Basque Dance provides both Basque and non-Basque readers with an introduction to an ancient art form that still endures. The Basques have succeeded ... Show synopsis Basque Dance provides both Basque and non-Basque readers with an introduction to an ancient art form that still endures. The Basques have succeeded in preserving a rich and varied collection of folk dances. From village to village and region to region, the music, steps and costumes change, but the collective reveals the Basques' deep love of dance. There are approximately 400 distinct Basque folk dances, each with its own story and significance. They are characterized by differences in style and function. 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 make 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.