Mililani Team Wins Tahitian Dance Competition At PCC

Wednesday - July 18, 2007
By Kerry Miller
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Tiare Ogata, Briana Nagasawa and Amy Oshiro of team Ote‘a Kia Mana.
Tiare Ogata, Briana Nagasawa and Amy Oshiro of team Ote‘a Kia Mana.

A team from Mililani won it all at the seventh annual “Te Mehana Hiro’a O Tahiti” Tahitian Dance competition, held July 6 and 7 at Laie’s Polynesian Cultural Center.

Led by Ra’atira (instructor) Dennis Kia, a veteran of Polynesian dancing for more than 30 years, team “Ote’a Kia Mana” won in the group portion of the competition Saturday night, July 7, at the PCC’s Pacific Theater. Ote’a Kia Mana beat out teams from California, as well as two from Laie. The 34-member team includes six boys and 28 girls. Groups went head to head in two categories: Ote’a (fast-paced dancing accompanied by drumming) and Aparima or Ahupurotu (slower paced accompanied by singing and traditional instruments; dancers may choose either Aparima or Ahupurotu style).

On Friday, July 6, 177 solo dancers from eight schools competed, ranging in age from 2-18, in the PCC’s Hale Aloha Luau Theater. The final rounds were held on Saturday.

Of the 34 members of the Mililani team, 14 competed in the solo portion of competition, explained Robyn Williams, Kia’s daughter. Unfortunately, she said, while six girls advanced to the semifinals, none of the soloists moved on to the final rounds on Saturday, but were excited just to participate.

“For a lot of them it was their first time. Now they know what to expect,” Williams said.

Judges for this year’s event were Chief Judge Moanaura Teheiura, choreographer of the “O Tahiti E” dancing group and a language teacher; Jeanne Mou’a Larsen, a regular judge at the Heiva i Honolulu and San Jose Tahiti Fete; Roiti Tahauri Sylva, a former featured Tahitian dancer in Waikiki and Tahitian language teacher at UH-Manoa, and Etua Tahauri, a judge at most Tahitian dance competitions in the U.S. and former student dancer at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

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Most Recent Comment(s):


Aloha to all!!!! Dennis so nice to see you are still teaching. You are my one inspiration that I will always take with me no matter where I go.

Words could not express all that you and your sister has taught me in the early years of my life. The both of you,are true leaders.

Pupukahi Otea no ka oi

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