How to dance like a hula dancer

Learn How to Hula Dance! | How to Hula Dance for Kids


Famous for its sandy beaches and warm weather, Hawaii is a tropical paradise. Part of what makes Hawaii so special is its rich island culture. Hawaiians have their own traditions, language, and even their own dance form called Hula. Hula is a graceful art form that is danced to the words of a song (mele) or chant (oli). Ancient Hawaiians danced Hula to tell stories about their history and to celebrate the beauty of nature. But you don’t need palm trees to enjoy Hawaiian culture. Get ready to move your feet, swing your hips, and learn to dance the Hula with Little Passports! With a these easy-to-learn dance moves, you and your little ones can bring the beauty of the islands right to your doorstep.

Step-by-Step Hula

Move your feet!

Stand facing forward with your feet hip-width apart and bend your knees. Step 8 inches to the right. Bring your left foot to meet your right foot, keeping your left foot slightly off the floor, and tap the ground once with the ball of your left foot to complete the move. Repeat, taking another step the right, bringing your feet together, and tapping the ground with the ball of your left foot. Now go back the way you came! Step to the left, bring your right foot to meet your left and tap the ground with the ball of your right foot. Repeat this move to the left again. That’s it! Continue to practice stepping two times to the right and then two times to the left until you feel comfortable with the footwork.

Did you know?  Hula is almost always danced barefoot.

Did you know?  Traditional Hawaiian instruments that accompanied Hula dances were made of shells, rocks, and even teeth!

Now add your hips!

Keeping the same pattern–two steps right and two steps left–try adding some hip movements. During the Hula, your hips should keep a gentle rocking or swaying motion–similar to the ocean waves! When you step to the right, lower your right foot toe-to-heel and lift your left hip up. As you bring your feet together, switch so that your right hip is up. Before your next step, sway your hips side-to-side. Repeat the same motion as you take your second step to the right. Remember to sway your hips side to side before each step. Now try this motion to the left: left foot toe-heel, right hip up, feet together, left hip up, rock hips side to side. Repeat. Make sure to keep your knees bent and hips loose as you continue to step and sway!

Complete the move with arm motions!

Extend your arms out to the side at shoulder level. Bend your left arm so your hand is in front of the left side of your chest and your palm is facing down. Your right arm should stay extended, with your elbow slightly bent and fingers together. As you take your steps to the right, move your arms in a gentle,  wave-like motion. Before your first step to the left, switch your arms so that the left arm is extended and the right arm is bent in front of the right side of your chest. As you take your steps to the left, continue to move your arms in a wave-like motion. As you move, keep your body relaxed and your shoulders still. Remember to switch arms every time you switch directions.

Did you know?
Hand and arm motions can be used to represent emotions or aspects of nature.

Add your own flair!

Once you’ve mastered this basic Hula dance, feel free to add some more moves from the list below to spice it up! Remember to use your face and eyes to tell the story of the song you are dancing to.

Ami: With hands on your hips, rotate your hips in a circular motion.

Ka`apuni: Keeping your hips moving in a circular motion like the Ami, pivot around the left foot and step slowly with the right foot around the left foot to complete a full turn.

Rising Sun Hand Movement: Start with your hands together at knee level. In a sweeping motion, move the arms outward and upward until they are above your head and fingertips nearly touch. Form the shape of sun with your arms extended over your head with your palms turned upward and your fingertips touching.

Uwehe: Standing with feet hip-width apart, step in place with your right foot. Keeping knees bent, lift both heels up off the ground in a popping motion, and then place them back down. Now step in place with your left foot. Do the popping motion again.

Hela: Starting with your feet together, point your right foot forward. Return feet together. Point the left foot forward. Bring your feet back together.

Love Hand Movement: With your palms facing your body, cross your hands in a X-shape on your chest to show embracing love.

Don’t forget to smile and have fun!

Learn How to Hula Dance! from Little Passports on Vimeo.


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Hula dancing is a beautiful and graceful form of dance.

