Jones Benally Family Dancers
Navajo Music and Dance
World Champion hoop dancer and traditional healer, Jones Benally, leads the Jones Benally Family Dancers. The group is three generations of one family who bring the beauty and healing power of Navajo (Diné) culture to educate and uplift people around the globe.
Navajo dance is a sacred tradition encompassing a wide variety of forms, all of which aim to heal the body, mind, or spirit. These ceremonies are led by the haatali (“singer”), a role that encompasses singing, dancing, and healing. When presented outside the Navajo community, these dances are modified for public viewing, but they retain their deep capacity to move hearts and minds. The family’s emotive vocals and chanting, along with rhythmic accompaniment on traditional instruments like hand drum and rattle, amplify the ceremonial mood. The Benallys’ repertoire of dances includes traditional forms like the gourd dance, eagle dance, feather dance, and friendship dance. The hoop dance is always a highlight, as audiences marvel at the phenomenal natural figures and shapes Jones, as well as Clayson, can evoke so fluidly with five, nine, a dozen, or more hoops.