- Teaches students:
- Ages 5+
- Teaching since:
My name is Endilla Teaupa. I am of Tongan decent (with a hint of Samoan and German). I was born and raised on the Islands of Hawaii where I was literally immersed in the Spirit of Aloha. In other words, surrounded by a lot of, “Ho’ Brah not even!”, “Sup’ Aunty/Unko/Sista/Brada”, “Whatchyu like?”, “Shaka Brah”, “Get da’ Slippah”, “bumbai you learn”, (haha) etc. My culture has a lot to do with who I am today, but, even deeper than that is my love and passion for the beautiful Dances of Polynesia.
I began dancing the Hula (from the islands of Hawaii) at 5 years old and that was all I danced for a while. Here and there I would learn a few Tauolungas (from the islands of Tonga) to perform at family functions or gatherings. When I turned 12, my Aunty, former dancer of the Polynesian Cultural Center, invited me to dance with her group, ‘Tautehine o’e ’Pasifiki’. That’s when I was I introduced to the Otea, a combination of Drum beats from the islands of Tahiti. I must admit, back then, my skills were zero to none. With my arms moving quicker than my hips, I’m sure I gave the impression that I was doing the Harlem shake (haha). From there on I continued to learn more about the Polynesian culture. That included Samoa, Fiji, Maori, Tokelau, Cook Islands, etc.
Taking in all that I’ve learned, I’ve developed a deep love and passion for my Polynesian people and the way we are able to express our emotions through Dance.
Few who knew me then, saw that I struggled with my own personal insecurities. I was very shy as a child and I lacked a lot of self-confidence. I was literally one of those clingy little children who was glued to their parents hip. I didn’t want to leave their side because I was afraid. Afraid of jumping into a world that I knew would hurt me. Dancing, however, changed that for me. Every opportunity I had to hit the stage, I became a whole new person. Dancing made me happy; it kept me active and in shape, and most importantly, it brought out the true beauty and confidence that was buried deep inside of me.
I believe that there’s a lot of beautiful gems hidden in every individual. In order to discover those hidden gems, we need to dig deep and really find what our true passion is. For me it’s a lot of things. Dancing is one of them. If you have not yet discovered yours, I’d like to extend an invitation to you to join me in catching the Passion Wave of SWAY.