I did it! On Saturday night May 15th I made a sort of right of passage: I was in a Tahitian dance performance at To'ata Amphitheater, Tahiti's biggest venue and the premier stage for Tahitian dance. Most Tahitian girls dream of performing at To'ata and many of them do it. Dance is an enormously important part of society and is one of the joys of being a Polynesian woman - not that the men mind it either. It was an incredible experience of female bonding, dancing, sweating, sewing, stressing, practicing in the cold rain and laughing with an incredibly diverse range of girls, women and old ladies.
The dance schools aren't as lithe and flashy as the pros but still have some amazing costumes, choreography and an ambiance that's literally on fire. Part of my troupe will go on to compete in the singing and dancing competitions at the world famous Heiva I Tahiti festival (again at To'ata) in July but I'll be out of the country so will miss it unfortunately.
As I said in my last post about my rehearsals, the big story is getting published elsewhere so I don't want to blow it here, but here is a video sampler of the show. My daughter filmed this from the stands and I'm in three of the dances in this clip. I'm not going to give you any more hints except to say that I'm the fourth dark figure that walks on stage from the seating area in the first dance. You can also hear my daughter say "Oh mon Dieu! Eh Maman," at one point during the first dance. Hopefully it was because I was busting a great move . . . but probably not.