Bringing island flavor to March Air Reserve Base during Asian Pacific American Heritage month

Army Sgt. Mele Semo, 653rd Reserve Support Group project manager (front, center), teaches traditional Hawaiian dancing at the base sports and fitness center. Sergeant Semo, the daughter of a Samoan father and Samoan/Chinese mother, has begun holding classes in the evenings. She is teaching Hawaiian hula, a Polynesian dance titled “PacificColors” and a traditional Samoan slap dance for the men. She is also looking for people who would like to perform at the upcoming Asian/Pacific Month Luau that will be put on by the Army later this month. Having been raised in both Laie, Hawaii and Vailoa, American Samoa, Sergeant Semo has been dancing since pre-school. Her dad would pick up the guitar and her mom the ukulele and said, “Dance!” - and since it was between that or doing chores, the choice was easy. She also comes from a family full of entertainers, many having worked at the Polynesian Cultural Center, a major tourist attraction in Laie, Hawaii. The Semo family continues to share their talents by teaching dance and song in Hawaii, Samoa, California, Arizona, Utah, Idaho and Missouri. Since the month of May is Asian Pacific American Heritage month, Sergeant Semo is offering the dance lessons “to share the love I have for my culture and Polynesian dancing with all who wish to learn.” A Congressional Resolution was passed in 1978 to commemorate Asian American Heritage the first week of May. Congress later voted to change that week to encompass the entire month and it was called Asian Pacific American Heritage month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amy Abbott, 452 AMW/PA)

PHOTO BY: Staff Sgt. Amy Abbott, AMWPA
VIRIN: 070501-F-3188A-001.JPG
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