MEET OUR FOUNDER
April Te’o Keil is the Creator and Founder of Siva Pasefika. Years ago she uprooted her young family and migrated from Samoa to St George. To ensure that her beloved culture was taught and rooted within her children and shared amongst her community, Siva Pasefika was created in 2006. Together with husband Ron and adult children Dallin, Dahlia, Sinalei and Tiare, they carry out and cultivate the Siva Pasefika vision by sharing Oceanic Mana and Aloha of Polynesia through dance and song. Their fresh perspectives of a rich culture takes Siva Pasefika to higher heights, renown stages with opportunities and experiences that allow them to showcase their love and passion.
Stephanie Barrientos Keil
Stephanie was born and raised in Myrtle Beach, SC. Polynesian dance was introduced into her life after meeting her husband Dallin who at the time was performing with Polynesian Fire. Learning the artful skill of Polynesian dance came natural for her and she later joined Polynesian Fire as a full time performer. She has recently just returned to the stage after having her fifth child, baby girl Tehani. Dancing supports the advocate she is of healthy wellbeing and active living. Aside from being a busy mother of five, she assists and dances with Siva Pasefika. Stephanie is of Puerto Rican descent and has a deep love for the Polynesian culture and dance. She has been dancing and performing for 6 years and is a staple strength to the team.
Dahlia Talalupelele Keil
Dahlia is the oldest daughter of Ron and April Keil (founder and creator of Siva Pasefika). Born on the north shore of Oahu she has lived with her family in Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji and now St George, UT where as a teenager assisted with the creation of Siva Pasefika. Dance, fitness and wellbeing has always been a staple in her life. Certified as a Zumba Instructor at 16, she played a huge part with the Zumba craze that swept Southern Utah. Together with her mom and sister Sinalei, the Keil Krew brought in hundreds to their weekly classes. At a young age she also got certified in Hot Hula & introduced it to Southern Ut. Formerly an instructor at Be Hot, she currently teaches at her family's Studio Siva Pasefika as a Buti Yoga and Meditation instructor. Dahlia spent time in Maui learning the art of Lomi Lomi (Hawaiian Massage) and now owns a Lomi Lomi studio of her own. The love of her life, Seth, ensures that she travels often to wherever there is sand and water. She is expecting her first child in June and is loving life.
Sinalei Lara Keil
Sinalei is a daughter of Siva Pasefika’s founder and creator April Te’o Keil. Born in Samoa, Sinalei from a very young age found her love for dance as a way to connect with her roots and heritage. Dance and Fitness are staples in her life. She introduced Buti Yoga to Southern Utah and is the creator of Ori Fusion and Wahine, two of some of the unique classes that she teaches at the beautiful Studio Siva Pasefika. Not only does Sinalei ensure that Studio Siva Pasefika is equipped with top notch instructors and classes but she is also Siva Pasefika’s lead choreographer and enjoys helping people through movement.
Tiare Keil is the youngest child of Ron and April Te’o Keil (founder and creator of Siva Pasefika). She was born and raised in St.George Utah her entire life but that has never stopped her from loving, living, and embracing her Polynesian culture. Family trips back to the islands to reconnect with family and culture have been highlights of her life. Tiare started her dancing career with Siva Pasefika at the young age of three and is currently a strong force to the team even after two ACL surgeries. Tiare has always loved showcasing her roots through the beautiful art of dance and song and has decided to take it to the next level through pageantry. Tiare is the current Miss St.George 2021 and is also the current Miss Southern Utah Teen USA 2022 where she won the ‘People's Choice Award’ and ‘Miss Congeniality’. Like the crown she wears she carries her Samoan culture with pride wherever she goes.
Lauralyn Aiono Defingn
Lauralyn is no stranger to the ways and lifestyle of her Samoan culture including dances from the other islands of Polynesia. She was the youngest competitor for Hitia O Te Ra when they took first place in many group categories their first year at Tahiti Fete.She joined Siva Pasefika while attending DSU and not only instructed but danced and sang at many Siva events. She married the love of her life, graduated with a BA in Elementary Education and has three gorgeous children. She performs professionally with Siva Pasefika’s elite team and is an instructor for Siva’s Team Teuila (13-17 yr girls) She assisted with Siva Pasefika’s first benefit luau for Miss Hayley who was battling brain cancer. She finds joy being with her family, serving her church and community, sharing her culture through dance, reading, playing pickleball and being with her girlfriends.
