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Tahitian Drumming & Dance Workshops

May 20-21, 2023

We're incredibly excited to offer workshops in Tahitian Drumming, Ori Tahiti (dance), and Siva Afi (fire knife)! Private sessions are also available in very limited quantites.

Special Thanks to our Sponsors!

This activity is supported by the Michigan Arts and Culture Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lean More about Michigan Arts and Culture Council

The City of Novi has been instrumental in providing the facilities for this year's Great Lakes Polynesia Spring Workshops while helping us pass on cost savings to you

Lean More about the City of Novi


Dance & Drumming Workshops


Price for each. Group workshops.

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Private Sessions


Price for each. Small groups of 1-4 people.

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Materials Pre-order

Picture of To'ere sticks
To'ere Stick


Handmade katalox to'ere stick. Approximately 16-17" length.

Picture of kelly green fabric with great lakes polynesia logo
Stamped Pareo

$20-Adult, $15-Kids

Kelly green pareo stamped with light color logo. Adult Size 72" x 22.5", Kids Size 45" x 18"

Pre-order materials will be available for sale until May 5, 2023. These items are all handmade, so sales will be halted in advance to allow time for the items to be produced.


The Polynesian Arts Advocacy Council of Michigan (PAACOM) has partnered with Zeffy Logo for our payment processing. Zeffy is an organization that helps non-profits process payments by covering credit card processing fees. During checkout, Zeffy will present the option to add a donation to them with your order.

Hotel Information

We've partnered with the Four Points by Sheraton Detroit Novi to proivde discounted hotel rates for May 19-21,2023.

Rates start at $119 per night. Space is limited, so get your room today!

Book Now

Hotel Location

Four Points by Sheraton Detroit Novi

27000 South Karevich Drive
Novi, MI 48377

Workshop Locations

Saturday & Sunday Workshops

Lakeshore Park

601 S. Lake Drive
Novi, MI 48375


Saturday May 20, 2023

9:00 a.m. - 'Ori Tahiti Basics
11:00 a.m. - 'Ori Tahiti Aparima
12:30 p.m. - Lunch Break
3:15 p.m. - Siva Afi

Sunday May 21, 2023

10:00 a.m. - 'Ori Tahiti Ote'a
11:30 a.m. - Lunch Break
1:00 p.m. - Tahitian Drumming
3:00 p.m. - Private Sessions

Workshop Information

Tahitian Drumming

Duration: 2 Hours

Materials Needed:

  • Folding Stool
  • Drum Stick*
  • Toere Drum**
  • Pen or Pencil

Ori Tahiti Basics & Technique

Duration: 90 Minutes

Materials Needed:

  • Pareu
  • Water
  • Pen or Pencil

Ori Tahiti 'Aparima

Duration: 90 Minutes

Materials Needed:

  • Pareu (long preferred)
  • Water
  • Pen or Pencil

Ori Tahiti 'Ote'a

Duration: 90 Minutes

Materials Needed:

  • Pareu
  • Water
  • Pen or Pencil

Siva Afi

Duration: 90 Minutes

Materials Needed:

  • Practice fireknife stick (REQUIRED)
  • Water
  • Pen or Pencil

Private Sessions***

Duration: 60 Minutes

Materials Needed:

  • Pareu
  • Water
  • Pen or Pencil

Practice fireknife sticks can be made on your own or purchased. For a DIY tutorial, see this video. If you prefer to purchase a practice stick, you can do so from either Major's Mana Made (preferred) or The Siva Afi Company.

*Regular drumstick is ok, toere stick is preferred.

**Limited number of practice toere drums available to share.

***Do you aspire to enter competition as an ʻOri Tahiti solosist in the future? Or do you just want to enhance your skills as a dancer? Book your private session with Jacinta, an award-winning soloist and teacher who can give you valuable feedback and advice to amplify your performance.

Workshop Presenters

Nico San Nicolas

Nico San Nicolas is the Tane instructor (male Tahitian dance), lead Tahitian drummer, and Siva Afi (fireknife) performer for Hiti Mahana Polynesia, a premier Polynesian Dance group located in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

He is of Chamorro descent (Guam) and was surrounded by music from early childhood, playing guitar and drums for his father’s band. It was through Polynesian arts where he quickly taught himself how to play the various polynesian instruments as his sister Jacinta needed a musician for her group Hiti Mahana in 2010.