Hula combines foot movement along with meaningful hand movements that tell a story. Hula dancing is easy to learn, is good exercise, and is a fun activity for a Luau or Hawaiian theme wedding. There are many hula dances that have very simple steps which can be easily learned and have people dancing hula in one lesson. A popular easy to learn hula dance will be shared in below on this page that can have you hula dancing by the end of today!

There are several different styles of hula danced by Polynesian cultures like Hawaiian, Tahitian, Fijian, and Maori. In the Hawaiian hula dance style there are two types, hula kahiko and hula 'auana.

Hula Kahiko

In ancient Hawaiian times there were no written books of daily life and special events however, the Hawaiians have created hula dances and chants as ways to document events going as far back as to their first inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands 0-500ad.  Hula kahiko is the traditional ancient Hawaiian style of hula which also includes chanting and percussion instruments like uli uli, puili, drums and ipu gourd drums.

The kahiko style of hula focuses on the hula practiced by ancient Hawaiians which was how they communicated with and honored the Hawaiian Gods by sharing stories about Hawaiian life, history and culture. Students are taught how to make their own instruments and their own outfits for performances. Some hula schools require their students to learn and speak Hawaiian.

Hawaiian Hula Performers in 1890

When Western missionaries arrived in the Hawaiian Islands hula was seen as indecent and immoral. In 1830 missionaries convinced Queen Ka'ahumanu to outlaw hula for the good of the Hawaiian people. Hula along with the speaking of the Hawaiian language were banned in the Hawaiian Islands. Many of the chiefs and people of Hawaii did not agree with the ban and hula and the Hawaiian language was practiced in secret.

Hula dancers at King Kalakaua's 49th Birthday Celebration at Iolani Palace

November 16, 1886

In 1851 public hula performances became regulated and a heavy fee was paid to obtain a license for each performance.

Throughout the 1860s secret hula schools continued to teach and the number of students grew. The Hawaiian King David Kalakaua openly supported hula dancing before he became King in 1836. He is credited for preserving hula kahiko and bringing back native Hawaiian dance during his reign as King having spectacular performances of hula at his coronation in 1883 and at his 49th birthday celebration in 1886.

Hula 'Auana

Hula 'auana is the modern style of Hawaiian hula dance which emerged after Western contact and is often associated with slack key guitar, ukulele, and upbeat Hawaiian music. The 'auana style incorporates the traditional hand signals, steps, and percussion instruments with a more show business flare to the presentation than the kahiko style and costumes can be much more flashy. The focus with hula 'auana is more on entertainment through hula story telling rather than communicating and honoring the Hawaiian Gods.

Both styles of native Hawaiian hula dance are excellent forms of exercise.

  Hula dancing is also a fun activity when having a Luau or  Hawaiian themed celebration and below are three tips on how to add hula dancing to your festivities:

1) Learn an easy hula dance and dance it at your celebration to entertain your guests!

2) Learn an easy hula dance and teach your guests how to hula dance!

3) Hire an experienced hula dancer to perform and/or teach a hula lesson at your celebration.

It is fun to learn to dance the hula at a Luau!

Hula dancing is popular all over the world, some people refer to this style of dancing as Hawaiian hula hula.  No matter what you call it or where you are in the World, you can usually find organized groups of hula dancers, known as Hula Halau, that can be hired for hula dance lessons or to perform at a celebration. To find one, google "hula halau" + your location in the world, such as "hula halau san diego". Then contact them to find out information on how you can take lessons, join the group to perform, find out where they will be performing live, or hire them as performers or to teach hula dancing at your Hawaii theme celebration!

The hula dancers are wearing skirts made from fresh ti leaves

Now it is time to learn how to hula dance!


Hula dancing is a fun Luau activity for kids and adults.


Below are easy Hawaiian hula dance steps:


'Ami Right - rotate hips counterclockwise, one rotation for each count.

'Ami Left - rotate hips clockwise. Bent knees make the 'ami easier.

Hela: Point right foot forward, bring back, then point left foot forward, then bring back. For video instruction of Helai click here!