Jayanni Makalea Ku Lucero-sagon
Jayanni was born and raised on the island of Oahu. She has always been fascinated by the stories being told through movement and costumes. She began dancing at the age of four and as she grew up so did her love for dance. Knowing that her dance career would end after moving to Utah for college, she searched for a halau to join. Siva Pasefika welcomed her with open arms a year ago and she has been dancing with them since. She is grateful for the opportunity to share her culture and passion with you and hopes you will love it as much as she does.
Ashlyn was born and raised in beautiful southern Utah. She joined Siva Pasefika 15 years ago when it was very first created and has been with it ever since. She has enjoyed seeing its progression over the years from small family shows, to beautiful large scale productions. She feels honored to have participated in many fundraising benefit luaus, community services and public events. Siva Pasefika has become a family to her and she enjoys spending time with them outside of practices and shows. When she is not dancing she enjoys being out in nature, reading books and spending time with friends and family. She is looking forward to many many more years with this wonderful group.
Tava Maddison LaRaine Lutui
Tava has been performing with Siva Pasefika since she was just 6 years old and often shares the stage with her brother Jonah! Tava is 16 years old and a passionate athlete and entertainer. Tongan in heritage, Tava’s favorite part of the show is when she has the opportunity to share her culture with the audience in the Tongan section. She has a great love for the grace of the Hula and a strong connection to the fierceness of the Kahiko. In recent years she has also focused and developed her talents in tennis, track, and in music. One of Tava’s earliest credits was in stage theater. She landed her first job as a child performer in the Tony Awarded Shakespeare Festival as Ngana in Roger’s and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. Tava is known among her friends and family as a natural leader who is strong willed and independent. Her inspiration comes from her family and she resides in Southern Utah with her brother Jonah, and her parents Amber and Sam.
Rebecca has always loved all things music and dance. The daughter of a scholarship-awarded Thai dancer, she grew up watching her mother nostalgically do traditional dances in the living room and learned to love the preservation of culture through movement, music and storytelling. Hoping to one day work in music therapy, she attended the University of Utah and received two bachelor’s degrees in Music and Psychology. Rebecca happily stumbled into the Siva Pasefika family in 2017 and never left - performing in notable events like the Huntsman World Senior Games Opening Ceremony and Siva Pasefika’s summer luaus at Zion National Park. She enjoys singing and playing bass with the Siva Band before rushing off to prepare to dance in the show.
Kaylani originally born and raised in Southern California, and later moved to St George Utah with her husband Ernest where they started a family and a business. Kaylani is a mom of three beautiful boys. She has been able to grow an audience on social media and has partnered with international beauty brands. Kaylani has always been proud to represent her Samoan culture and has been performing Polynesian dance since she was a young girl. When she relocated to St George, she was happy to tap back into one of her first loves. She enjoys being a part of the Siva Pasefika family. Outside of spending time with family, creating content for her online business, she loves spending her “me time” at the Siva Pasefika studio.
Janie is from the red rock Island of St. George Utah where she grew up dancing along the beaches of the Virgin River. Dance and music were a huge part of her life through childhood and into college. She didn’t realize how much she missed this part of her life until she introduced dancing back in after her child bearing years. When she found Siva Pasefika, her soul was drawn in immediately and she knew she needed to be a part of this group. It’s through dancing with Siva Pasefika that Janie has realized the Spirit of Polynesia is inside all of us whether we are born in the culture or not. We are all connected. Our differences and the love in each of us is what brings us together.
Camille’s love for music and dance started at a young age with her hobbies of ballet and musical theater. She has always had an interest in her culture, and once she discovered Siva Pasefika she was able to express her deepest love and passion for her roots through polynesian dance. Outside of the dance studio she enjoys hiking and photography, and she is currently focused on graduating and attending college to major in health sciences.
