Basque Dancers of the Great Basin

Basque Dancers of the Great Basin help celebrate "Basque: Innovation by Culture"
Smithsonian Institute 2016 Folklife Festival 

The 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival concluded on 7-10 July with a celebration of Basque culture in the United States, entitled "Basque: Innovation by Culture."

The Basque Dancers of the Great Basin, a joint troupe of members of the Elko Ariñak Dancers and the Ruby Mountain Ardi Baltza dance group of Lamoille, Nevada, were invited to participate in the Smithsonian Institution's 2016 Folklife Festival celebrating Basque Culture in the United States. Presenting an exciting blend of traditional Basque and modern dance, the Dancers were a hit at the Festival in Washington, D.C.

Elko Ariñak Dancers
Elko Arinak Female DancerElko Arinak Male Dancer
Elko Ariñak Dancers at 2006 National Basque Festival (images courtesy of Charlie Ekburg)

The Elko Ariñak Dancers, Elko’s very own Basque dance troupe, have helped keep the tradition of Basque dancing in America alive in northeastern Nevada since 1968. Then have since grown to around 100 dancers of all ages.The Elko Ariñak Dancers have been popular performers at festivals and events throughout Nevada and Idaho for years.

Ruby Mountain Ardi Baltza
Ruby Mountain Ardi Baltza

Based in Lamoille, Nevada, the Ruby Mountain Ardi Baltza band and dance group has been a regular feature of the National Basque Festival for years. Lovingly referred to as The Black Sheep, members of Ruby Mountain Ardi Baltza promote Basque culture through innovation and perpetuation of Basque dance and music.

Basque Dancers of the Great Basin to Perform at Smithsonian
(Story courtesy of James Burns, KENV-TV channel 10, Elko, NV, USA)

Interested in Joining the Elko Ariñak Dancers?

Membership on the Elko Ariñak Dancers is open to all members of the Elko Euzkaldunak Club. Dance instruction usually begins in the winter and continues until the week of the National Basque Festival performance in July each year. If you or your child would like to join, please fill out the registration form and mail it to:

Elko Euzkaldunak Club
PO Box 1321
Elko, NV 89803