More than a traditional dance, it is a lifestyle that a lot of locals, men or women, have adopted. We all have in mind images of beautiful vahinés swaying their hips to irresistible rhythms and performing delicate gestures we would like to know the meaning of.
Mission accepted, I have tested for you the Tahitian dance !
I am not a native from Tahiti, I am what we call here, a popaa. Born in France, living in Tahiti for several years. I have always danced so when I arrived in Tahiti I couldn’t resist to try one of the most beautiful dance in the world, the Ori Tahiti. So here I am with my pareo, my bottle of water and my towel in a Tahitian dance classroom.
The dance instructor welcomes us with a huge smile typical from Polynesian people. She explains us what we are going to do and she turns on 4 air conditioners… At that time, I should have worried more about the trap that was going to close on me…
“As a warm up, we are going to do some exercises on modern music”. We are all in line, hands on heaps…Here we go, let’s start the music!
Movements follow one after another on a frenetic pace, legs bent, feet close together, don’t move your upper body, smile, sing… It is official, I am going to collapse!
Music stops, I look at the clock above the mirror, 5 minutes have passed, I am completely soaked, trying to recover some breath, still 55 minutes to go..that was just the warm up! I am looking at my dancing fellows, they look just amazing, few of them have a small drop of sweat at the corner of an eye, all of them have a huge smile on their face… How come ?
The class goes on, we learn each step and moves going on the lyrics and song. The beauty of the Ori Tahiti is in the mix of a very physical dance with a story telling choreography. All along the class, we learn how to interpret with our body a story..it is at this exact moment that I fell in love with Ori Tahiti.
During the class, girls are screaming, not the kind of scream you can expect from a weightlifter who succeeded lifting 300 kilos, but more joyful screams, to cheer them up, to encourage themselves and share the fun being together here and now, dancing along this beautiful music.
One hour has passed, I can’t feel the air conditioners anymore, I can’t feel my legs either, I hear my heart beating so strong, girls are gathering around me (they probably called 911 seeing at my face!).. So, did you like it ?
Oh yes I did like it, I’ll be back and I really advise all the people who want to get immersed in the Polynesian Culture to give it a go, you won’t be disappointed! Promise!