Friday night UM students, family, and friends, took a journey through the South Pacific as the islands of Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, and Aotearoa, New Zealand were brought to the Coral Gables campus.
“Its so much fun, every year attendance gets bigger and bigger,” said senior Nalani Arnold, who has performed at this event for the past three years.
Entertainment was provided by the much-acclaimed Drums of Polynesia, who livened up the crowd with their traditional songs and dances.
One of the evening’s highlights was New Zealand’s “War Dance,” which was once used during battle to intimidate the enemy.
With feet stomping and boisterous chanting, the men from Drums of Polynesia adorned with ornate costumes, captivated onlookers.
Ever heard of a “Fire Dance?”
The audience at this Hawaiian Luau experienced firsthand the astounding and very dangerous dance.
Using two batons lighted on fire at both ends, a Samoan performer threw the “knives” high in the air catching them just seconds before hitting the ground. He held the burning “knives” between his legs, and also executed many other hazardous stunts.
As the night progressed, members from the crowd were chosen to take center stage with the male and female dancers from Drums of Polynesia and show off their dancing skills. Hips jetted from side-to-side, feet rhythmically tapped the floor, and legs vigorously maneuvered these dancers into a Polynesian state of mind.
The university’s very own hula dancers also enhanced the evening with their bright blue floral skirts and enchanting moves they had been practicing twice a week, they said.
Attendees’ hunger was satisfied with authentic Polynesian cuisine, and souvenirs such as T-shirts, picture frames, and other arts and crafts.
A raffle was held and tickets could be acquired for $1.
The winners walked away with boxes of chocolates, flower arrangements, and gift certificates to The Rusty Pelican for a romantic dinner for two.
As the adventure through the South Seas came to an end, audience members walked away feeling euphoric, for they had experienced customs from another part of the world- the main goal of International month, organizers said.
To learn more about the Hawaiian performers Drums of Polynesia, visit them at their website at www.drumsofpolynesia.com.