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Beti Alai Dancers
     In Euskera, the language of the Basques, Beti Alai means "Always Happy."  This is the name of the Ontario Basque Club Dancers.  Beti Alai is composed of the children of Ontario Basque Club members. The group performs at the club's Annual Dinner Dance and other events such as America's Global Village, The Malheur County Fair, Jaialdi, and local conferences. 
 2004 Beti Alai Dantzariak - L.C.       Beti Alai Dancers range in age from 4 to early teens and are instructed by veteran Ontario dancers Maria Barinaga Tipton, Lisa Corcostegui and Enrike Corcostegui. The group performs dances from several regions of Euskal Herria, the Basque Country. Their repetoire includes the Jota and Porrusalda, Txontxongilo, Zagi Dantza, Matelota, Zapatain Dantza, Tamborrada, Olagueko Esku Dantza, Makila Txikiakikoa, and others. For more information about the Beti Alai Dancers contact Maria by clicking here.

History of the Ontario Basque Dancers
The mission of the original Basque Ladies Club founded in 1947 was to promote and preserve the Basque heritage through language and dance. An organized dance group was formed in 1960.  click to see larger version of this imageThe Ladies Club's first costumes were remade for this pioneer group. Along with dancing the children learned Basque songs. This early group was instructed by Becky Platt and Timmie Echanis in dancing and Lucia Egurrola in song. Dancers in the 1960 group were: Toni Acaiturri, Carmen Calzacorta, Maria Elena Calzacorta, Frank Echanis, Jim Echanis, Kathy Echanis, Mike Echanis, Pat Echanis, Jim Mendiguren, Phillip Mendiguren, Tommy Mendiguren, Ben Plaza, Lewis Plaza, Ramona Plaza, Kenny Vandewall, Vicki Vandewall, Kitsy Ybarzabal, Bob Yturri,  Evet Yturri, and Mary Yturri.   To see an Argus Observer photo of this 1960 group click here.
Past Instructors of Ontario Basque Dancers
Over the years the following individuals have been among the instructors for the dance group: Timmie Echanis, Becky Platt, Lucy Egurrola (singing), Elena Calzacorta (singing), Ramona Plaza, Maria Calzacorta, Frank Echanis, Cecilia Calzacorta, Joanne Mainvil, Tim Anacabe, Chris Franks, Dick Franks, Kathy Franks, Theresa Pagoaga, Maria Barinaga Tipton, Juli Plaza Gundle, Sage Benintendi, Tara O'Connell, and Holly DeTassigny. Grace Mainvil also dedicated many hours over the years to helping with the dancers, coordinating performances, and acting as announcer.


For more photos of the dancers visit the photo gallery.

Link:
Cyber Dantza - an online source for information about Basque folk dance

Dantzaldizkaria - an online magazine for Basque-American Dancers and Dance Enthusiasts|
 

Dancers' Resources