Huli: Rotate around while swaying the hips.

Kaholo: A kaholo is more of a sliding step, rather than lifting the foot as you move. It is used to step side to side, front to back, and diagonally.

For video instruction of Kaholo click here!

Ka'o: Sway hips by shifting weight to the right side and lift left heel. Then shift weight to the left side and lift right heel. For video instruction of Ka'o click here!

Lele: Step right, then left, either forward or back.

The hula dancers are doing the hela hula dance move

Below are easy Hawaiian hula hand movements:


Love Hand Movement: Hands cross at chest to show embracing love.

Ocean Hand Movement: hands gently beat up and down showing the rhythm of the waves.

Rainbow Hand Movement: palms of the hands meet at the left... right hand lifts and shapes an arching rainbow.

Rising Sun Hand Movement: start at the knees, both hands part and rise above the head to shape the sun.

Singing or Story Telling Hand Movement: hand gracefully gesturing at mouth for song.

Swaying Palms Hand Movement: left arm becomes the land, right arm and fingers sway showing a waving palm.

Swirling Winds Hand Movement: left hand forward while right hand circles twice over head.

Tide roll Hand Movement: hands continually roll over each other to show the rolling sea.

These boy and girl hula dancers are wearing pa'u skirts and lava lava



This instructional video teaches an easy hula dance routine to the song Tiny Bubbles by Don Ho.

You can learn this hula dance in one session!

There is a great resource of hula instructional videos on YouTube.

Below are a few links to continue your hula training:

What to Wear While Hula Dancing

Skirts allow for freedom of movement while dancing the hula and are worn by women, men, girls, and boys. For tops men and boys typically wear a tshirt when practicing and go topless when performing. Women typically wear a sports bra, spaghetti strap top, tshirt or tank top when practicing and for performing may wear a coconut bra, bikini top, sequined bra, or tube top. Fresh lei or silk lei accessories be worn on the head, neck, ankles and wrists.

Hula dancers dance barefoot.


Types of skirts worn by hula dancers include:


Pareu, Lava Lava or Sarong- a long piece of cloth wrapped around the body and tucked into the waist

Grass Skirt- made from natural or synthetic raffia. Natural is tan in color and can be dyed green or a rainbow of colors.

Ti Leaf Skirt- fresh or synthetic ti leaves are fashioned into a skirt along the stem end of the leaf.

Pa'u Skirt- a modern hula dance skirt made with colorful Hawaiian printed fabric and an elastic waist. They are worn short like a mini skirt or long which covers the dancers legs to mid shin.

The hula girls are wearing ti leaf hula skirts and have a set of uli uli hula implements

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Hot Hula Fitness is a new modern form of hula which incorporates traditional hula movements and performs them to upbeat Polynesian and contemporary music providing a vigorous fun low impact aerobic workout! The Hot Hula fitness style of hula isolates the larger muscle groups, increasing strength and definition to the core with specific emphasis on the abs, glutes, quads and arms.

If you are having a Hawaiian themed celebration, include hula dancing! Teach your guests a few moves or hire a hula expert to come and teach you and your guests a hula lesson. Your guests will have a fun memorable experience and learn something that is very sacred in the Hawaiian culture for a true authentic Luau experience!

Photos of people who helped to bring hula to their Hawaiian theme celebration!

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Four reasons to dance the Hawaiian Hula dance

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the hemisphere cannot cope with so many "requests", lack of symmetry and logic.

As a result, the work of the right and left hemispheres is harmonized. This process is healing in itself, but in addition, in Hula, every movement matters, every wave of the hand gives birth to a living image. It turns out a kind of meditation in motion - the Hula performer in the dance can talk about the beauty of the island, about the weather, about life on Earth, imitating the sun, sea, mountains, earth, trees, rain, rainbows, birds.

