TAIMALIETANE ISLANDS OF POLYNESIA
Taimalietane Islands of Polynesia(T.I.O.P) was established in 1997 under the direction of Vaoileti Poueu Peleti. Aunty Vao was born in American Samoa and moved to Rohnert Park, California as a young girl. Besides teaching Polynesian Culture during the evenings and weekends, she is also employed by the Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District, working with special needs children. Starting at the age of 4, Aunty Vao was taught different styles of Polynesian dances from her family and older sisters who traveled the world and danced professionally from the 70's to the early 90's. Her first performances were for families and Luaus throughout Southern California and the Bay Area. She was privileged to learn from the Local Hawaiian Club which she feels taught her discipline, resilience, and how to work through adversity. Another place that holds dear memories is a restaurant her and her sisters danced at called the "Bali Hai" which has been a San Diego favorite for over 50 years and counting. She was also a top dancer for "Tavana's Polynesian Spectacular" of Hawaii and for her sister in law Kathy Gore Stanley with "Heali'i's Polynesian Revue" of the greater San Diego area.
Aunty Vao comes from a family of 22 brothers and sisters who are all dancers or musicians. Growing up, her parents believed that God and Culture were very important in the lives of their children and they were adamant that all of them learned this through dance and music of the Polynesian Islands. With a strict home environment and a tough practice regimen, Aunty Vao always thought she would never want to dance or teach dancing to anyone else! Having three children of her own, She was reminded of how important the Polynesian Culture is and followed in the steps of her parents and made a plan to pass it down to the next generation.
With over 47 years of Polynesian dance experience, Aunty Vao teaches dances from the islands of Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa and many more. Each student learns the art of Polynesian dance and ensure's that our culture lives on, not just on a global scale but here in the Heart of Sonoma County.