The countdown is on towards this year’s 16th Annual International Siva Afi Competition.
The programme will run for three days from 30 August to 1 September.
According to the organizer and owner of Siva Afi, Leota Lene Leota, interest is slowly building towards the competition.
“This year there are a lot of juniors as well as seniors so it will be an exciting time for both participants and the audience.”
Among them are people travelling from abroad.
Matuni Vaiaoga is heading here to compete.
The famous Vaea Vaaulu from Florida is an international judge.
“Vaea Vaaulu will be judging the competition together with some local judges while Matuni will be one of the overseas competitors who is up against some locals.
Va’aulu is no stranger to the world of fire knife dancers.
“He started at Sea World as a Polynesian dancer for three years and then in 1993 Walt Disney World Entertainment hired him as Polynesian dancer,” said Leota.
“After 16 years Disney moved him to start a new show which now is one of the best shows at Disney called “The Festival of the Lion King as fire knife dancer.
“After 18 years at Disney, it opened up more opportunities and Jimmy Buffet who is one of the world’s professional country singer offered him more opportunities where he left Disney and joined Jimmy to tour around the United States to open and closed his concerts with fire knife which was a great opportunity for him to share his culture.”
Vaaulu is now working at Delta Airlines but he is still dancing.
Matuni is Vaaulu’s nephew and is one of the main fire knife dancers at the Polynesian Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
He is 28-years-old and he hails from Vaimoso, Toamua and Falelima Savai’i.