Dance classes sound like something requiring fancy outfits and pain-inducing footwear but there was as much laughing as dancing at a Pasifika dance class in Alexandra last week.

Organised by rural education organisation Reap and the Central Otago District Council, the class comprised people of all ages from a very cute toddler to older people, draped in leis, enjoying the music from their chairs.

Those on the dance floor wore lavalava over their clothes and lei or beads around their necks.

Tutor Meraine Rotaria, with irresistible music, had the class swinging their hips and moving like they had done it before.

The relaxed atmosphere led to huge smiles.

Alexandra resident Lyn Gray said she had never done anything like it before and really enjoyed it.

Welcoming communities officer Heather Harries said she liked the slow rhythmic movements in the Pasifika dance.

Mrs Rotaria said she had taught dance before, including to children at Cromwell schools and in school holiday programmes.

Some of her pupils had performed at a concert for Vanuatu after the school holiday sessions.

Mrs Rotaria also showed traditional dance costumes from her home in Kiribati, dressing Kusitina Colailago in them.

Mrs Colailago, of Fiji, showed some examples of tapa cloth from her home along with other craft items.

Following the dancing, the class enjoyed a well-earned afternoon tea featuring Pasifika treats including cake, made from cassava and coconut milk, and donuts.