We've just survived Si's first Tahitian dance competition. I do mean survived, as we arrived in Milipitas at 7:15 am and left at 8:30 pm. There is a lot of hurry up and wait involved in a polynesian competition, but it really was quite exciting to see all of the dancers perform. They begin with over 200 dancers broken into age categories - Si was in the 5-8 Beginner group. They begin by going on stage in groups of three or four - and dance to the house drummers - switching the dance based on hearing the beats of the drums. They are scored and later find out who advances to the finals. And guess what? Si advanced to the finals! So then in the afternoon, they go on stage alone to perform a solo, and get to perform with their own halau (school) drummers. Each halau has their own choreographed dance, so it's up to each dancer to remember it and do it their very best. Si had no problem being up there all alone - in fact it was her favorite part. The best part was cheering on all of the hula sisters.....and seeing beautiful dancing. If you're interested in seeing Si perform with her halau (Ke Ola Loa), they are closing the Aloha Festival in San Francisco this year. Their scheduled performance time is 4:00 pm on Sunday, August 5. If you're not into crowds, Ke Ola Loa will have their own halau ho'ike (show) on Saturday, October 6 in the beautiful new Castro Valley Center for the Performing Arts. If you'd like tickets, let me know so that I can reserve some for you.