How to Dance Tahitian for Beginners

The Tahitian Dance originated from the islands of French Polynesia. The Tahitian have attracted major attention towards the end of the last century. The location is also popular as a tourist site, being visited by thousands of people throughout the year. Tahiti is also famous for its unique dance, which is often related to the Hawaii culture as well. However, there is a considerable amount of difference between the two. The dance is based upon several steps including Ami, Taira Tamau, Taira Tama, Varu, Otamu and Fa’arapu.

Instructions

  • 1

    Ami

    Move your hips in slow yet big circles. Push your hips making a smooth circle, starting from the left to the back then right and finally to front. This movement should be continuous and without any break, as this is what creates the tempo for the dance

  • 2

    Taira Tamau

    Now, bend knees while keeping your shoulders still. Push your right knee backwards causing the right hip to slowly move outwards to the right side. Next, move your left knee causing your left hip to move outwards to the left side. Keep on changing the movement pattern from left to right and vice versa. Keep in mind that the movement should remain smooth at all times during this step.

  • 3

    Tairi Tama

    This next step is pretty much like the Tairi Tamau. However, there is a difference of pace in the movement this time. Instead of moving smoothly, you’ll need to start moving sharply for this step. Snap your right knee followed by the left knee backwards, causing hips to snap left and right. Keep shoulders still and knees slightly bent. Try to drop body low.

  • 4

    Varu

    Now you need to move your hips slowly and smoothly to the sides. Push your right hip out to the front and then around to the right side. After that move your left hip forward and then to the left, then around to the left and right again. Do that movement in a continuous figure 8 with hips smoothly.

  • 5

    Otamu

    Snap your hips to the front, but keeping them slightly on the right side. Move the hips back right then left back and left front. Imagine yourself standing in a box and you cannot make a move other than that. Your hips should hit each corner of the imaginary box one at a time.

  • 6

    Fa'arapu

    This is the most difficult step of the Tahitian dance. You can either move in clockwise or counter-clockwise movement. So begin AGAIN by bending your knees and Keeping Shoulders very still. You’re your hips in a smooth circle, and then increase the speed of your movement faster and faster. Try switching directions and make sure your circle is consistent all the way around.

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