The Native Pride Dancers traveled half way around the world to be a part of the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan from September 1-7, 2016. Shaina Snyder, William Leonard, Shelby Snyder, Sean Snyder, & Adrian Stevens were brought out by the U.S. Embassy Bishkek. While in Kyrgyzstan, these cultural dancers and educators proudly represented Native American peoples of the United States at the World Nomad Games.
Who Are They?
Native American artists and dancers from all over the U.S. and Canada join together as one. The Native Pride Dancers are an Internationally known, high-energy show featuring an innovative blend of modern and traditional Native American dance styles. The dancers wear various assortments of brightly-colored ribbons, feathers and beads which honor the nations’ elders. They use beautiful cultural art forms like music, dance and storytelling to reflect their rich cultural history and customs passed down from generation to generation. They share the true history of bravery, fortitude, generosity and wisdom. The Native Pride Dancers are passionately devoted to keeping Native American traditions alive.
“Our dance is contemporary, and yet primal as we use every muscle and breath to express our rich, cultural heritage. Our mission is to educate, inspire, motivate and empower diverse communities to bridge cultural gaps through Indigenous traditions. Feel the beat of the drum, experience the hypnotizing power of dance, and enjoy the rhythm of the music as we share the cultural history, traditions, ways, beliefs, and spiritual importance of Indigenous peoples.”
Larry Yazzie, Native Pride Dancers – Artistic Director and Founder
The Opening Ceremony
The II annual World Nomad Games held their opening ceremony at the Hippodrome off of Issyk-Kul Lake in Kyrgyzstan on September 1, 2016. The Native Pride Dancers cheered as team USA entered the arena with athletes from over 40 countries.
Yurts, Yurts and Tee-Pee!
The Native Pride Dancers performed daily at the American Corner Stage which was hosted by the U.S. Embassy Bishkek. Many people came to watch the educational dance performances. This stage was up in the mountains surrounded by communities of Yurts where people camped and celebrated the World Nomad Games. Different Nomadic games like eagle hunting were held up in these mountains.
Throughout the days, the Native Pride Dancers got the chance to experience Kyrgyzstan. They swam in Lake Issyk-Kul, rode on horses and camels, held eagles, met new people, tried new food, and viewed the local arts surrounding them – from clothing and rugs, to yurts. They were also generously hosted in the American Corner yurt, which was filled with traditional foods and arts; it was a truly beautiful and memorable moment.
As the games were coming to an end, there was a huge show at the Hippodrome which featured Kyrgyz fashion designers, musical artists and performers. The Native Pride Dancers performed on this huge stage, as part of the event which was televised around Central Asia.
Before the Native Pride Dancers left Kyrgyzstan, they did a couple more performances. A performance at the American Corner in Kant and the last for students at the American University of Central Asia.