Tahitian Dance Lesson in Bora Bora

“Dance is a universal language. Each culture and generation have their own form of communication through movement. Through dance, we are able to tell stories, honor traditions, and be freely expressive.” – EAU

I was able to study Tahitian dance while on honeymoon in Bora Bora. The traditional dance of French Polynesia is extremely athletic, expressive, and rhythmic. I hope you’ll enjoy learning a bit of the language and watching a short clip of the choreography. Thanks to my teacher, Titaua.

Ori = Dance in Tahiti
The otea is a Tahitian warrior dance, performed to percussive music

The aparima is a slow hula dance.
Apa = Kiss
Rima = Hand

“We tell a story with our hands about love, culture, sea, and earth.” – Titaua

The traditional attire of Tahitian dance is a grass skirt, carefully crafted to perfectly fit the dancer and express their personality and theme of the movement they will be performing.  Many dancers make their own grass skirts by hand. Skirts are ornately decorated with shells, palm tassels, and are woven together with all natural fibers. I was surprised to discover how heavy the skirts are. The weight is actually very helpful as it assists in the movement of the hips by grounding the dancer since Tahitian dance (similar to Hawaiian hula) is performed with bare feet, mostly bent knees, and connected to the earth.

Fun fact: Many dancers wear a flower in their hair while performing. If the flower is behind your right ear, it means you are single. If it’s behind your left, it means you are married.

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