It’s always a proud moment when one performs traditional dances in a foreign country.
It gives any person a sense of pride in their roots; whether you’re a dancer or simply sitting in the audience.
With the recent celebration of the University of the South Pacific (U.S.P.) Open Day, Laucala campus, the Samoan students were asked to be the closing performance in attempts to hold the audience until the very end. But this is nothing new.
The crowd was captivated by the graceful dancing of the Samoan ladies, hyped up from the slap dance of the young men and thoroughly entertained by the fuse of traditional and modern songs during the Sasa.
Both Samoans and members from other Pacific Islands were not left disappointed.
“This year’s performance was just amazing,” a final year student at U.S.P. Jeremiah Lafaele told Samoa Observer. “Throughout the three years I have been here, I would coin this year as the best because it brought out that pride of being Samoan in me and it was just an awesome experience being the centre of attention for just one day.
“The Samoan Students Association indeed ended the day with a bang since we concluded the performances for the day.”
Unfortunately, after all the excitement, sadness hit as this will be Jeremiah’s final Open Day.
“I am quite saddened by the fact that this is my last Open Day because like every Samoan student knows, Open Day is such a massive event,” he said.
“Open Day is where we get to express our culture through art and performance every year and the crowd never gets tired because we always bring life to the stage.
“Knowing that this will be my last one is kind of unfortunate because I will no longer be a part of this fantastic event where you get to be super proud of your country for a whole day and where you become a celebrity after performing.”
According to Jeremiah, the crowd went crazy after the performance by the young Samoans.
“The crowd went crazy,” he said.
“They were screaming at the top of their lungs because of how we always manage to pull off a Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez trick.
“While the girls mesmerize everyone with their gracefulness, the boys wowed them with their island bodies and moves. We became real Island guys that day.”
Samoan pride really lit up the stage and not one chin was lowered during and after the performance.
“We were all proud,” Jeremiah said. “The support, the cheers and knowing we entertained everyone due to the great feedback they gave us was just amazing; we performed last at around five but we were shocked that everyone still stuck around.”
Although practices were tough, it was well worth it for the Samoan students.
“Our preparations were a pain in the neck,” Jeremiah stories.
“It was a lot of work and lots of struggles; starting off during the second week of break till Thursday night - the day before Open Day, we practiced non-stop from 7.30pm to 10pm.
“All because we wanted the performance to be perfect; it was tiring at first, but as Samoans who love to perform, we had fun and enjoyed every bit of our practice and preparations.”