Tehani and Kim crossed paths through New York Polynesian dance circles and for years thought about ways to collaborate. Finally, in the spring 2015, they brought together a few friends for casual dance classes. When the session ended, enthusiasm was high for more.
Excited to continue high quality Tahitian dance instruction and to spread awareness of this unique art, they founded Ori Manea Tahitian Dance School. When Loana, Tehani's sister, moved to the East Coast, she added her choreography and instruction to the mix.
Today, Ori Manea is a vibrant community of dancers from across the Pacific, the U.S. and abroad, and even some lifelong New Yorkers. We pride ourselves on our authentic, exciting approach to dance; our exceptional choreography; and our warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Come join us!
Who We Are
Tehani Benjamin's aunt, Tumata Robinson, taught her to dance around the time she learned to walk. At 14, she joined Les Grands Ballets de Tahiti, one of Tahiti's most famed dance companies. She later danced with the award-winning Tahiti Ora, acclaimed for its thrilling productions, and toured with them in Tokyo, Osaka, and Paris.
Tehani provides our expert choreography and direction, ensuring that our style authentically reflects the vibrancy, grace, and athleticism of Ori Tahiti today. She also offers private classes, workshops, and choreography for dance groups and individuals around the world.
Kim Davidson grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she started dancing hula before she can remember. In high school, looking for a bit more excitement, she discovered Tahitian dance with Te Vai Ura Nui. Kim has performed hula, Tahitian, and Maori dance professionally in New York and all over the East Coast since 2007.
Kim teaches Ori Manea's classes, facilitates our advanced group sessions, and handles Ori Manea's day-to-day operations.
Loana Benjamin grew up dancing with her aunt Tumata Robinson in Tahiti and returns every summer to perform in Tahiti Ora's spectacular stage production.
She leads our workshops for beginning and experienced dancers and has provided some of our beautiful choreography.