2. Hula, a Polynesian antidepressant

Hawaiian poetry lacks the sadness inherent in our culture, celebrating life, singing the beauty of the island, or telling a happy love story with every song. The task of the dancer is to tell it truthfully, even if the mood is not very good, it is winter outside and there has been no sun for more than a month! Dancing, it is impossible not to get involved in this game, so classes are fun, and a smile, without which Hula is not Hula, does its job, awakening the brain and body to joyful activity.

It turns out that Hula revitalizes us physically, emotionally and energetically, returns a state of pleasant excitement, gives aftertaste from the dance. Immersion in the bright and kind stories of Hawaiian songs, sometimes reminiscent of a fairy tale, heals, shifts attention and charges with joy, love and gratitude for oneself, for others, for nature, for the world.

3. Feeling the flow and developing femininity

All the movements of the Hula dance are very natural, they relax, slow down, ground, center and teach balance. By finding balance in movement physically, we also find emotional balance. Being grounded gives you contact with reality, your own impulses, and self-confidence. Centering brings us closer to contact with ourselves, a sense of integrity, we begin to hear ourselves, our feelings and experiences. By teaching our body the smooth and wide movements of the ancient Hawaiian dance, we change the stereotypes of movement, we begin to look at life around us in a new way. At some point, control weakens, the body begins to move by itself in the flow of dance, following the images, beautiful story and gentle music.

Hula is the easiest way to hear your femininity, to feel beauty, to bring it into the world. It fills us from the inside, gives us the strength and courage to show ourselves - to put on a beautiful dress, decorate our hair with flowers, smile dazzlingly and share our dance with others. Perhaps with those who are looking for an opportunity to defeat the image of a woman-"comrade", inherited from several generations of the family.

4. The art of self-expression

In our society, it is not customary to show emotions, we hide them deep inside, and over time, some of them turn into muscle clamps or hardened masks on our faces. Often we are not aware of how we feel. And since there are many stressful situations in life, and many of us do not know how to express emotions and relax, as a result we are in constant physical and emotional stress. It robs us of our strength.

Hula teaches you to understand yourself and express your emotions. “Whatever you feel, manifest,” the Hawaiians say. Playing feelings in the dance, we become softer, lighter and at the same time we are released from the old clamps. Each Hula dance is an expression of feelings through movements, where not the technique of movement is important, but emotions. Hawaiians say: if the dancer tells the story sincerely, then the eyes of the people who watch change - love enters them.

Text: Anastasia Kaivi

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This article is about Hawaiian dance. For other uses, see Hula (disambiguation).

Hula Kahiko performance at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hula in Hawaii. Here the hula is performed by Kumu Hula Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett at the ceremony to hand over control of Kaho'olawe Island by the US Navy to the state.

Hula /ˈhourə/ is a Polynesian dance form accompanied by singing (Oli) or song (Mel, which is a cognate of "Meke" from Fijian). It was developed into the Hawaiian Islands by the Polynesians who originally settled there. The hula dramatizes or depicts the words of the oli or mele in a visual dance form.

There are many sub-styles of hula, the main ones being two categories - hula`Auana and hula-kahiko. [1] An ancient hula performed before the meeting of the West with Hawaii is called kahiko . It is accompanied by chants and traditional instruments. Hula as it emerged under Western influence in the 19th and 20th centuries is called ʻAuana (a word that means "wander" or "drift"). It is accompanied by song and Western tunes. musical instruments such as the guitar, the ʻUkulele, and the double bass.

Terminology for two major additional categories is beginning to enter the hula lexicon: "Monarchy" includes any hula that was composed and delivered in 19century. During this time, the influx of Western culture brought significant changes to formal Hawaiian art, including hula. "Ai Kahiko", meaning "in the ancient style", are hula written in the 20th and 21st centuries that follow the stylistic protocols of the ancient hula-kahiko.

There are also two basic hula positions: sitting (noho dance) or standing (moon dance). Some dances use both forms.

During the 1890s and early 1900s, hula dancers and Hawaiian musicians toured the US mainland. This ad appeared in an Ohio newspaper at 1921 years old.

