Transitional Tahitian with Ellen
Instructor: Ellen Akiona
Class Color: Rearea / Yellow
From: Hale`iwa, O`ahu, Hawai`i
Tahitian (Intermediate) with Tara
Instructor: Tara Putnam
Class Color: Anani / Orange
Tara began dancing 18 years ago, starting professionally with The Mai Kai restaurant's Polynesian review in Fort Lauderdale, Fl; a popular attraction that has been open for 62 years. During this time, she studied Tahitian, Hawaiian, Maori and Samoan dancing. Tahitian has been her main passion, continuing to dance this culture for 7 years, in San Diego. It was eye-opening and uplifting, dancing with groups, such as Leiisa and Hiva Katoa, with Jeannie Case; whom studied under Nonosina. She has also been fortunate to meet and pick up dance tips from Tahiti greats, like Lorenzo and Teiki of Les Grands Ballets Tahiti, Moena Maotui of Tahiti Ora, Tahia Cambert of O' Tahiti Nui, as well as, Ocean Ehrhardt and Coco.
Tara has traveled to Hawai’i several times and also Tahiti to study the culture, people and especially the dance. She was lucky to witness Heiva, the largest Tahitian dance festival in the world, held in Tahiti. Most recently, she has moved to Colorado and started dancing and teaching with Hālau Kalama, under the direction of Glenda Florez. You can also find her performing with Kalama Polynesian Dancers in luaus throughout downtown and greater Colorado.
As a new instructor for these classes, you can expect to learn basic steps and techniques, conditioning, isolated movements, combinations, choreography, increased stamina and cardio in the classes. Class goals for the Orange Class involve: brushing up on basics, learning new motions, vocabulary and terminology, differentiating beats, putting combinations together for an Ori, creating your own Ori, exploring your style and more difficult choreography.
When she's not dancing, Tara enjoys traveling with her husband, anything to do outdoors with her Pomeranians and trying out new recipes.