Demonstrating the many
different dance styles of the American Indian
culture, the Wind River Dancers performed at
American Legion Park.
Darrell LoneBear has led the dancers for
25 years and has been a part of the Wyoming
Arts Council for 13 years. LoneBear started
out wanting to be in the police force and later
the FBI, until he saw how low his tribes had
become. That motivated him to go into social
work to help his people.
He started with the Wind River Dancers in
1993 at Cheyenne Frontier Days. When the
man who ran the dancers changed the name,
LoneBear decided to continue the Wind River
Dancers himself. The group has performed in
almost every city in the state of Wyoming –
more than 90 shows total.
The group’s members share their culture
and heritage through dance, LoneBear said.
There is a great passion within the dancers and
musicians that perform for us each year. Lone-
Bear said they do not have routines, only the
dance styles that have been passed down from
generation to generation. It starts young. The
families carry down the traditions of the tribe,
including the dances.
The dancers also create their own costumes
“As Native Americans, we take from the animals
all we can,” LoneBear said, “and when
we do, we thank them.”
The dancers cherish the outfits they create
and build them themselves, Lonebear said.
Another integral part of the dances is the
music. The Wind River Dancers have friends
they go to for music each powwow. “They are
the keepers of our songs,” LoneBear said. “We
wouldn’t go anywhere else and they wouldn’t
The music is an important part of not only
the dancing, but of the culture. LoneBear said if
you are down or depressed, listen to their drums
for a few minutes and you’ll be okay again.
“The way we see it the beat of the drum is
the heartbeat of mother earth,” Lonebear said.