Wearing intricate costumes made of plants and adorned with tropical flowers, the women look spectacular. While their torsos remain completely still, somehow, impossibly, their hips are moving in circles so fast it’s almost a blur.
These women are performing traditional Tahitian dance, or Ori Tahiti, in Tahiti’s annual cultural festival, the Heiva. And they’re not alone. Thousands of women across the globe, from Mexico to Japan, are doing it too.
According to a report published by the French ministry of culture in 2017, there were more than 12,000 Ori Tahiti dancers in the United States and more than 10,000 in Latin America. In Japan, the movement has attracted 25,000 dancers and is projected to grow to 500,000 by 2027.
How dare this happen?
BTW, the idea that women swinging hips is specifically Tahitian will come as something of a surprise to several hundred thousand years worth of human beings.