Tahitian Dance is mainly known from the graceful hands motions, hips swaying from beautiful dancers dressed in traditional costumes made from mother nature.

Though it may seem easy at a first glance, it actually requires a lot of stamina, legs strength and years of practice to make it look so effortless.

There is a saying that says: “One minute of flawless dance takes ten years of practice”, and it can’t be more true!

Here are some Basics Steps we have selected for you so you can practice to sway like a Tahitian Vahine (lady)!

– Tamau: The lateral movement of the hips going side to side, while switching the knees motions from right to left. In Tahitian language, tamau means “to tie”, or a “bond” and refers to a continuous link.

– Ami: A wide rotation of the hips and pelvis. Ami can be executed in either towards the right or left direction. It starts with the belly set into forward position, dependent upon the supporting foot. When the movement starts in the buttocks, it is sometimes called taipu. In the Tahitian language, “ami” is the word that describes the wide rotation while “Taipu” is a type of spoon.

– Fa’arapu: A fast rotation of the pelvis into a circular motion from which the movement originates from the dancer’s belly. If the accent is focused towards the buttocks, the step is referred to as faarori. Faarapu/ faarori can be rolled in only one direction, right or left, depending on each individual’s natural way. This step is executed while relying on one’s “natural strong foot” also called “supporting foot” in athletics, this foot determines the direction of the hips rotation. In Tahitian “faarapu” means the circular movement of a hand stirring soup in a saucepan.

– Varu: A twisting rotation of the hips into a figure eight shape. In Tahitian, “varu” refers to the number eight.

– Ruru: A shaking movement of the dancer’s belly and buttocks. In the Tahitian language, “ruru” refers to a shaking motion. Ruru is a step meant to be utilized by soloists and is not often seen amongst dance groups.

That’s from these main basics steps of Tahitian Dance Ori Tahiti that were created several other variations and more technical steps.

You can find few basics steps here! Enjoy the practice! 🙂


Come Join our Tahiti Dance Fitness Danceathon “Tamure Marathon” happening on Saturday 23 September 2017 and learn all the basics through 3H of workshops while enjoying performances and contributing to Charity! 😉