chapter  3
Learning and Performing my Pacific Island Identity
ByTeuila Hughes
Pages 14

This chapter is part of a larger study that is an auto-narrative into how I constructed my values as a dancer, first as a child in Fiji and subsequently in New Zealand, at The University of Auckland. The study investigated my past experiences and significantly explored Pacific dance and the performance techniques that foster its individual charisma, which has been the expression of my dance practice since the age of five. It extended to my experiences of Western dance, which became a significant dance practice for me during my time at The University of Auckland. Through my study, I considered how my values were subsequently challenged by experiences of contemporary dance classes in Fiji, then in tertiary dance training in Auckland. This led me to realize the inter-cultural factors of values and expectations of dance that further directed me towards redefining the notions of my cultural identity as a result of

the shifts of cultural contexts and dealing with the challenges of my self-confidence.