The success of Polynesian Club’s 19th annual lūʻau


Polynesian Club photographed by Analiza Moreno

Emily Gutierrez

Every year, the Polynesian Club hosts a lūʻau at school to showcase their dancing for family and friends. Throughout the year, the dancers hold mini performances at school for the students and staff to enjoy; however, a lūʻau held on Sunday, April 23, was created for families to come out and support the dancers. 

The doors officially opened at 4:00 PM for anybody wanting to have a picnic and play games by the campus bell tower, while the dancers were getting ready. The actual performance started at 6:00pm.

The performances took place in the gym, which was decorated with many paintings of the different islands, including Hawaii, New Zealand, and Tahiti. The bleachers were set up to seat the audience with the first few rows reserved for paid attendees.

This year marks the 19th year that the Polynesian Club has hosted the lūʻau. Much planning goes on behind the scenes by the officers of the clubs, especially the co-presidents, who handled a majority of the coordination. 

“As an officer, we started designing this year’s lu’au last summer,” senior and co-president of Polynesian Club Viviana Tran said. “Every year we design a new storyline with a new set of dances and costumes. During officer meetings, we handle choreographing, outreaching, brainstorming, and hand-making each costume. As for directly practicing, we started at the beginning of the year.”

The story that they have gone with revolves around the two sisters Pele and Hi’iaka who lived in Hawaii. Pele, the goddess of fire, wouldn’t harm the island as long as Hai’iaka could bring back her lover, Lohiau. The show brought you straight into the conflict, and had you on your toes wondering what would happen.

All the hard work did pay off with many people showing up and interacting with the activities throughout the evening. There was a raffle held at the tail end of the 15 minute interlude which many were ecstatic to participate in. There were three baskets that the audience could have won, which included self-care items and snacks. 

During the raffle, a staff member picked an audience member to pick a ticket and read the number. Every time the numbers were called out, cheers could be heard until the final number was called, followed by the disappointed sighs of the people whose tickets weren’t called could be heard. 

Having an intimate group of people that all share a passion for dance has helped create long lasting bonds. It is much easier to communicate with one another to help correct problems and create beautiful works of art.

“My favorite part of the lūʻau was just performing with the club members,” senior Eydan Braceros said. “This club was really small this year so we were able to build these relationships with one another.”

Overall, this event was very successful with the amount of people coming out to support the club and its members, as well as the amount of interaction among the audience. Dancing brings a lot of people together, and especially after a pandemic, people need to be brought together, and this was the perfect opportunity to do so.

“I think this year’s lūʻau was a success because it was able to bring back a decent amount of membership after the lows of the pandemic. Despite restrictions, we were able to pull off a full event that was not fully guaranteed going into the year and hadn’t been achieved for the past two years,” sophomore Nathan Malaiba said. “I’m proud of the club for finally being able to put it all together and being able to entertain a relatively large audience when compared to how the club has declined in participation since the prosperous years of 2019 and previous.”