What Dance is Popular in Vanuatu? Find Out Here

What Dance is Popular in Vanuatu? Find Out Here

If you are curious about the popular dance forms in Vanuatu, then you have come to the right place. Vanuatu, a beautiful country in the South Pacific Ocean, is known for its vibrant and lively dance culture. The locals of Vanuatu have a deep-rooted connection with their traditional dances, which play a significant role in their cultural celebrations and rituals. In this article, we will explore the various dance forms that are popular in Vanuatu, providing you with an insight into the rich and diverse dance heritage of this enchanting island nation.

Traditional Dances in Vanuatu


Tamure is a traditional dance form that is widely popular in Vanuatu. It is known for its vibrant and energetic movements, accompanied by rhythmic drum beats and melodic tunes. The dance is often performed in groups, with both men and women participating. Tamure showcases the rich cultural heritage of Vanuatu and is a significant part of the local identity.


Huli is another traditional dance that holds great importance in Vanuatu. This dance is characterized by its unique choreography, which involves intricate footwork and hand gestures. Huli is often performed during special occasions and ceremonies, such as weddings or festivals. The dancers wear traditional costumes, adorned with colorful feathers and shells, adding to the visual spectacle of the performance.


Rom is a traditional dance form that has its roots in Vanuatu’s history and mythology. It is a storytelling dance, where the dancers use their movements to depict various narratives and legends. Rom is a captivating performance that combines graceful motions with dramatic expressions. The dancers convey emotions and depict characters through their intricate choreography, bringing alive the tales of the past.

These traditional dances play a crucial role in preserving the cultural heritage of Vanuatu. They not only entertain but also serve as a medium for passing down stories, traditions, and values from one generation to another. Whether it is the energetic Tamure, the intricate Huli, or the captivating Rom, these dances reflect the rich cultural diversity and artistic talent of Vanuatu.

Contemporary Dances in Vanuatu


In Vanuatu, traditional customs and rituals hold immense significance, and this is reflected in their traditional dance form known as Kastom. Kastom dances are deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of the country and are performed during special occasions such as festivals, ceremonies, and events. These dances often portray stories from Vanuatu’s history, legends, and ancestral connections. The dancers adorn themselves with traditional costumes and use rhythmic movements to depict various aspects of their culture. Kastom dances not only entertain but also serve as a means of preserving and celebrating Vanuatu’s rich cultural traditions.

Pacific Hip Hop

As Vanuatu embraces modern influences, a contemporary dance style known as Pacific Hip Hop has gained popularity among the younger generation. This fusion dance form blends elements of hip hop with Pacific island rhythms and movements, creating a unique and energetic style. Pacific Hip Hop showcases the creativity and talent of Vanuatu’s youth, who incorporate their own cultural elements into the dance. This modern twist to traditional hip hop has become a popular choice for performances, competitions, and cultural showcases, allowing the youth to express themselves and connect with their Pacific identity through dance.


Another popular contemporary dance style in Vanuatu is Kalop. Originating from the island of Malekula, Kalop combines traditional dances with modern choreography and music. The dance is characterized by graceful movements and intricate footwork, often accompanied by vibrant and catchy melodies. Kalop has become a favorite dance form for social gatherings, cultural events, and entertainment. It not only showcases the talent and creativity of the dancers but also provides a platform to celebrate the diversity and unity of Vanuatu’s cultural heritage.

These contemporary dances, including Kastom, Pacific Hip Hop, and Kalop, reflect the dynamic and evolving nature of Vanuatu’s dance scene. Whether rooted in tradition or influenced by modern styles, these dances play a vital role in preserving cultural identity, connecting communities, and providing a platform for artistic expression in Vanuatu.

Influence of Foreign Dances in Vanuatu


Reggae, a popular music genre originating from Jamaica, has had a significant influence on the dance culture in Vanuatu. The infectious beats and rhythmic movements of reggae have captivated the people of Vanuatu, resulting in the incorporation of reggae-inspired dance styles into their traditional dances. The fusion of reggae and local dance forms has created a unique and vibrant dance culture in Vanuatu.


Salsa, a lively and energetic dance style hailing from Latin America, has also made its mark in Vanuatu. The sensual and rhythmic movements of salsa have attracted many dancers in Vanuatu, who have embraced the dance form with great enthusiasm. Salsa has not only become a popular social dance but has also been integrated into various cultural festivals and performances in Vanuatu. The infusion of salsa into the local dance scene has added a touch of passion and excitement to Vanuatu’s vibrant dance culture.


Ballet, a classical dance form originating from European traditions, has found its way into the dance repertoire of Vanuatu. Despite its stark contrast to the traditional dance styles of Vanuatu, ballet has gained popularity among dancers and enthusiasts in the country. The grace, precision, and discipline required in ballet have been appreciated and embraced by the dance community in Vanuatu. Ballet performances can now be witnessed in various dance schools, theaters, and cultural events, showcasing the diversity and openness of Vanuatu’s dance landscape.

In conclusion, foreign dances such as reggae, salsa, and ballet have significantly influenced the dance culture in Vanuatu. The incorporation of these dance forms has not only added variety and excitement to the traditional dances of Vanuatu but has also showcased the openness and adaptability of the country’s dance community.

Based on our research, it is clear that the traditional dance form known as "mele" is the most popular dance in Vanuatu. This lively and energetic dance is deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of the island nation, and it is performed on various occasions such as festivals, ceremonies, and social gatherings. The unique movements, vibrant costumes, and rhythmic beats of mele dance continue to captivate both locals and tourists alike. Whether you are a dance enthusiast or simply curious about the cultural traditions of Vanuatu, experiencing the popular mele dance is a must.

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