellow growlers, Southern Ute Tribal Councilman, Tyson Thompson and second-year Lower Elementary student Jeremy Reynolds growl and sing on a beautiful day to begin the Bear Dance.
SUIMA boys, after weeks of practice – even making their own growler, are ready to put their skills to test.
Shawl fringes move in time to the bear dance growlers rhythm.
SUIMA boys keep time with their steps they've learned and practiced the weeks leading up to this – the first Bear Dance.
The growlers are the key instruments in imitating the "scratching" of the bear.
Through many generations, the Bear Dance has stood by the foundation of gathering Tribal Members together for the celebration of life.
Dancers line up as the Cat Man ensures everyone is in position.
Dancers line up for another dance session.
Dominic Howe GoodTracks revs his growler in synchronization with the other singers.
The Cat Man’s (Shane Siebel) main duty is to keep the dancers in line.
Lisa Burch Frost has some fun in the sun.
The dancers stay in tempo with the rhythm of the growlers.
The Bear Dance is a women’s choice dance held during Memorial Day weekend for the Southern Ute Tribe.
Young dancers enjoy the festivities.
It’s a warm, sunny day as spectators enjoy the colorful view inside the Bear Dance corral.
Tribal elder, Neda Chackee remains in tempo.
Kean Cantsee (right) revs his growler.
The Bear Dance continues to bring tribal and non-tribal members together.
The various Ute bands of all ages gather for the celebration.
The Bear Dance invites dancers of all ages to enjoy the experience.
Morgann Box stays in tempo with her dance partner.
Lisa Burch Frost and Leora Lucero share a dance partner.
The Cat Man helps direct dancers.
The Bear Dance always displays colorful regalia from Tribal members.
The Bear Dance is one of the oldest recorded dances in American history, pre-dating back hundreds of years.