Tahitian Dance Terms



These definitions are to the best of my knowledge – if you are aware of more terms or corrections needed please let me know in comments at the bottom of the page. Thank you!


*Afata - box (hips hit in the shape of a box)


*Ami - Circle 


*Fa'arapu - fast circles


*Fa'arori – (varu fa'arapu) do a fa'arapu in the shape of a figure eight


*Fa'amenemene – (ami fa'arapu) a fa'arapu and at the same time – shifting your weight from one leg to the other so you make a Large circle with your lower body. An Ami within an ami.


*Huri - A command to turn, typically always to the right


*I Mua- A command to move forward


*I Raro - A command to go down


*Ope - one leg out at an angle, weight on back leg – push hip up and around


*Ruru - shimmy


*Nu'utere Ne'e- duck walk


*Ta’iri*Ta’iri – Double Bump


*Tiare – (flower) same as Ope


*Tamau - hips bump from side to side


*Te'I - on toes


*Toma- double bump


*Varu- figure eight -hips move in the shape of number eight the in parallel to the floor – starting with front corner.