2015 Hura Tahiti competitor Melanie of Stockton, Calif. has danced from the age of two. After this performance, the skilled performer won the Ori Tahiti Nui World Dance Championships in Tahiti.
“It was overwhelming,” Melanie said. “I feel like it’s not real. I feel like I’m just dreaming right now. I’m really thankful and really blessed.” She plans to return the the Tahiti competition this summer.
Amazingly, Melanie is not Polynesian and her mother, Yolanda, is African-American and her father, Kevin, who is Filipino, and both became interested in preserving Polynesian culture. Their daughter picked up their influence early.
“Through the competitions that she’s won, she’s still one of the most humble people on the planet, which I’m very proud of,” her mother said.
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