Aporo Williams reclaimed his Mire Ura junior boys dance champion title with strong and robust dance performances on Thursday night. 21043007
Eleven junior dancers beat stage fright to put on memorable performances in the opening National Dancer of the Year event.
Ten-year-old Liahona Taio danced her way to
the top of the Mire Ura junior girls competition claiming the championship
trophy with her outstanding performances on Thursday night.
And in the junior boys’ section, Aporo
Williams retained his title, winning on Thursday for his slow beat, fast beat
A first-time entrant in the event, Taio felt a
bit nervy standing on stage in front of the 600 to 700 strong audience at the
National Auditorium Domes.
“I was nervous at the start, I just thought of
everyone disappearing and that I was by myself so I could stay focused.”
Taio loves everything about culture, and
dancing is one of her favourites “because it’s natural and culture runs through
our family bloodline”.
After winning the top award, Taio told Cook
Islands News: “I was happy and I was thankful to all my sisters – being the
youngest, they taught me so much about dancing and have always supported me, as
have the rest of my family.”
In the past, due to the small number of
entrants in the junior and intermediate Te Mire Ura, the event was held on the
Because of the high interest this year, the
contest was split into two evenings to cater for the increase in participants,
with the intermediate section held last night.
The Tauranga Vananga/Ministry of Culture
secretary Anthony Turua was stunned at the high standard of the dancers and
overwhelmed at the large crowd.
“The calibre of the dancers spoke for itself,”
he said, impressed and happy with the quality of the performances.
A flow on from the Rarotonga Schools Culture
Festival held a few weeks ago could possibly have also contributed to the
increase in contestants, with the children having built up their confidence
from that event.
Young Pa Enua sports representatives who are
visiting the island for the Cook Islands Youth Games also turned out on the
night to watch the show.
After Thursday night, representatives from the
Pa Enua met with Turua yesterday morning to discuss their future participation.
Because of the current economic landscape, due
to Covid-19, participants from the Pa Enua were unable to be brought to
Rarotonga, due to financial limitations, Turua said.
“However, we will certainly look at this in
the future and bring this on board,” he said.
For the first time the event was judged
electronically and there will be more training sessions for the judges to iron
A technical glitch at the start of the night
was caused by moisture in a piece of equipment – it was replaced and the show
Following are the Mire Ura Juniors results.
Junior Girls: Slow beat – Liahona Taio; Fast
beat – Liahona Taio; Costume – Reanna Napa. Girls 2021 champion – Liahona Taio;
Runner up – Savannah Nia; Third – Reanna Napa; Consolation – Nanny Aurupa,
Elisapeta Tama, and Matangaro Tera.
Junior Boys: Slow beat – Aporo Williams; Fast
beat – Aporo Williams; Costume – Aporo Williams. Boys 2021 Champion – Aporo
Williams; Runner up – Liam Aviu-Kurariki; Third –Ngatokorua Simpson;
Consolation – Derek Aerepo and Rutupau Samuel.