“If you’re passionate about your culture, you will do everything to uphold and maintain it.”
This is the message from one of the well-known Samoan Dance groups based in New Zealand.
Le La o Samoa Dance Group is a group made up of passionate Samoan ladies.
They were in the country last week participating in the Teuila Festival.
The group also had the opportunity to host shows after the Teuila in some of the hotels in Samoa to showcase their talents.
On Thursday night, the group graced the stage for guests and visitors of Le Manumea Hotel with a lovely show.
The leader of the Group, Lanah Sellen Su’a Aoina and the Treasurer and Secretary, Evelyn Limā Saena described their experience of the Teuila Festival as ‘amazing.’
“It is always good to be back here in Samoa and it was a great experience to be part of the Teuila Festival this year,” said Lanah.
“It was one of our goals from the beginning of this year and our girls worked really hard to accomplish it and to be here; it’s an amazing thing.”
And Evelyn couldn’t agree more with what Lanah said.
She said, “It’s actually my first here for the Teuila. The atmosphere was very awesome and the hype that we got from there is just amazing. We are so blessed to have participated in this year’s festival.
“The whole festival was great. We had a variety of groups from overseas and also some local groups sharing the stage and to get to see all the different talents of our people, it was just fantastic.”
The success of their dance group, Lanah immediately credited to God.
“Our success comes from Him and we put Him first in all that we do. We know that the talent that we have and strength comes from Him and we give all the glory to Him.”
Moreover, Lanah and Evelyn also believe that the support from the community is another reason why they made it this far.
“I honestly believe that if it weren’t for their words of encouragement, we wouldn’t be here so we are grateful to them.
“And we truly appreciate all the love and support from our families and friends.”
As to what makes Le La o Samoa different from the other dance groups?
Lanah said, “We are unique in a way, where we implement an expression of our own story through our music and the geography of our movement and formation, and also make it fun to captivate the audience.
“We also pay a lot of attention to fine details of our geography to try and push ourselves to the very best of our abilities. It will not stop here.
“Our goal is to maintain our traditional movements, gracefulness and help inspire the future generations.”
Evelyn said, “If you’re passionate about your culture, you will do everything to uphold and maintain it.
“For us, because we live abroad, it’s very hard for us to learn the language and our culture because of the environment that we live in.
“But coming together as a group, we teach each other and we learn from one another. We truly believe that dancing plays an important part in maintaining our culture. And for us, this is something we love, and we are proud of what we do.”
Lastly, their message for the youth of Samoa is simple.
“Be proud,” said Evelyn.
“We are proud of our culture and our country. And we proudly carry our culture with us anywhere we go. We should never be afraid to showcase our talents from God.”