Tahitian Dancing

Traditional Tahitian dancing tells the ancient legends and folklore of the Polynesian culture.

These dances were considered so sensuous, that they were banned by the missionaries in the 1800's! The restrictions by the French Administration were only removed in 1908. Tourism has now helped Tahiti culture revive its Polynesian dancing.

Colorful costumes of paradise

The Tahitian dance costumes are colorful and creative. The dancers change costumes for each rhythmic dance, so you get to see amazing variety. The costumes are hand-made made from grass, palms, tropical flowers, mother of pearl, seas shells, feathers, and coconuts. Colorful skirts, belts, bras, jewelery and large headdresses are created.

That's me in the white dress!

Styles of Polynesian Dance

Tahitian Dance moves to the beat of drums, flutes, conch shells and ukuleles. The music styles that Polynesians dance to varies. They express everything from relaxing island-style to intense warrior sounds.

Here are some dance styles that you will see:

  • The Otea is the famous hip-shaking dance of Tahiti performed to the rhythm of wooden Tahitian drums. Otea has a story line or theme conveyed through the dance.
  • The Aparima is a fast dance performed to music.
  • The Paoa is where the dancers sit in a circle and chant while a couple dances inside the circle. This is often a very sensuous dance.
  • The Hivinau, where everyone in the circle chants while dancing.

  • Experience Tahitian dancing on your Vacation

    Tahitian Dance is mesmerizing. The dances can be slow and sensual or fast-passed and vigorous. Watching the graceful island women and the strong men dance to the Tahitian music in their traditional costumes is a must-see activity while you are on vacation. It gives a beautiful insight into the Tahiti culture.

    Tahitian shows in Bora Bora

    Traditional dance performances are held at many of the Bora Bora resorts. If your hotel does not have a show, visit a resort on the main island to enjoy this unique experience. Tahitian cultural dancing shows are held around 8pm at the resorts restaurants and bars. Some shows can be watched by purchasing a cocktail from the bar, others you will need to have dinner. Check with the resorts before you go to the shows, as the shows can be canceled if there aren't enough guests staying at the resorts.

    Tahitian shows on the main island: 

  • Intercontinental Le Moana Bora Bora
    Noa Noa Terrace restaurant has a Polynesian evening with Fire dance show on Tuesday and Saturday nights. You can purchase a drink and watch from the bar.
  • Hotle Le Maitai Bora Bora
    One evening per week, depending on the season, at the Haere Mai Restaurant.. You can watch from the restaurant or bar.
  • Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach
    The restaurant Latitiude 16º has Polynesian nights that include "show" cooking, with a traditional Tahitian oven. Saturday nights. You will need to eat at their Polynesian buffet or pay a cover charge to watch the show. On Tuesday is the 'Mama's show' (elder Polynesian ladies).

  • Tahitian shows at the motu resorts:

  • Pearl Beach Resort Bora Bora
    Monday is Polynesian Night, with a Tahitian buffet and a spectacular Tahitian dance show from 7pm at the Tevairoa Restaurant.
  • Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort
    Polynesian buffet and traditional dance show on Tuesday evenings from 8:00pm at the Tamure Grill.
  • Le Meridien Bora Bora
    Polynesian buffet and Tahitian dance show on Thursday nights at Le Tipanié Restaurant.
  • Four Seasons Bora Bora
    A weekly Polynesian dinner show with musicians and fire dancers on the beach, up to three times a week in high season.
  • St Regis Resort Bora Bora
    Shows average twice per week. Frequency of shows vary with high and low season.
  • › Tahitian Dancing

    New! Comments

    Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

    Search the Site

    Are you still looking for additional information? You can use the Google search box below to search the site.

    Site Sponsors

    Subscribe to receive free Bora Bora updates

    Top Tours

    Photo of the day

    All of us at Bora Bora Island guide love to have fun, but we also have to keep the site up and running! That's why you'll see ads on this site. We may also earn commissions on some of the products on this site.

    The income generated through these means helps ensure Bora Bora Island Guide can devote the time to providing you with all the free and fabulous information & resources you'll find here. If you would like to support us, you can  purchase our book full of over 100 pages of money saving tips or find out the best activities, resorts, dining and beaches in our Best of Bora Bora book or buy our 2018 Bora Bora calendar.

    Want to learn more? Bora Bora Island Guide invites you to read our advertising disclosure.

    Favorite Pages