Marley started dancing at a very young age performing throughout Southern Utah with her family. While growing up in Southern Utah, her father, Oscar Fakahua, did his best to teach her, her siblings, and cousins the importance of their Tongan heritage and all the Polynesian islands through dance, love, and song. They did service all around Southern Utah to practice their talents and show their love for their culture. As a young child she grew to understand the importance of grace, and to tell a story through her smile and her heart. Marley is currently a student at Southern Utah University where she will soon graduate with a degree in Family Life & Human Development, she also plans to further her education with a masters degree in social work (MSW) as well as become a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). Marley has been given the opportunity to be a part of a spectacular team with Siva Pasifika, where she has been able challenge herself in dance, make new relationships and expand her learning. She loves sharing the stage with her husband Sione Makoni, her brother Drew Fakahua & her cousins Tonga Nio, Jonah Lutui & Tava Lutui.
Meli Leilani is a lover of cats, culture, and Polynesian community. She has been dancing and performing in the art of Polynesian dancing for over two decades. As a Native Hawaiian wahine, the perpetuation of olelo Hawai’i, crafting, dance, and culture play a crucial role in the kuleana she holds. When not dancing, Meli Leilani works as a mental health professional who has spent much of her time focused on Native and Indigenous well-being.
Dallin Keil is the oldest child and only son of Ron and April Te’o Keil (founder and creator of Siva Pasefika). He was born in Samoa and raised there for the first few years of his life. He has lived in Hawaii and Fiji, but later settled with his family in St. George, Utah. As leader of the wolfpack, Dallin is the instructor and choreographer for Siva Pasefika’s men (Team Mana) and boys (Team Tamatoa) groups. Prior to Siva, he was a full time performer in Branson, Missouri for the Island Fire Show. He later moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to perform alongside world fire knife champions, the Lavata’i brothers, who trained him in the art of the Siva Afi (Fire Knife). Together they opened Polynesian Fire Productions Luau, performing at various resorts full time 6 days a week for 4 years. This is where he met his wife Stephanie. Not only does he DJ occasionally, but he is the owner of Rootz Barbershop and a busy dad.
Vise Tialino is originally from Independence, Missouri and is of Samoan descent. It is his athletic background that initially brought him to Utah where he attended Snow College and eventually continued his studies here at DSU. He was a member of DSU vocal and performance group Raging Red where he got to perform and tour throughout Utah, Nevada, and Costa Rica. Pura Vida! Vise has been dancing with Siva Pasefika for the past two years and when he’s not dancing, he works as an Anesthesia Monitoring Technician at our local hospital. “Just grateful I get to learn and share the love of my heritage with those that love to do it too.”
Spencer is of Samoan and Tahitian descent and was born in San Diego, California and raised partially in Utah. It is here in Utah that Spencer learned and fell in love with Polynesian dancing. Performing and representing his culture in the form of dance first started out as a hobby, and has now become one of his deepest passions. He steps in and assists with instructing the male dancers of Siva Pasefika and doesn’t shy away from assisting the female dancers as he is gifted with the ability to do both.
Tui Magalogo was born and raised in Western Samoa. He grew up in the village of Pesega / Vaimoso where he was taught traditional Samoan dances. In 2007 he left Samoa and came to the States where he lived in Wyoming. He later moved to Utah where he met his wife and was introduced to Siva Pasefika. He has been with Siva Pasefika for the past two years and is one of our newest certified fire performers. He enjoys the constant learning of his heritage through Siva Pasefika and performing dances from the different islands of Polynesia.
Raymond witnessed his parents captivate crowds as they performed as the famous ‘Samoa Sisters’ and the ‘Nifoloa’ Bands.He played Maui in a St George parade for the Siva Pasefika float that took first place. It is here that Raymond instantly fell in love with the Aloha spirit that Siva Pasefika emulates and later joined as a performer for Team Mana. Raymond picked up a Samoan warrior knife and became ‘Chief Amosa from Samoa’ performing the Siva Afi.Siva Pasefika has become more than a dance group; they have become family to not only him but to his loving wife Taylor and their two beautiful daughters Taytum and Jayde.
Leighton Nihoa Kahaleonalani Kaonohi lll
Nihoa just recently returned from serving a two year mission for his church. A huge portion of his upbringing was on the beautiful North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Polynesian dance, more specifically the Hula, has been a huge part of his life. Regardless of where he lived he would perform with his family in hopes of sharing and carrying on his Hawaiian heritage.
