What Is the Haka Dance?


While some dances send a message of passion and romance, the Haka conveys just the opposite. The dance originated with the Maori tribe of New Zealand as a war dance. Forceful foot stomping, body slapping and loud chanting communicated the tribe's unity, strength and fierceness before war. You'll see the dance performed today by New Zealand sporting teams immediately before games.

Do the Haka

  • The dance consists of a few basic components. To do the dance's stomp, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart with your toes pointed forward. Bend your knees so you are in a semi-squatting position. Lift one leg and bring it down in a forceful stomp. Repeat with the other leg. Arm movements consist of quivering of the hands as you raise your arms and slapping other body parts such as your chest, thigh and opposite elbow. The final part of the dance includes a rhythmic chant, accompanied by facial movements such as eye rolling and protruding the tongue.

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  • Photo Credit Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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