Sunday, May 3

Ura Fitness mental health fundraiser on Rarotonga

Ura Fitness is a Cook-Islands-dance-based exercise system using the hip-swaying motions and arm movements typical of our local dancing.
The sessions usually take place at Top Shape gym in Avarua with a couple of Muri lagoon beachside classes especially for visitors.
As the Ura Fitness Facebook page ( says, "From slow soothing island songs to vigorous fast beats and the basic sway of the hips to modern technique.... Ura Fitness can get your heart rate pumping and muscles burning like you wouldn't believe!"
Last Wednesday (29 April) Ura Fitness fans gathered  on the grassy area opposite the Banana Court for the first of five live shows. The $413 raised at the event was donated to Te Kainga Mental Health and Wellbeing Centre.
With great weather and an excellent turnout of regulars, tourists and newcomers it was a fun occasion (check out all the smiling faces in the video).
Many of the regular ura-goers went the extra mile with not just pareu but head ei and feathery, extravagent titi - great for emphasising hip movements.
And UF isn't just for the slim young and athletic. There were plenty of older ladies, some a tad overweight, but still able to show everyone how to swing those hips.
The 'Yes Please’ boys provided the music while sisters Avera Hunter, Alana Short with a new instructor Gary Taripo were up on stage leading the crowd.
Most of the exercisers were women but there were quite a few guys watching proceedings and Gary wants to encourage more men to join in at the next live show.
The smiles, laughter and singing were so infectious I just had to put down the camera and take part. So I can vouch for the fact that Ura Fitness is a fabulous fun, cardio, conditioning exercise.
Looking forward to the next one which will probably be later in May around the time of the Te Manava Vaka Festival.