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 province to province, the music, steps and costumes change, but the Basques’ deep love of dance remains a constant. There are approximately 400 distinct Basque folk dances, each with its own story and significance. Many include the use of sticks and swords that the dancers strike together as they progress through the movements of the dance. The more recent social dances derive from early celebratory dances but are today devoid of any sacred function. They are characterized by differences in style and function, and allow for dual-gender participation. Early immigrants 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.