• Audience members and youth from the Manava O Polynesia dance troupe perform the "Tahitian Fruit Salad" dance to conclude the May 28 celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

    Audience members and dancers join to learn the

    Audience members and youth from the Manava O Polynesia dance troupe perform the "Tahitian Fruit Salad" dance to conclude the May 28 celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense...

  • Drummers of the Manava O Polynesia dance troupe set the beat during the May 28 celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

    Drummers set the beat for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

    Drummers of the Manava O Polynesia dance troupe set the beat during the May 28 celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, Peterson Air Force Base...

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The sights, sounds and flavors of Hawaii and Tahiti were seen, heard and tasted May 28 as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month was celebrated at the operational headquarters of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command.

A dancing and drumming group with more than 25 years of experience, Manava O Polynesia, performed at the event. The group's director is Charlene M. Maneafaiga, a contracting officer with Army Contracting Command assigned to SMDC's Colorado Springs office.

"We teach our children about their heritage through the dances and the music," Maneafaiga told the Soldiers, airmen, family members and contractor employees who filled the room.

After several adult and many young dancers demonstrated the traditions of Hawaii and Tahiti, some audience members were "drafted" to learn the Tahitian Fruit Salad dance.

With the group's dancers nearby to help and a drummer giving instructions, the audience members leaned and swayed in the directions of imaginary fruit on a string--an apple to the right, orange to the left, banana to the front and mango to the rear. The final performance by experienced and amateur dancers combined the motions, getting progressively faster.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is conducted in May. It recognizes the accomplishments of people who have origins in the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).

Page last updated Wed May 28th, 2014 at 00:00