Women in flowered dresses rapidly shook their hips. Shirtless men in body paint shouted and beat their arms. Music played, and onlookers cheered and clapped.
The Pacific Islanders Club performed their 10th Annual Dad’s Weekend Exhibition Lu’au on Nov. 11 in front of a full house.
“I think it went great,” said senior Angeline Phouksouvath, the president of the Pacific Islanders Club. “Everything went on time. It ran really smoothly. I just think we did a really great job.”
Phouksouvath said the club sold all 250 tickets for the event.
“We were really surprised that we did, just because a lot of kids go home on a three-day weekend,” she said.
Senior zoology major Erin Boland attended the lu’au with her parents and said it was a really fun experience.
“I think we really enjoyed the food, and I won a prize, so that is cool,” Boland said. “The dancing is really cool to watch.”
Planning for the lu’au began last semester when two co-chairs, Klleirr Tuyay and Monique Sooaemalelagi, were named to oversee the event. Phouksouvath said the co-chairs are responsible for picking the songs and choreography for the dances.
“They look for songs, they pick one they like and then they listen to it and try to decide on choreography that meshes well with what that song is about,” Phouksouvath said.
Senior human development major Tuyay said the club has been practicing three days a week since September to prepare for the lu’au. For the last two weeks, they practiced every day for two hours, she said. The amount of practice didn’t deter participants though, and Tuyay said they had almost 40 dancers this year.
“People told their friends to come to practice, and the groups just got bigger and bigger,” she said.
George Castro, one of the advisers for the club, said the students organized the entire lu’au themselves, even making all the costumes and decorations.
“Carol (Ivory) and I as advisers—we are just beyond proud,” Castro said. “These are students, and they did this.”
Club members worked concessions at football games to raise money for decorations and costumes, Castro said. He emphasized that the lu’au was not a fundraiser for the club.
“They really do it to raise awareness,” Castro said. “We don’t make any money off of the lu’au.”
Tuyay said the lu’au is a chance for the Pacific Islanders Club to come together as a group.
“We’re really close, and I think the exhibition just makes us even closer because we spend so much time together,” Tuyay said.