Over the years, Nico has traveled across the world in pursuit of refining his skills, all the while absorbing knowledge from various resources. He has gone to California, Florida, Hawaii and Tahiti to workshop and study under various musicians such as: Tiana Liufau, Mitch Asuncion, Keali’i Bush, and Carlos Tuia. Nico has formally taught Tahitian Drumming classes in Denver, Colorado for Halau Kalama prior to moving to Florida where he leads the musicians for Hiti Mahana in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Nico's Accomplishments and Performances
  • 2022 - Hoike Hawaii Drumming Exhibition - Orlando, FL
  • 2020 - Heiva I San Francisco Drumming/Music Competition - San Francisco, CA 1st Place, Pahu Tūpa’i Rima
  • 2nd Place Grand Orchestre Rohipehe Ava Tau 2019 and 2020 - Colorado Avalanche Halftime Performance - Denver, CO Lead director for all music
  • 2018 - Polynesian Culture Club of Purdue - Presentation - Indianapolis, IN Lead dancer, fireknife performer, musician
  • 2017 - Tahiti Fete of San Jose - San Jose, CA - Pahu Tupai player (walk-on performer under the group Hui Tarava)
  • 2013 - Seaworld Island Nights - San Antonio, TX Lead musician and fireknife performer

Jacinta Maʻae

​​Jacinta Maʻae is the Raʻatira and Artistic Director of Hiti Mahana, with two locations under her direction based in Cocoa Beach, FL and San Antonio, TX.

Originally from the South Pacific island of Guam, Jacinta started dancing as soon as she could walk. She grew up dancing with halau in California, Guam, and Texas. She started dancing professionally in 2007, and created Hiti Mahana with her family in 2010. Since then, she has learned and trained from many sources, such as Tiana and Riki Liufau of Nonosina, Moena Maotui, Tehani Robinson, and Tahia Cambet, as well as many other well respected ʻorometua.

Jacinta is a current member of Pupu Here Solo Competition Team under the direction of Kanani Asuega. She is also a current student of Moenau Rivera of Poly-Lingual Reo Tahiti, an online Polynesian language program she became a part of during the pandemic. She was even named one of the top Reo Tahiti students of 2020.

Jacinta has led her pupu ʻori in group competitions throughout Florida and the mainland. She has trained many of her students to compete in solo competitions, where many of them have placed. More recently, Jacinta led her group to Hura Tapairu Manahini and entered several soloists in the ʻOri Tahiti Nui competition in Tahiti in 2022. She believes in the importance of visiting the fenua, learning from the source, and to always remain a student of this beautiful art form

Jacinta's Accomplishments & Performances
  • 2022 Hura Taipairu Manahini - Group - Tahiti
  • 2022 ʻOri Tahiti Nui competition - Solo Finalist - Tahiti
  • 2022 Hōʻike Hawaiʻi - 1st Place Mehura Group Division, 1st Place ʻOri Tahiti Soloist (26+) - Orlando, FL
  • 2022 Heiva North Carolina - 1st Place Mehura Group Division 1st Place Advanced Vahine (31-39) - Jacksonville, NC
  • 2021 Hura Tahiti of Southern California - 4th Place Advanced Vahine
  • 2021 Pupu Here Solo Competition - 1st Place Advanced Vahine (30+) ʻŌteʻa + ʻAparima
  • 2021 ʻOri ʻOri-lympic International Comp - 4th Place Vahine Toru - ʻAparima ʻArearea
  • 2021 SeaWorld - Polynesian Performer - San Antonio, TX
  • 2019 Heiva Māʻohi - 2nd Place Mehura Group Divison - Best Costume Award - Orlando, FL
  • 2019 Hōʻike Hawaiʻi - 2nd Place Mehura Group Division 2nd Place ʻOri Tahiti Soloist (Category D)
  • 2013 SeaWorld Island Nights - San Antonio, TX