Huraiti Mana made a splash at our very first trip to Ori Fest in Las Vegas, NV! Huraiti spent the night before the prestigious competition at the host Pupu Ori's studio, Tevakanui, for 4 hours of ori workshops with judges Tylon Buendia and Adelina Hanere. Their spirit, wisdom, and love for ori Tahiti was palpable, and it was an evening spent among so many talented and passionate dancers. Tylon reminded us that we dance in competitions to not only compete but to meet others and to share in this love we have for Ori Tahiti! We continue to learn and grow, together. Adelina showed us the power we have as strong women in ori Tahiti - a theme that found its way into the forces of the competition itself!
After a hard fought Ori Tahiti first and final round, I was fortunate to bring home first place in ages 23-27 category, celebrating a first-ever win for our Huraiti Mana! Taking first in another age category was none other than my own Ra'atira from (previously) Ma'ohi Nui of O'ahu and now currently Ra'atira of Ali'itasi of Utah, Agnes Manuma! For the first time in over a decade since moving from O'ahu and last seeing each other, I was honored to dance onstage alongside Agnes! But for the first time ever, we were competing together for the Overall Grand Prize! Along with renowned dancer Melanie Amen, the three of us tied for Overall. We were asked to dance again - and this time, with a surprise theme!
The theme: Toa Hine.
It was a battle of strength, knowledge, and passion. After such a powerful performance, my ra'atira Agnes took home the grand champion overall prize! I'm so proud to have learned from her and owe so much to her for my love and strength in ori Tahiti. Mauruuru e Agnes! Can't wait to see you again at the next competition. She truly is the embodiment of toa hine. A woman warrior.
I'm so proud of our huraiti Katie & Eci for competing in such a challenging and exciting competition. They inspire me and motivate me to continue working and to represent Huraiti Mana to the very best of my ability. Their fire and strength empowered me throughout the night. All my love & aloha to their dedication, perseverance, and strength. Together, we all are toa hine!
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