Friday, May 02, 2008

Tahitian dance shines at Waimea Valley - Manutahi Tahiti

Amid the lush tropical rainforest venue, Tahitian dance was alive and well at the recent Manutahi Tahiti Solo Competition. With approximately 300 dancers, vendors, family and guests, the event was a fun and entertaining way to spend the day with family and friends. Auntie Pola Teriipaia and her dedicated staff worked hard to create a family friendly atmosphere and the audience couldn't have been more happy.

Tiare Ura O Tahiti's Cami Keliinui of Hau'ula, was crowned the Overall Soloist as well as the Junior Overall Soloist. The Senior Overall Soloist award went to Jacinda Tavares from Matari'i Tahiti, based in Kalihi. Soloists from several other groups on Oahu also competed including Otea Kia Mana, Here Tama Nui, Te E'a o te Turama, Oriata, Marania Haoragi, Tamarii a Hiva, and Tiare Apetahi.

Judging the competition were veteran and familiar dance instructors including Camelia Temanaha, Ketsia Estall, Roiti Sylva, Regina Pasi, Charlie Temanaha and Pola Teriipaia.

Complementing all the beautiful dancers was a great selection of vendors who showcased many stunning and unique pieces of Tahitian arts and crafts. Among the vendors were B & B Tahitian Black Pearls, Tahitian Arts & Crafts by Elisa, Fatu's Carvings In Art, Mehetia Productions, Roiti Sylva, Brenda Perkins, Lucy Fonoimoana, Elaine Ortas and Te Vai Ura Nui.

Alma Damo, head of Promotions/Marketing for Manutahi Tahiti, revealed that many of the Tahitian black pearls given as prizes were courtesy of Auntie Pola's new line Polanesia. Many of the trophies were crafted by Manutahi's board members and parents. "We really wanted to reward the participants for their desire and love of Tahitian dance and nowadays when awards and trophies rarely represent the essence of Tahiti, we wanted to reinforce that."

Awards for Manutahi Tahiti 2008
Age 5-6 Tamahine
1. Randee Maiava of Oriata
2. Kaylee Tabangay of Tiare Ura O Tahiti
3. Randi Love of Here Tama Nui

Age 5-6 Tamaroa
1. Myka Gualdarama of Otea Kia Mana
2. Skyler Ramos of Here Tama Nui

Age 7-8 Tamahine
1. Vaekehu parker of Marania Haoragi
2. Chloe Domingo of Tiare Ura O Tahiti
3. Kaila Scanlan-Kaai of Marania Haoragi

Age 9-11 Tamahine
1. Cami Keliinui of Tiare Ura O Tahiti
2. Poerava Lee of Te'e'aoteturama
3. Shandy Hopeau of Tiare Ura O Tahiti

Junior Overall Soloist
Cami Keliinui of Tiare Ura O Tahiti

Age 12-14 Vahine
1. Shayna Lei Soma of Tiare Ura O Tahiti
2. Aulani Pung of Tiare Apetahi
3. Shannalein Replogle of Here Tama Nui

Age 15-17 Vahine
1. Jacinda Tavares of Matari'i Tahiti
2. Alexa-Ashley Cezar of Tiare Ura O Tahiti
3. Candace Maria of Otea Kia Mana

Age 18-21 Vahine
1. Tanya Cadiente of Otea Kia Mana
2. Kawena Otineru of Otea Kia Mana

Senior Overall Soloist
Jacinda Tavares of Matari'i Tahiti

Overall Soloist
Cami Keliinui of Tiare Ura O Tahiti

Overall Pupu Ori/Most Points
Tiare Ura O Tahiti - Jerrold Martinez, Ra'atira

Most Winning Soloists
Tiare Ura O Tahiti - Jerrold Martinez, Ra'atira

Dancers who would like to order photos can contact Andrew Bryant Simms via his website at, call him at 808-383-0548, or visiting

The event was sponsored by Waimea Valley, Hinano, Polanesia, Tehani Trading Co., Cookie Corner, Germaine's Luau and Pearlridge Shopping Center.

Waimea Valley has also confirmed that they will be hosting next years event and again be sharing the Tahitian culture with more of the North Shore. Mark your calendar and visit the Manutahi Tahiti website for more information.

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