Sione was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. Sione’s Polynesian cultural background comes from the friendly Islands of Tonga. Currently a student at DSU, he is majoring in exercise science in hopes to be an educator in the physical education world. Polynesian dance has always been a hobby as well as an outlet to relieve the stresses of everyday life. Being with the Siva Pasefika Aiga has allowed him to showcase his deep love for his Tongan roots and appreciate the other islands of the South Pacific. He feels blessed to be able to represent his culture and heritage and hopes that by doing so it will spark the new generation to keep their roots alive and to be proud to perform it when the opportunity arises. “Ofa Lahi Atu!”
Kekoa Afualo is from the Island of St George. Utah is his home. His mother is from Laie, Hawaii and his father is from American Samoa, but both migrated to the States to further their education. Although Kekoa was raised in Utah his whole life, he feels that Siva Pasefika has given him the amazing opportunity to learn and experience his culture in priceless ways. He expresses “I’ve been blessed to perform at many different venues over the past year including the OC Tanner Amphitheater in Springdale, the Mid Valley Performing Arts Center in SLC, the Tuacahn Amphitheater and many others.” He is beyond excited to share a piece of each Polynesian Island with you.
Born in Honolulu Hawaii, dancing has always been a part of his life, but it wasn’t until he started learning the Siva Afi (fire knife) that he began to embrace and love these aspects of his culture. Nick not only loves to do the Siva Afi, but he enjoys rugby, photography, and many water sports. In the midst of challenges, Nick finds ways to uplift and inspire others. Since his dad’s passing in 2019, dancing with Siva Pasefika has kept him connected to both his Samoan heritage and to his dad. He thanks his mom, aunt and numerous family members who support him in all his endeavors both on and off stage.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Dennis was born with the gift of music and dance. He has performed in musical productions, orchestra concerts (playing multiple instruments), and has danced professionally with Siva Pasefika for 1 year. Dancing with Siva Pasefika is a way for him to stay connected to his Samoan heritage and dad who has passed. Dennis is proof that ‘you can take the boy from the islands but you cannot take the island from the boy.’ His mom and aunt are huge influencers in his life and he sincerely thanks them for all their support and direction.
Jonah Lee Palelei Lutui
Jonah is 18 years old and has grown up performing with Siva Pasifika. Two of his greatest passions are his Polynesian culture and performing. As a modern day Tongan warrior, Jonah loves sharing the vibe of the friendly islands through the Tongan dances and the energy of Meda Butu. The Fijian section reminds Jonah of his own spiritual and physical strength and that he can overcome any obstacle. In his young life, Jonah has had a lot of experience competing athletically and performing in various shows as a drummer, dancer, singer, guitarist, and pianist. After a traumatic brain injury during a football game in 2017 that ended his ability to participate in contact sports, he has focused and developed his talents as a performer. He landed his first job in the Tony Awarded Shakespeare Festival as Jerome’ in Roger’s and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. He is known for his tender heart and smooth deep voice. He credits his strength to God and his family and considers his greatest motivation for constant improvement to be his sister, Tava, who never lets him take the easy way. He resides with her and his parents, Amber and Sam, in Southern Utah.
Born and raised in Fiji, Aisake remembers being bribed with popsicles to dance to radio music and then was later taught traditional Fijian dances. He has performed these traditional dances around the world in countries like Egypt, South Africa, the Caribbean and across several states. He performed with the BYU Living Legends at the Opening Ceremonies for the 2002 Winter Olympics in SLC. He’s a former Zumba instructor and loves to travel with his wife and two daughters.
Lokahi was born in Hawaii and raised in Fiji where he was blessed with opportunities to learn and perform traditional Fijian dances. His older brother took the time to teach him these dances, and he started his performing career at church activities and his secondary school.He truly feels blessed and recognizes God’s hand in his performing career as he was able to perform at the Opening Ceremonies for the South Pacific Games in Fiji, the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii, with the BYU Living Legends in China and several states as well as with Tourism Fiji.He is grateful for family and loves his beloved daughter, his fiance, and her daughter.
Drew grew up sharing his Tongan heritage through dance. You could find him alongside his siblings and cousins performing at various events all over southern Utah. He joined Siva Pasefika 4 years ago and his powerful presence on stage has been charming the audience ever since. He is currently studying at Southern Utah University where he is on a scholarship for their cheer and stunt team.