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Contributor: Alyssa Jackson

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Polynesian word,
Universal meaning:
"The fire within."
The true depth of all the islands
are belittled in admiration.
To truly appreciate the culture,
one must go beyond the surface.
Not just learning how to dance,
but why dancing is an important part
of the culture.
Recognizing how it's not
just a performance but a way to tell a story.
A way to pass to stories
from one generation to the next.
Knowing the difference between
Hula and Ori.
Anyone can dance to drum beats,
Lyrics, or recite chants,
but to feel the mana,
you have to relate to the story
you are telling.
Understand the story
you are portraying.
Becoming one with the beat,
as if your heart
beats with the music.
Feeling as if you are the gods and goddesses
you are dancing to represent.
Picking the style of costume
not to look attractive,
but to embrace the subject.
The culture is beautiful,
not only the appearance of it
but the history behind it.

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Black and Filipino descendent but has been a Polynesian dancer for over 10 years. Currently involved in the dance group named Nonosina which has a dance focus of ori Tahiti.


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