Iaorana te Otea, UCSB’s Polynesian culture group, will bring the music and dance of Tahiti to the stage to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The night will feature four Tahitian dance performances from Iaorana te Otea club members. Ten other dance organizations, including Hui O Lokahi, Black Reign and the UCSB Dance Team will also perform, adding hula, hip hop, jazz and various dances to the night’s line-up. Patrick Lin, a board member from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, will speak at the event.
The event will take place in I.V. Theater on Sunday at 7 p.m. and is expected to last about two and a half hours. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets will be $5 for students and $7 for general admission and can be purchased at the door. All of the show’s proceeds will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and envelopes for additional donations will be provided.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a charity that raises money to grant the final wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Club president and senior Asian-American studies major Christine Apa chose to help the Make-A-Wish Foundation when she saw the positive impact the charity had on a family friend’s six-year old daughter who, with the help of Make-A-Wish, visited Disneyland after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Paola Lau, senior Spanish major and longtime member of the club, said the group is excited about benefiting such a good cause.
“We’ve always really wanted to give back to the community,” he said. “It’s our first time [holding such a big event], and it’s going to be a hit. We’re really excited. It’s such a great cause. What better way to give back to the community than by helping out the children?”
Iaorana te Otea was originally founded 11 years ago to break media stereotypes of Polynesian culture and to keep the true traditions of the culture alive. In its early years, the club’s community outreach included visiting elementary schools to teach Polynesian dance to children. Apa said it now focuses on serving the community.
The club rehearses twice a week throughout the year and every day the week before a major performance. The group also holds weekly potlucks that give the members a chance to socialize with each other and unwind from stressful schedules. Apa said planning the event has brought the group closer together and has fostered connections with other groups on campus.