Encore Spring 2024

Living Legends

Celebrating Native Culture in Arizona

In Window Rock, Arizona, Living Legends poses with President Buu Nygren of the Navajo Nation.

Despite the group’s rigorous performance schedule, BYU Living Legends always makes time to connect with the native communities their work represents. In February 2024, Living Legends traveled to Arizona and the Navajo Nation to share their vibrant dances on a midsemester tour.

While in Window Rock, Arizona, Living Legends students met Dr. Buu Nygren, president of the Navajo Nation. President Nygren is dedicated to ensuring every Navajo home has basic necessities. He also places a strong emphasis on self-improvement and hard work. “One of the most memorable parts of tour was meeting the president of the Navajo Nation,” says Ben Lopez, a member of Living Legends. “Many of his beliefs about education aligned with ours. He talked about how we can use our education to build our futures and the futures of others.”

Living Legends dance Reihana Wilson performs at BYU's World of Dance.

Attending a Living Legends show is an incredible experience. Beyond the entertainment value, the performances feature music, choreography, and regalia that all have special cultural significance to Native American, Latin American, and Polynesian communities.

Melia Losik, another member of Living Legends, had a profound experience speaking to an audience member. “One of the best interactions I had was after one of our shows,” she recalls. “A woman came up to me and told me she had been going through a lot of hard trials and that as she watched the jingle-dress dance, she felt healing power. I was so happy she told me that because a lot of times we don’t get to hear those experiences. It made me feel happy and emotional knowing she was able to feel the power of healing that comes from that dance.”

Living Legends celebrates a successful performance in Surprise, Arizona.

In June 2024, Living Legends will travel to France and Belgium for an extended academic tour. They will perform, hold outreach events, and participate in cultural exchange as they pursue lifelong learning and service.

The Native section of Living Legends gathers at a show in Queen Creek, Arizona.

Living Legends dancer Treygan Bragg performs at BYU's World of Dance