The Taualuga dance

Yes, I know. I could register at You Tube and put together a collection there of all my favourite clips, but I’m the cool dude (chick) that’s going to be different and post my faves here. Why? Because as you can probably tell already, I like to talk / write and bringing the clips here means that I get to make comments about them, and then if you like, you can make comments about my comments and, well, you get the picture.

So anyway, most people will agree that the most gorgeous dance to come out of the Samoan culture would be the Taualuga, a graceful solo traditionally performed by a Taupou, or daughter of a high chief. The purpose of this dance is to flatter or celebrate this high chief on various occasions, or to serve as the showpiece finale at the end of a set of dances performed by an entertaining group.

Back in the old days, on top of being the daughter of a high chief, you also had to be unmarried and, um, virginal to perform this dance. Times have changed… But to this day, Samoan girls the world over (yes even us geek girls) are taught from a young age the timeless virtues of the Taualuga dance itself:

  • Grace: A Taupou’s movements are fluid, easy… elegant and effortless. (Unless you’re a newbie dancer, then it’s just breathless and painful).
  • The classic Taupou body: It’s all about those big beautiful legs, baby! Ever notice how difficult it is for a girl to look graceful when she’s all elbows and knees? Real Taupous have curves.
  • The story: Okay it’s not always apparent what those hands are talking about, but if you pay close attention to her movements, you might be able to pick out symbols that tell a story. A stroke of the hair while looking into a ‘mirror’… the wringing of coconut fibers as she ‘prepares the kava’… the wielding of that fierce machete… Beauty.
  • The prestige: These days you don’t always have to be the daughter of a high chief to perform the Taualuga, but it’s unlikely that you’ll be asked to do it if you don’t look the part or if, you know, you can’t dance. It’s an honourable thing to be known for your grace and natural ability with the Taupou dance. It’s the Samoan version of, let’s see… making the cheer leading team? Winning a beauty contest? It’s just a very cool thing.

So, I was surfing YouTube looking for World Wide Taualuga dancing and Oh. Em. Gee. the talent out there is absolutely gorgeous! This one (below) is probably my favourite. I don’t know anything about the event or the people who posted this video, but the dancing is just STUNNING. Grace, poise, animation, LIFE, beauty… this Hamo girl’s got it all!

Only one thing left for me to say: Malo lava le ma’au’au! Kiuussuuusssuuuu!!!

xx HGG

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Known offline as Lillian (Lils, Lei'a) Arp, Hamo Geek Girl is just learning what it means to be Samoan. When she's not here, she's over at Manaui: Savour Oceania mostly talking about her other favourite topic: Food!

9 thoughts on “The Taualuga dance

  1. Rina…thank youfor clarifying the diffrence. All i know is everyone started copying Lupe Aumavae and how she danced. Soo, thanks Lupe.

  2. Oh my goodness! This has to be my favorite topic on 1Samoana so far. haha! Just because I love to siva samoa. Well first of all, Cherry’s siva has already passed. lOl! Sorry so late! BUT, if you ever want to see the true grace of a taupou look up Miss American Samoa 2003 Lupe Ane Kenape Aumavae or go back to Verona Tapu Ah Ching, Miss Samoa 1997. The Toilolo’s are amazing at the siva samoa, but their motions (even their use of the knife it’s all the same) are copied from Lupe’s dances. The main thing for the siva samoa is to be graceful, it doesn’t matter how big you are. Make sure your moves are slow, and don’t forget to put on your 100 watt smile! I’ll probably post a video on YouTube one day…*nice thought* Anyways, thanks for the post! Much Love!

    Aterina

  3. Just happened by your page here when i was looking for Penina o Tiafau songs, and lyrics for a wedding this weekend to play for the elder generation….but maaaan i know i’ve found more….have to add my 2 cents in; curves and swerves is a must in dancing that siva…i well appreciate that fact now, and it shows well on that vid/clip….thx for the forum and keep on keepin on. soifua

  4. TOILOLO GIRL IN THE VIDEO..VERY TALENTED FAMILY FROM MALAELOA..IT WAS TUPULAGA DANCE GROUP FUNDRAISER IN CALI..THE SAME FAMILY THAT HAS THE DANCE GROUP FROM MALAELOA PERFORMING ER’WHERE..

  5. Awwwww…nice topic here HGG. Leva ga eva i le one samoana ao lea faakoa kiliki mai i lea igu o le faleoo..hehe, aoooo, i just have free time now to evaeva little bit.
    But yeah, I used to entertain every night at the polyensian cultural center for the tourists..aiaiuli i le taupou or faaluma i le sasa.
    How about you dance the taupou ae aiaiuli ai a’u…that way DA can watch you and learn from the pro. She has one more week before her wedding..hehe

  6. LOL… ok now I have 7 weeks left…

    Honestly, why do the days have to go soooo fast.. hehehehe
    Thanks for the tips girl… when u said build the leg muscles I was thinking “ahhh, thats the problem, my leg muscles are overly big… and so is the rest of my body… hehehe…

    But I can tell you now, Im getting there…. I aint an expert, like graceful almost floating.. nahhh, no way…
    Im more like “at least my hands/legs are moving same direction as everyone else’s… ” hahahaha… yep, loosened up alot since the last time!

    Hey… its a start right… LOL thanks G!

  7. LOL @ Cherry… awww I more of a fan than an expert in the taualuga… I just love it!

    Oka, though… I do remember getting things thrown at me earlier on and the comments about how boy-ish and kako I was… and how maybe I should go learn the fa’ataupati instead lol…

    But somehow, dunno what happened… a few years after my painful first attempts, I suddenly figured out the ‘grace’ thing.. *shrugs* it just happened. Maybe it came when I got me some hips?

    LMAO…

    Eh ka’ilo… all I know is I learned most from watching others dance, especially my grandmother and mum and the older ladies in the family.

    I also love the moves they do in some of the Miss Samoa sivas (esp the ones you can tell were taught by the fa’afafines lol… oh wow!!)… but I think u just need to find actions that feel comfortable to u…

    Oh and relax.. shake it out and loosen up lol.. oii and be a little bit flirty… and build those leg muscles girl, cause holding urself on half bended knees for the entire dance is afu material..

    hahahaha…

    Aww good luck with that!! Wish I coulda been more help lol…

    😀

  8. OMG…. can you just make my heart race today… lmao
    Awww, you gots to help me suga!!! lmao
    Im supposed to be doing a Taualuga at my wedding… but there’s one problem
    I can’t siva samoa!!!! you can ask my parents, my siblings, my extended family… I nearly get beaten up during practices by my dad…lol Its true!!!

    My body doesnt do graceful… my fingers are all malo, to the point where my Aunty’s were saying
    “se’loa e kasasa ou kama’i lima se samala e fa’agagau” like
    “um ok… can we not get violent over this?” lmao

    I have 12 weeks left, and Im still the same from last year… duck-like hands, can’t see, can’t move my head, can’t be graceful…

    Would love some tips pleaaassseeee? Luv ya topic!

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