By Kristin Prina
A small piece of Polynesian culture came to BYU August 10 in the form of dancers from the Polynesian Cultural Center.
The dancers performed dances from the seven island cultures represented at the center. Ellen Gay Dela Rosa, manager of Hawaii sales and promotion at the Polynesian Cultural Center and the master of ceremonies for the event said it is always special for the team members to be able to perform at BYU.
“Every time we get the opportunity to come back here we just enjoy it. The kids fight to get back on the team to see if they can come here.” Jennifer Niu, a dancer from Tonga, said this BYU audience is one of the best she had ever seen.
“This is definitely one of the best crowds I”ve had. I liked it a lot.”
As part of the performance, members of the audience were invited to come up to the stage and learn dances and participate in the show. Student Body Vice President Andrea Uale was invited on stage to dance a solo dance.
She is the grand daughter of Jack Uale, one of the people instrumental in the development of the team that performed Friday at BYU.
Uale, a Polynesian, performed a Samoan dance that is usually reserved for someone of high class like the chief”s daughter.
“It”s an honor, I feel honored that they even asked me.” Uale danced with the performance group in Japan several years ago.
Members of the audience, in true Polynesian style, were given seashell leis as they entered the gates to the event. The dancers will be performing for the Utah Polynesian Festival 2001 in Salt Lake on Saturday night.