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Early immigrants—the founders of Basque American traditions brought their knowledge of local dance traditions with them to the United States. These dances, as well as those performed in the Basque Country, fit into two broad categories: traditional or ritual dances and the more recent social or recreational dances. Ritual dances are those set aside for particular events and require specific circumstances and, initially, were performed by male dancers.
Basque Dance traditions, including the distinctive high kicks and intricate leaps that makes performances so thrilling, were brought to the United States by early Basque immigrants. Today, Basque Dance enjoys a vital role in Basque American communities throughout the West.