Thousands of Weber County residents know how to do the hula and other Polynesian dances. Why? Utah is a long way from Hawaii and the vast majority of those dancers are not of Polynesian descent. Most have never been to Hawaii.
Well, the answer is the Aloha Dance Studio in West Haven. Vikki Moellendorf has been teaching at her studio for 50 years. She started her business when she was 14 years old. Marvel Murphy, a family friend, had lived in Hawaii for many years and taught little Vikki some dances and Vikki was hooked. She loved the music, the graceful movements, and she learned to love the culture and the islands.
Vikki then taught herself the other Polynesian dances. She learned from the Tahitians, the Tongans and even the Maoris in New Zealand. Soon she was sharing her passion with others.
Aloha Dance Studio students range from the age of three years old to people in their 90s. Some students have been with Vikki for 30 years or more. Vikki tells me that she has taught three generations of some families. One student started taking dance classes when she was young. After she married, she and her daughter continued the lessons together and now her grandchildren are learning the graceful and beautiful dances.
Each year the studio puts on a professional review, complete with outstanding scenery, costumes and live music. All of the Moellendorf children, Jorjet, Kip, Maile, Jade and Brock, have performed in the reviews. Jorjet and Maile have been teaching with their mother for many years and enjoy the business as much as she does.
I mentioned that some students dance until they are 90 years old. How do I know that? Well, because my mother was that person. She danced for years with Aloha Dance Studio and performed in a review when she was 90.