PIR: Dancing In The Rain


Jack Stater

Tahitian Club mid performance on Oct. 19 at the 2017 Pacific Island Review.

The annual Pacific Island Review at Chaminade University of Honolulu is an energetic evening filled with colorful dancers and lovely music but bring an umbrella or else count on getting rained on. The mixture of culture, music, and dance work together at this event to incorporate education and entertainment with Pacific Islander traditional dance.

From the show-stopping performance of the Samoan Club, to the sword-fight-like dancing of the Micronesian Club, there are always exciting aspects of each group that is performing. Even if the weather is windy and wet, the Pacific Island Review always goes on.

“It seems to be a Chaminade curse that it will always rain during our performances,” said Thomas Collins, who has been a dancer in the Chaminade University Tahitian Club since the beginning of his junior year here in Honolulu. “So no, we never thought about not dancing. We’ve practiced in the rain before, plus it’s rained in past performances, so there was really no point where we thought that the rain was gonna stop us. Plus I didn’t really care because I was already covered in baby oil.”

Collins, a senior communications major from Missouri, has performed in three club events over the past two years. Prior to joining the Tahitian club Collins had not been introduced to any kind of Pacific Island dance but quickly gained interest in it as his involvement in the club increased.

“Friends that I had that were in Tahitian club kept telling me to join and after I finally joined I quickly realized how much I enjoyed it,” Collins said. “The dancing is a good work out, it’s great learning traditions from other cultures, the people are awesome to be around, and I only wish that I had joined it sooner.”

This year at the Pacific Island Review, the Tahitian Club performed two forms of Tahitian dance: the Aparima and the Otea. The Aparima is a dance that accompanies a slow song that usually tells a story. The story this year was about two lovers finding one another. The other form of dance that was performed this year was the Otea which is a danced to a fast song that usually is accompanied by rapid drums.

“Even though it was raining pretty much the whole time, the energy was still there with all of the dancing groups. Getting rained on wasn’t so bad and I barely noticed it while watching all the dancers,” said Karly Ayano, a Chaminade sophomore who attended the PIR performances for the first time this year.

This year, the Pacific Island Review took place amidst howling winds and rain, much like previous years. This did not stop the crowd of supportive family members and classmates that sat through the weather in order to witness the final result from all the club member’s practice and preparation.

“This year was particularly challenging because everyone was really busy, and so was I with work and classes,” Collins said. “On top of all of that I injured my ankle while hiking which made practice more difficult. However everyone was able to pull it all together at the end and I think we all did a great job at the show and I’m excited to see what we pull off in the spring.”

Collins has one more semester here at Chaminade and is planning on performing for his last time in the Extravaganza this upcoming spring.