Variations and Combination Steps
There are variations for all dance steps in Tahitian dance. These variations also contain their own variations. Mixed steps, or combination steps, are a hybrid of two that when performed create a third step that is completely original.
A mixed step is indistinctly composed of two basic steps (for instance: haamenene: ami+ faarapu/ faarori) or of two well arranged variations. The possibilities are limitless with each innovation being passed along for use by other dancers.
Therefore, the common heritage of dance steps is in a constant state of growth, especially thanks to the soloists who are constantly inventing new steps in order to become the “best dancer” at the Heiva Dance Festival.
The names of dance step variation will differ according to the dance groups or schools that utilize them. There is no universal index recognized by the academy for one to refer to when learning dance steps.
Generally, the name of a step comes from the everyday language of the Tahitian people, and it is the decision of the dance school or the dance group to name its steps according to its own convictions. Even so, the movement and the step remain the same despite discrepancies in the name.
Some steps are completely original and in rare instances do not even have a name. For identification purposes they are described as a type of…ami, varu, faatere etc.
Each dance school or dance group reserves the right to freely name its variations or mixed steps.