Taimalietane Islands of Polynesia, is under the direction of Vaoileti Poueu Peleti, born in American Samoa and raised in Rohnert Park, California. Vao has made her career and works full time for the local school district with special needs children and teaches Polynesian Culture, Dance and Music evenings and weekends.
"Aunty" Vao was taught by her family and older sisters who traveled and danced professionally in their young lives. They lived in San Diego, California, where they danced at the Bali Hai. Vao started dancing at the age of four for families and at luaus throughout Southern California and the Bay Area. The Hawaiian families throughout Sonoma County started a Hawaiian club in Rohnert Park and the kids in the club had the privilege to learn from the Aunties, who were very strict. The Poueu Peleti family still had the older siblings come from San Diego to teach the little ones in the family.
The Poueu Peleti family would also have their own practices everyday at home. Her parents believed that Culture and God were very important in the lives of their children and they were adament that their children learn their Culture and God through dance and music of the Islands! Vao comes from a family of 22 brothers and sisters who were all either dancers or musicians. Growing up in such a strict environment of dancing and home life, Vao did not think she would ever want to dance or teach dance! Having children of her own, she saw the importance of their Culture through dance and music.
Aunty Vao teaches Modern Hula (Hawaiian), Samoan, Tahitian, New Zealand (Haka, Poi Balls), Rarotonga huras and much more. Vao has danced for Aunty Nani Cassidy of Santa Rosa, Bali Hai in San Diego (with her sisters Vaitulu Poueu Schirmer and Luisa Poueu Case), Aunty Kathy (Heali'l Onalani Polynesian Review, San Diego), and Tavanna's Polynesian Spectacular in Hawaii and she has also competed in Hula and Tahitian competitions. She would like to challenge her students this year for such a competition! Competition and hula classes are where a student comes to understand the value of what they learn in the studio.