Over six months ago, I sat outside a coffee shop that bordered the urban area of Kakaako, meeting with Lauren and Kawika for a wedding consultation, a faint sound of fast paced drums filling the air. In conversation, Lauren casually mentioned she had begun taking Tahitian classes, "you can hear the drumming over there now", she pointed out, directing me to the Diverse Cultural Arts building. "You should join!". "Sure!" I considered, after all the Tahitian dancers are always my favorite part at weddings around here. It wasn't until months later that I actually got up the courage and made time to join the beginner's class at Te Ori Tahiti Here, completely clueless of what to expect. What do I bring? How do I practice? And WHAT DO I WEAR? (this is a reoccurring theme around here...). Yes, I was completely lost my first class, but equally hooked. The fast and rhythmic pace of the drums is mesmerizing. The discipline and dedication to learn the moves is challenging, and making it look graceful, well that seems impossible! But, I am DETERMINED! my first class was the beginning of March and already three weeks down I've made improvements to my fa'arapu (super fast hips circles that are BRUTAL!), picked up some choreography so I'm not knocking everyone over in line, and even got my hands moving with my feet. HUH! Would ya look'it that. I've EVEN made a few new friends. Last night's class was a doozie, as we practiced drills along with new choreography and THIS genius had just come from and hour and a half LEG DAY gym session. I figured "Oh, I'll be FINE!" and five minutes into our hour and a half class, I absolutely was not fine..but still...determined. In particular challenged to master a new move (I can't remember the name, but it's where you do a level change and go down to the floor from your tippie toes (without TOUCHING the floor) WHILE doing a farapu (circling your hips super fast). Down and up. Down and up. Circling your hips fast. HOLY SMOKES.
As I learn the names and proper form of each of these new tahitian moves, I am currently determined to master the move similar to this "up + down" one, featured in this glorious youtube video:
(these girls are kinda sloppy in their form, but fast forward to :29 in + give it a whirl!)
Practically squatting for the entire class, my low back is getting stronger and my quads are getting murdered, but I'm hooked.