Reflection of Polynesia
Ke aka o Polynesia means “The essence or reflection of Polynesia”. Our name derives from our parent dance group “Spirit of Polynesia” who performed cultural dances of the various islands of the South Pacific including Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and New Zealand. We have been blessed to continue to teach and share these treasured dances with all who desire to learn and express the beauty of this art form and would like to carry on the legacy and traditions taught to us by James “Kimo” Baird and Jill “Moani Keala” Clark Baird.
Owner/Artistic Director/Dance Instructor
Luana has been a Professional Polynesian Dancer for more than 30 years. She started dancing and training at an adolescent age to which she’s performed and traveled to various countries within the Pacific Islands since the age of thirteen. Luana has performed on numerous cruise lines as a Polynesian Dance Entertainer, with cruise lines such as the Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruises, and Royal Caribbean with her old dance troupe Spirit of Polynesia. She’s also performed for countless private and public events within Northern and Southern California. Throughout her dancing career, Luana has also competed in various Tahitian Solo Dance competitions and has placed in amateur and advance categories. In 2000, under the direction of Spirit of Polynesia, Luana started teaching dance classes at the GVRD Vallejo Community Center. She assisted with the dance program for 6 years. After 2006, she took a break from teaching to start a family. Today, Luana continues to dance and was also given the blessing from her retired director to pass on Spirit of Polynesia legacies and opened her own dance group. The name of her performance group is Ke aka o Polynesia, in translation “The essence or reflection of Polynesia”. Luana’s passion and aspirations of dancing and teaching amongst the years have inspired her to pass on the Polynesian dance culture to the younger generations.
Music Director/Instructor (Instrumental)
RAYMOND BAMBAO, a San Francisco native has been performing professionally in the Bay Area for thirty years. He started his music training on trumpet at El Dorado Elementary and started singing at Visitacion Valley Middle School. Raymond continued singing at El Camino High School (SSF) and started playing trombone in the Jazz Band and Symphonic Band.
He received a Classical Scholarship for Voice and went to San Jose State University. He started early Hula and Tahitian dancing with Spirit of Polynesia in the eighties and then danced for Hula Halau O Ku’uleinani in the nineties.
Here is a short list of Halau he has played for: Na Mele Hula Ohana, Academy of Hawaiian Arts, Te Pura O Te Rahura’a, Ke Ola Loa, Na Hula O Moku’aina, Tiare O Te Ao, and Ke Aka O Polynesia.
He received his B.A. in Improvised Music Studies (Voice) from San Jose State University. Here is a short list of groups and ensembles he has shared the stage with through his career: Ka Ehu Kai, Makaha Sons, The Brothers Cazimero, Keali’i Reichel, Willie K, Ho’okena, Na Palapalai, Ledward Ka’apana, Kapena, Ho’onua, Ten Feet, Mark Ho’omalu, Hoku Zuttermeister, Aaron Sala, Mark Yamanaka, Kamakoa Lindsay-Asing, Kapono Nailiili, Chino Montero, Alika Young, Steven Espaniola, Faith Ako, Patrick Landeza, San Francisco Symphony, San Jose Chorale, Vocal Sauce, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Yolanda Adams, Joan Baez, Linda Ronstadt, Winston Raval and the Vanishing Tribe, Forte, I- Hotel The Autonomous Region.
He is currently teaching voice, beginning piano, ukulele, guitar, bass, beginning drums, and trombone privately. He also teaches a group Ukulele Class with Ke Aka O Polynesia and private lessons for Spark of Creation Studios in SSF. Playing Music is a big part of his life and sharing the love of music with his students is even bigger.