Drums, Laughter, Sweat–Tahitian Dancing

by Chiara M., LHS Teen Contributor

You walk down Keaukaha to Puhi Bay and as you’re standing at the flagpole you hear the distant sound of laughter and booming drums.img_7984Curious, you walk down Baker Avenue letting your ears take control. As you near Keaukaha School the sound gets louder and you become more intrigued so you begin to jog. You slow down as you see a crowd of people surrounding a small classroom that’s right next to Kawananakoa Gym.

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Sometimes we practice at the beach, like in this photo, when I was 5.

Turning towards the rhythmic beat of the drum you peer inside the window and see multiple lines of women, sweat dripping down their faces and getting yelled at for things that you wouldn’t think mattered.

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Performing at the Merrie Monarch is something I won’t ever forget.

You wonder how people could manage that kind of heat and exhaustion but if you look closely in their eyes you can see their love and passion for this dance and the people surrounding them.img_8042You see the connection between all those women and men and one word comes to your mind: ‘ohana. And that’s what we are. Family.

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My first peek into my first Tahitian class at age 3.

I’ve been dancing with this group for as long as I can remember and they are my shoulder to cry on, my pillow to scream into when I’m angry, or my human diary to tell everything to.img_7978They are my second family and nothing will ever break that bond.

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