By Dick Oakes
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THIS IS HISTORICAL INFORMATION ONLY
The Ote'a Polynesian Ensemble was formed by Jack Kinneer.
Realizing that Polynesian dancing was what he really loved, his group Zadruga Bulgarian Folk Ensemble was disbanded to form the Ote'a Polynesian Folk Ensemble in 1973.
Ote'a toured Southern California for about 15 years.
Jack lived in Tahiti as a young man and there developed an interest in Polynesian history, culture, and dance. Jack realized that Polynesian dancing was what he loved, and Ote'a Polynesian Folk Ensemble was started from the members Zadruga in the spring ofd 1973.
His first Ote'a group rehearsed in his backyard, complete with tropical garden, tiki torches, and a grass hut.
Continuing his education as an art student at Pierce College, Jack drummed with Taimani, and used to do fire knife dancing during the half-time show with the Ote'a group.
Ote'a was enthusiastically received by audiences everywhere. Under Jack's direction, Ote'a received multiple awards each year at the annual Polynesian Dance Competition, U.S.A. Many of his long-time members were recruited from students who took Polynesian dance lessons from Jack's classes at Everywoman's Village in Van Nuys.
Some of the members of Ote'a were
Lynette Smith Atuala,
Richard Kahaku Del Rosario,
Luisa Hernandez DeSantis,
Patricia Diane Henshaw,
Russell Keith Rawls,
Carol A. Schneider,
Linda Chavarria Shortridge.