Straight off the successful launch of Tahitian dances' newest competition, Ravahere Allred, producer of the Kori Kori Tahiti Fete, recently announced the dates for 2009 - November 14-15, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The first annual event took place over Veteran's Day weekend (November 8-11, 2008) at the Del Sol High School Gymnasium. Not only was the event a showcase for soloists and groups, it also highlighted a new beauty pageant - Miss Pearls of Polynesia. Nine contestants vied for the coveted title, cash and prizes including a trip to Tahiti courtesy of Air Tahiti Nui. In the end, 18 year old Dina Here Auneau from Miami, Florida walked away with the crown. Dina, born in France, is of French and Tahitian descent.
Heu Taumoefolau, a high school sophomore living in Las Vegas claimed first runner up. She is a lead in the Tahitian dance group Tevakanui. At the accompanying soloist competition, she placed first in the 14-16 year old solo category.
Second runner up Brianna Tai, also a local Las Vegas girl, was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is a high school senior and plans to attend UNLV this fall.
Jazmin Siguenza of Chico, California was awarded Miss Aloha Spirit and Alexa Kubena, a local girl, came away with the Best Creation award.
An extensive resource of information about all events at the Kori Kori Tahiti Fete and the Miss Pearls of Polynesia pageant may be found at the event website.
At the group dance competition, Kei 'Alaha of Diamond Bar, California walked away with the overall group award. Additional results from the competition are also available. Photos used with permission courtesy of Kori Kori Tahiti Fete by Gregory Young.
Additional reporting at the French Polynesia periodical report from Le Depeche (translated)
Dina Here Auneau, 18 ans, élue Miss Pearl of Polynesia 2008