Being a Club Leader


Charlize Macon, Guest Contributor

I’m the leader of the Pinole Valley Polynesian Club. Running a club takes a lot of dedication, responsibility, leadership and organization, and much more. I have to plan ahead of every practice, make time to choreograph dances, pick music, create and make costumes, and keep an open line of communication with all members of the club to make sure we are all on the same page at all times. It’s a lot of work leading a club but it’s something I love doing.

Polynesian culture is something I have loved and have been learning about since I was a little kid. I started hula and Tahitian dancing when I was 3 years old, and have been doing it ever since. My mom and aunt grew up learning and performing hula and Tahitian dancing and did so into their adulthood. I remember watching my mom dance while I played with the other little girls and I loved it. I have learned a lot about Polynesian culture through dancing and some of the language that is used in dance. I love to learn more and more about the culture every chance I get.

As I said, running a club takes a lot of work, time and effort. You really have to be dedicated to leading the club. I set a lot of time aside for Poly Club to choreograph dances, find good music, and even costumes. We have practices every Friday from 3:30-5 pm sometimes longer. It takes a lot to be able to teach a group of 12-16 girls who have never danced in Polynesian style before. The girls put in a lot of time and effort to learn these dances and moves which can seem difficult at first. You have to be able to move your hips in new ways, while also moving gracefully, and softly all while telling a story with your movements. Seeing the girls catch on and learning how to do it and seeing their faces light up makes all the hard work worth it for me. I love seeing their dedication to learning dances and being at every practice and really wanting to learn. I work really hard to make our club a family and I believe I have done so.

I know it may seem surprising to many that a Caucasian girl is running a Polynesian club. I have such a love and passion for Polynesian dancing and it was incredibly important to me to make sure that the Polynesian club of PVHS continued on. I have taught many girls of many cultures and ethnicities how to Hula and Tahitian dance. There is no bias or prejudice in our club and everyone of all walks of life are welcome. At the end of the day, it’s about sharing what I know about a culture that is special to me with others. I may not be blood, but in my heart I have a deep love for dancing and being able to share it. Polynesian dancing is something I will continue to learn and share for the rest of my life.