It is usually performed at public and private ceremonies. The men, bearing stylized clubs (pate kailao), dance in a fierce manner that emulates fighting, all to the accompaniment of a beaten slit drum or a tin box, which sets the tempo. Unlike most other Tongan dances, the kailao is performed without singing. The sequences of movements to be performed by the group are called by the lead dancer, who will give the name of the sequence, then will signal when to do it. The sequences can involve mock combat between dancers, changes in formation, and tricks involving the pate kailao themselves. The dance displays the dancers' discipline, obedience and skill with their weapon. A similar Rotuman dance, also derived from the 'Uvean original is similarly titled "ka'loa".