Traditional Chamorro Dance
The dances that reflect Chamorro culture are performed throughout the world in international competitions and showcases, and visitors come to Guam from far and wide to watch storytelling come to life through dance. The dances of the ancient Chamorro people were not very well recorded and without the work of dedicated artists and scholars, native Chamorro dance would not exist today.
Francisco “Frank” Rabon, founder of the Taotao’ Tano dance goup, is credited for the revival of indigenous Chamorro dance. Rabon studied historical documents and recreated ancient Chamorro life through dance. His work provided the basis of Chamorro dance being passed down to future generations of dancers.
During the Spanish era, the dances performed by Chamorros were accompanied by distinctly Spanish or Mexican music and songs with Chamorro lyrics. After the Spanish-American War, when Guam became a colony of the United States, the popular dances at the time reflected the island’s Americanization. After World War II, cha-cha and jitterbug became popular and the dances performed during the Spanish period became known as “traditional” dances.
Today there are gumas (houses) that teach Chamorro dance all over the world – in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, California, and Japan. In 2009, Guam Visitors Bureau launched the Guam Chamorro Dance Academy in Japan to teach interested Japanese people the art of Chamorro dance.
Every year, the island’s dance groups come together to celebrate their heritage and unique native dance during the Dinana’ Minagof Festival and other competitions held throughout year. To catch a Chamorro dance performance, check out one of the annual village festivals, or the Chamorro Village Wednesday night market. Many hotels also incorporate Chamorro dance into their nightly dinner shows.
n, Talofofo. A number of secluded beaches and a scattering of houses, along with a gas station, make up most of Ipan. The area also includes Ipan Beach Park, a popular spot for barbecues. Jeff’s Pirates Cove is located on the northern border of Ipan and has become an institution in the area. It is best known for its relaxed-atmosphere bar and grill, along with a small souvenir store and an outdoor area used for arts and craft fairs, concerts and other gatherings.