Local dance group seals U.S. entertainment deal for 2020
United States-based 300 Productions has signed Samoa’s Le Tiumasalasala dance group as one of its newest members.
300 Productions owner, Virginia Toalepai is in Samoa to sign a sponsorship guaranteeing the group of young dancers a career path in the entertainment industry.
“In 2020, I am going to actually have them come to the United States, we have a recording studio so they are going to get part of that and much more that have yet to be revealed, but that’s a start for now,” Ms. Toalepai told the Samoa Observer.
“Just because I have made this announcement it doesn’t mean that everybody will come. I will have to look at how serious they are because this is going to be a lot of money coming in while they stay there. They have to show ambition too and their commitment because that is important to me.”
She said to ensure that the end of the bargain is being kept by the group; she will have to follow up with Eterei Maiava Salele, the group choreographer.
“I want see that they are really serious about it. It’s a lot for me to put in and I want them to understand how serious and important it is for me to give back to my country and for what it takes,” Ms. Toalepai said.
“It’s a soulful feeling for me to be able to do this and not only that, it feels great to be able to give back to my country, and especially the youth and that’s my main focus.
“It’s the youth and the young kids in schools because I was once them and I had dreams but I didn’t know how to get there, but I believe in myself and I actually find ways to do it, but to open up their eyes that there’s so much out there.
“It’s great to see them more excited now and not only that looking forward for the future, not so much a dead end and it’s a goal for them. I know some of them are not in school, no jobs, they just sit at home and take care of their families and I want them to have something to look forward to in life.”
Ms. Toalepai explained the whole deal would cost her about US$50,000 (T$1.3 million).
“That’s what I am willing to put in depending on how serious they are,” she said.
“I want to take this sponsorship all the way that it becomes a career for them and this is not going to be the only group. I believe that once this is done, I know this is going to give the opportunity to other youths and more people to really see that it doesn’t have to stop here in Samoa, there’s so much more, so it’s going to motivate them to do better in school regardless of what the past is and what’s in front of them that can be done.”
“Once they reach the U.S., there will be recordings done. I haven’t planned out anything yet, but I know there will be opportunities to partner up with other bigger groups out there so that it becomes a career for them. Las Vegas is a State of performance, that’s how they make money there and what a better way to partner up with some casinos to have us as an ongoing show. That’s my goal.”
Eterei said she is humbled and privileged to have the opportunity to lead a group of enthusiastic young dancers. She is also thankful for the support shown by Ms. Toalepai.
Ms. Toalepai, a Samoan born, is also the owner of World Wide Safety, a construction consultation company headquartered in Nevada, U.S.