History of Trejdeksnitis
Named after a Latvian percussion instrument used in some folk dances, TREJDEKSNITIS ( tray-decks-neet-iss), Seattle’s Premier Latvian Folk Dance Ensemble is a vital organization associated with the Latvian Association of Washington State. It is a group of 30 amateur dancers ranging in age from 15 to over 50. The group provides a place for descendants of Latvian immigrants living in the greater Seattle area to experience a sense of camaraderie and friendship through music and dance.
The ensemble was established in 1962 by Irene Beleiciks and is still going strong after more than 50 years!
The group seeks to preserve the culture, language and traditions of Latvia through a balanced approach of practicing and performing traditional Latvian dances with innovation, fresh thinking and new choreographies.
The group rehearses at the Seattle Latvian Community Center and performs for local Latvian cultural celebrations, local community events ( such as Northwest Folklife Festival) as well as Latvian Song and Dance Festivals around the world.
Trejdeksnītis has performed several times in Latvia - in 1990 the group was among the first from outside of Latvia to perform
in the Worldwide Latvian Dance Festival, while in 1993 the group also presented a concert
at the Latvian National Theater. In 1998 the group danced again in the Worldwide Latvian
Dance Festival. This ensemble has won numerous awards for their dances in both regional and
international Latvian Song and Dance Festivals.
Most of the performers are first or second generation Latvian- Americans, whose parents or grandparents
emigrated to this area in the 1940’s. The goals of the group are to preserve the culture, language and traditions
of Latvia and pass these on to following generations. The groups also try to introduce spectators to Latvian culture
as well as entertain them with the richness of Latvian dance.