A hip tradition: Hula is a way of life for Hawaiians

“King Kalakaua said hula is the heartbeat of the Hawaiian. “I connect with my Hawaiian genealogy in a deeper way because the dances and songs that I was taught as a young girl contain stories that survived time,” she said.But Ms Dalire said the hula is for everyone who wants to learn and appreciate the art. From a young age, everyone raised in Hawaii is expected to learn the hula. (ABC News: Stephanie Chen)
Ms Makainai believes people are attracted to the hula because they can sense the positive meaning hidden in the Hawaiian people’s songs and dances.”I think people come to our shows because they looking for a message that actually already lives within them,” she said. as long as you learn it in the right way and you’re taught real hula from a good and positive and strong source,” she said.Ms Dalire and Ms Makainai were in Melbourne for a one-day performance. But while most people appreciate the entertainment value of Hawaii’s famed dance, others might not understand the techniques and strength needed to do the hula, or the history and culture being expressed in the dancer’s movements.For Hawaiians, the dance is a way of life, a way to connect to their land, history and people. to be able to express ourselves.” (ABC News: Stephanie Chen)
2010 Na Hoku Hanohano Female Vocalist of the Year Award winner Mailani Makainai, said despite being mixed race, she connects to her Hawaiian identity the most. Photo:
Hula dance students taking part in a concert in Melbourne. Photo:
The dance was phased out by missionaries and brought back decades later. “Everyone should be able to dance hula because hula is healing … (ABC News: Stephanie Chen)
Kaui Dalire, hula teacher of Halau Ka Lihilihilehua ‘O Hopoe Kuikanani dance studio, said it was a way to preserve traditions which were at risk of being eradicated only a century ago. There is something about the hula that has always captivated people around the world. and it forms the values I pass on to my children.”

Five hula tips by Noelani Le NevezStand up tall with knees bent for strength and stabilityPractice stepping your feet side to side, and moving your hips in a circular motionEnsure arm movements are extended, clean and gracefulTo understand and connect to the dance, research and understand the storySmile! “I really enjoy travelling the world and sharing this aloha with all the people that I meet and being here in Australia and being able to share the Hawaiian culture and to be able to share hula has been amazing,” Ms Dalire said. “Whether you’re Hawaiian or not we all have a human need, a human desire, to be able to express ourselves and [I think] people gravitate towards the Hawaiian culture because we are able to express those needs, those desires and those feelings in our music and in our dance.”That’s what it is, that’s is our message.” “Passing on the traditions that was passed down to me from my mother is a responsibility that I believe I have to fulfil,” she said”In Hawaiian we call it Kuleana, it’s our responsibility to keep these traditions alive … You stop the hula, you stop the Hawaiian, therefore killing our Hawaiian people,” Ms Dalire said.”And it’s true because if no-one knows how to dance hula or know the chants then our stories and our histories will all be lost so hula is important in that it keeps Hawaiians moving forward together in these ever-changing times.”

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“Whether you’re Hawaiian or not, we all have a human need… The hula was finally welcomed back into mainstream Hawaiian culture during King David Kalakaua’s reign. When American Protestant missionaries first arrived in Hawaii in 1820 the dance was forcibly phased out.
(ABC News) By Stephanie Chen

Updated

November 26, 2016 15:51:59

Video: Noelani Le Nevez on the power of the hula.
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