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June 23, 2012

ATOP

Ailine is a close relative of my dad, and she along with her husband, kids and some nieces and nephews have started this dance group called ATOP.  They've been teaching for several years now, but this is the first year that I put my kids in it.....and let me tell you, I wish I would have put them in it before!  What a great extracurricular activity for them....not only to keep them active and busy, but to teach them the importance of culture by learning the native dances and songs of their country. 

Their set up is to focus on one island for a period of 3 months.  The kids have dance practice once a week every week where they learn and perfect the moves.  Then, at the end of the 3 months they put on a recital for all their parents and friends and relatives.  I love the Tongan culture and as soon as I heard that this round was going to be Tonga, I knew right away that I wanted my boys to join.

My little sister's kids have been a part of ATOP for several years now, so I made sure to put my boys in class on the same day as their cousins.....which helped me a ton because we were able to carpool!  They went on Wednesday night from 5pm-6pm....and they always looked forward to Wednesday nights because of it....they absolutely loved it!  I loved the enthusiasm, energy and excitement they had when they would come home and practice their songs and dances......and they practiced ALL THE TIME.  Lol.  So much that Lautala memorized the songs and moves and would dance right along with them.  We loved hearing them sing to the top of their lungs the songs in Tongan....and Ma made sure to have them preform for her everyday before bedtime. 

They hold classes everyday of the week from Tuesday - Thursday....one hour for the younger kids and one hour for the older ones....there are so many kids who are a part of it that they have to divide it up like that, but they are all learning the same songs and dances....then at the recital they combine all the groups together and they perform.  I would say there were a good 125-150 kids there at the recital! 

The 3 months came and went pretty quickly, and they had their rectial a couple weeks ago. It was awesome!  The kids did such a great job performing and they all looked so cute in their costumes!


(I have about 4 other videos that I need to upload, but my internet at home is SOOOO slow...so as soon as I have the patience and time to upload them, I'll add them!)


My kids loved it, we loved it....this is something we will definitely continue to do for them...what a great way for them to learn and love their culture!

A big shout out to Paul and Ana Feletoa....they were the ones who taught all the kids....they spent every night at the studio teaching and they deserve a lot of recgonition for putting up with hundreds of wild kids who didn't listen all the time.  They must have had a lot of patience and love....and we really appreciate them for everything they taught our kids.

1 comment:

The Lomu Family said...

Awesome post! I love how all the little Lomu's perform! Can't wait 'til Pailate's attention span is longer so I can put him in. Lol!