By Jim Dresbach, Pentagram Staff WriterAugust 16, 2013
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - An hourlong lineup of various South Pacific entertainment both soothed and excited a Fort Myer Officers Club Koran Room crowd Aug. 9 following a Polynesian luau dinner show.
A troupe of Northern Virginia dancers with Pacific roots displayed their national choreographies from Tahiti, Hawaii, New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa. The grand finale included fireknife dancers Mika Ah Loe from Samoa and Tevita Filipo Saipaia from Tonga, who figuratively and literally raised the temperature in the officers club with a fire-wielding dance routine.
"Samoans are really good at fireknife dancing," said program coordinator Malia Moore. "Both [Mika and Tevita] have been to Hawaii to study. There is a lot of practice that goes into this. This season, we are having shows every week; sometimes we perform twice in one day."
The dance group is not a stranger to performing for Military District of Washington audiences. They have performed at Quantico Marine Base and Fort Belvoir throughout the years and are scheduled to return to dance for active duty service members and retirees.
The program included authentic costuming during a half dozen dances, which also included audience participation numbers and an explanation of South Pacific culture and customs.