How does it work?
You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised (like us in the Wahanda office) to know that hula dancing is a Hawaiian ancient ritual to express meaning through movement. These days it’s used more as a form of entertainment, but usually professional performers fall into a meditative mode as they unify their existence with nature through the dance.
Hula dancing isn’t all about throwing your hands randomly in the air, thrusting your hips left and right while performing impressive Michael Jackson footwork at the same time. In fact, a typical hula dance is usually accompanied by a chant or a song (known as Mele) where movements are acted out and interpreted accordingly in ‘art form’.
Aspects of nature such as plants, trees, war, wind, fire and water are mentioned during the chant which is used to narrate the dancer’s story. The hands play a significant role to imitate important movements such as waving palm trees or swaying coconut trees. The Mele song is often missed out in countries due to the fact that so few know the language.
If you plan on visiting the gorgeous island in the future, you might want to perfect the hula movements now. Sadly, it looks like hula dancing classes are pretty close to non-existent, but there are some pretty impressive videos online that are fun and easy to follow.
All we need now is the flower garland and hula skirt to complete the whole Hawaiian experience…
Is it for Me?
Hula is suitable for anyone interested in learning about different cultures and their dance styles – yes, even for men. It requires you to memorise the steps and movements but once you’ve mastered that part, it’ll be easy to fall into a hula dance mode and lose yourself in a meditative state of mind.
Good to Know
Did you know the 44th and current US president, Barack Obama was born in Honolulu? Looks like Hawaii’s not just a pretty face then.