Salt River Dance Group Finishes 2023 Year With Two Performances

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Members of the Bird Singing and Dancing by the River enjoyed performing for Ak-Chin and were excited to perform again back home for the annual New Years Celebration. Photo courtesy of Juan C. Nieto.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Dance group Bird Singing and Dancing by the River has completed their winter 2023 season of performances throughout the Valley. 

Ki-Ana Reina assisted the SRPMIC dance group as they traveled to Ak-Chin Indian Community in December to participate in the annual Masik Tas Celebration, taking part in the final closing ceremony. 

“The songs and dances come from the Maricopa style of bird singing and dancing, which are a part of the tribes along the Colorado River,” said Reina. 


Following their performance in Ak-Chin, the group traveled back home to perform at the Community’s 2023 New Year’s Eve celebration.

The group was founded in 2003 by Annette and Lynwood Vest, and many of the traditions established in those early years are still followed today. “They (Annette and Lynwood Vest) formed the group to help the children in the Community understand and know more about Maricopa and O’odham songs and dances,” said Reina. She proudly added, “As of today, the dance group Bird Singing and Dancing by the River is in its third generation of singers and dancers.”

Now that the new year is here, the group is preparing for another calendar year of performances across the Valley and Indian Country. Performers and dancers of all ages are welcome. “The group is always open to those who are wanting to learn,” said Reina. The youngest member is 2 years old, and the oldest members are young adults finishing school. Practices take place Wednesday evenings at Friendship Park. 

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