For the first time in the 69 years that the Sahawe Dancers have been entertaining fans in Uvalde and across the country, the troop has been invited to dance at the World Scout Jamboree scheduled next month in West Virginia. It is a huge opportunity for the Sahawes, who are among our city’s most enduring ambassadors, and a performance we should all line up to support.
To reach the jamboree, which has not been held in the United States since 1967, the Sahawes will travel more than 4,500 miles to join as many as 50,000 other scouts at the Summit Bechtel Reserve from July 22 to Aug. 2. Along the way and on the return trip, the Sahawes will perform at a variety of summer camps where they will be hosted.
Once at the jamboree, the Sahawes will be joined by the Kwahadi Dancers of Amarillo for two days of performances. The two groups combined are expected to number 35-40 dancers.
And while the cost of travel will be halved due to overnight stays at camps along the way, the 12-day road trip will require food and other travel-related expenses. In addition, the performers will spend money on materials to create feathers with their troop information, which will identify them as Uvaldeans. According to Ramon Castro, who heads up the Sahawes, the troop has set a goal of raising $8,000 to fund the trip to West Virginia.
In the meantime, the Sahawes will be dancing at home in their 59th summer ceremonials on July 8-13. Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Sahawe Outdoor Theater, located at the corner of South Wood and East Garden streets, across from H-E-B. General admission is $5 and it is free for children under 4 years of age accompanied by an adult and for senior citizens 65 and older.
If you have never seen the Sahawes perform, you owe it to yourself and your family to take a seat and soak in the throbbing beat of the drums and the whirl of feathers. Performers spend an average of 1,000 hours a year to practice the dances that reflect the varied cultures of the indigenous people of North America. And if you like what you see, please drop off a donation to help our Scout ambassadors take their performance to the big show at this year’s World Scout Jamboree.