Monday, February 4, 2002


Courtesy Fa'a Tialino

Fire knife dancer

Fa'a Tialino sheds his everyman
aloha shirt for flaming sticks

Fa'a Tialino >> After a long day of meeting sales goals, I relax by kicking off my shoes and stepping into the spotlight with a sharp, flaming fire knife.

As fire knife dancer at Hyatt Regency Maui's luau, "Drums of the Pacific Polynesian Spectacular," I perform in more than 300 shows a year.

Courtesy Fa'a Tialino

During the day, I trade my fire knives for an aloha shirt and head for Hyatt Regency Maui's sales department. As sales manager, I am responsible for working with over 65 national sales managers, covering Hyatt's top national accounts, to increase direct bookings at Hyatt Regency Maui.

I like sales because it is challenging. There are always goals to meet, and I am responsible for my own performance. But fire knife dancing, I do that for relaxation.

I began performing in "Drums of the Pacific" in 1988. In 1994, I joined the resort's sales department to promote the luau, helping to expand it from four nights a week to a nightly event. The resort entertains a sell-out crowd of nearly 550 people.

After achieving success in marketing the luau, I wanted new challenges. The resort promoted me to a new position handling the meeting connections market, then in 1999 the resort changed my focus to book direct, working with Hyatt's national sales force.

I was born in Western Samoa and moved to Hawaii in 1972 when I was 15. I first learned Polynesian dancing from a friend who performed at the Sea Life Park luau.

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