Dance and music played important roles in the life of ancient Polynesians, who were extremely spiritual people. Dancing was not only performed for entertainment but most often for many religious ceremonies. Throughout the centuries dancing became the most treasured and unique form of art.
In Hawai'i and Society Islands dancing can be characterized by the swinging hips, slow movements of the hands, wrists, arms, and by facial expressions. First Christian missionaries interpreted traditional dances to be sinful and obscene making them to be forbidden. Polynesians stopped their performances and many old forms were forgotten. The second half of the twentieth century brought an interest in the revival of the Tahitian music and dance. New types of dance and song were created to appeal to the foreign tourists who come to visit French Polynesia in anticipation of finding tropical paradise.