Its showtime and Mervyn
dazzles another audience with
his fire knife skills.
you are, when you see a professional
Polynesian dance group, the
performers are almost all
in great physical shape.
Polynesian dancing has its
roots in their martial arts
systems, so the workout is
strenuous. It is a combination
of cardiovascular, coordination,
focus and discipline. Like
most sports and physical
activities, a Polynesian
dancer is at peak performance
when they are diligent about
their eating habits, stretching,
and staying in practice.
Polynesian dancer must maintain a healthy body and
make it a way of life. By keeping this lifestyle, just
like aerobic classes, jazzercise and other forms of
exercise, it keeps the dancer in shape and able to
burn fat and lose weight.
Polynesian dancing is unique, in that it is ingrained in the culture
for thousands of years. Besides being a way of life that keeps the
practitioner healthy and in shape, it is also a way that the dancer
learns more about his/her culture and history and can keep that alive
for the next generations.
Maohi Nui is a newly formed dance group in Honolulu, who is keeping
this tradition alive. Mervyn Lilo is a performer, fire knife dancer,
and businessman, who also holds a Degree in Sociology from the University
of Hawaii. Mervyn and his family grew up dancing in the islands from
the time they were young. He performed and learned with other dance
groups (halau) for many years. Several years ago he decided it was
time to be the teacher, and began his own dance group called Maohi
Nui which means the Great People of Polynesia. They felt that this
name represented and expressed their view of the importance of Polynesia
dancing and its culture.
Nui dancers practice three times per week in addition to regular
performances that they do around the islands. Their workouts/practices,
along with a good diet regimen keeps Mervyn and the dancers in top
physical condition. The men are chiseled like the Polynesians of
old and the women are not only shapely but
all dancers have a flexibility and endurance ability to perform spectacular
Maohi Nui has become so popular that they
are sought after by celebrities who request
their show for private parties and events
like, Steven Segal, Chief Seiuli Dwayne The Rock Johnson, an old friend
of Mervyns from their college days in Miami, the WWF and shows
like The Rundown, as well as other cast and crew
that film in Hawaii, are insistent on seeing Maohi Nui perform.
The only advertising Maohi Nui has done is word of mouth. Many of
their clients have either seen their show, or were recommended by
their friends and family who have seen them perform and shared with
others about the spectacular performance of this thrilling Polynesian
group. Over the past two years, Maohi Nui has grown quickly and now
has over 100 members.
Mervyn believes that the best way to teach his students is to set
an example. He is diligent about staying fit and healthy in body,
mind and spirit. He lifts weights. Most weeks, he works out five
times, focusing on one area of the body each day. For example, Monday-chest,
Tuesday-arms, Wednesday-legs, Thursday-shoulders, and Friday-back.
He starts his workout with some cardio (running for 30-45 minutes.)
and ends with an abdominal routine.
He also cautions people to remember that we are all different.
Each person must find the workout and meal plan that agrees with
your body and life style. The key is having a strong mind, focusing
on your specific goal and sticking to it
Mervyn says that the feeling of accomplishment is worth all the
time and sweat you put into it.
Muscle Polynesia asked Mervyn what it takes to be a dancer for Maohi
Nui. He said that he encourages and accepts anyone who wants to learn
Polynesian dancing and singing to join Maohi Nui. He expects a lot
from his group. It does take a lot of hard work, dedication, and
a passion for Polynesian culture. He hopes that everyone they have
been contact with, attains a greater understanding and appreciation
for the many
cultures that make up Polynesia.
Polynesian dancing is a great way to help lose weight and stay in
shape but as Mervyn also adds, to have lots of fun at the same time.
If anyone is interested in booking MAOHI NUI, or
has questions regarding their classes, they can reach
Mervyn Lilo at (808) 382-1018 or e-mail him at .
key is having a strong mind, focusing on your
specific goal and sticking to it