Hula dance is a complex art form and there are many hand movements that are used to convey the words of a song or chant. For example, hand movements can represent aspects of nature, such as a tree swaying in the wind or a wave in the ocean, or a feeling or emotion, such as tenderness or longing. Foot and hip movements are often based on a basic library of steps, including kaholo, kao, kavelu, hela, uvehe, and ami.

There are other related dances (tamure, hura, 'aparima, 'ote'a, haka, kapa haka, poi, Faataupati, Tau'olunga, and Lakalaka) which originate from other Polynesian islands such as Tahiti, Cook Islands , Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand; however, hula is unique to the Hawaiian Islands. [2]


  • 1 hula kahiko
    • 1.1 chant (olive)
    • 1.2 Instruments and devices
    • 1.4 performances
  • 2 Hula`Auan
  • 2.2 Instruments
  • 2.3 Regalia
  • 3 Staff training
  • 4 History
    • 4.1 Legendary origin
    • 4.2 19th century
    • 40091 Hula dance
    • 0094
  • 5 Films
  • 6 Books
  • 7 See also
  • 8 Recommendations
  • 9 Foreign link
  • Hula Kahko

    Play Khula in the National Park of the Gavanovs

    , often determined hula, composed before 1894 and containing no modern instruments (such as guitar, ukulele, etc. ), covers a huge variety of styles and moods, from solemn and sacred to frivolous. Many hulas were created to praise the chiefs and perform in their honor or for their amusement. Types of hula kahiko include alaapapa, haa, olapa, and many more. Today hula kahiko is simply referred to as "traditional" hula.

    Many hula dances are considered religious performances because they are dedicated to or honor a Hawaiian goddess or goddess. As with the Heiau ceremonies, a temple on a platform, even a minor mistake was considered invalid. It may even be an omen of bad luck or have dire consequences. The dancers who learned how to do the hula were bound to make many mistakes. Consequently, they were ritually isolated and placed under the protection of the goddess. Laka during training. The ceremonies marked the successful learning of hula and the exit from seclusion.

    Today hula kahiko is danced to historical chants. Many hula kahiko are distinguished by their traditional dress, austere appearance, and reverence for their spiritual roots.

    Chant (Oli)

    Hawaiian history was an oral history. This was systematized in genealogies and chants, which were memorized and handed down. In the absence of a written language, this was the only method available to ensure accuracy. The chants told stories about the creation of the world, mythology, the royal family and other significant events and people.

    B 'Lelo No'eau (Hawaiian proverb), " 'O' oe ka lua'ahi o kāu mele , "Loosely translated as 'You bear both the good and the bad consequences of the verses you have composed'." [3] The idea behind this saying comes from the ancient Hawaiian belief that the tongue has mana or “power derived from a spiritual source.” [4] especially when delivered via Oli (sing). skillful manipulation of language haku mel (composers) and chanters were very revered and important. Oli was an integral part of ancient Hawaiian society and emerged in almost every social, political, and economic aspect of life.

    Traditional types of chants are extremely diverse in context and technical components and cover a wide range of specific functions. Among them (in obscure descending order of holiness) are mel pule (prayer), Hula Kuahu (ritual dance), Kuauhau (cosmogeny), Ko'ihonua (genealogy), Hanau (birth), Inoa (name), mai (childbearing/genital), Kanikau (hello 90, 6055 (crying) game), ho'oipoipo (Love and kahi (expression/cry). [5] An important difference between oli , hula , and petty as follows: petty can have many different meanings and is often translated as just a song, but in a broader sense small can mean poetry or linguistic composition. Hula (singing with dancing) and Oli (singing without dancing) are the two main styles in which mele can be used/performed. As a general rule, "all mele can be performed as oli (singing without dancing), but only certain types, such as name chanting, sex singing, love singing, and singing dedicated [ 'Aumakua ] to the gods hula (ritual dance) can be performed like hula (chants with dance). " [6]

    'Olelo Hawaii (Hawaiian) contains 43 different words to describe voice quality; the technique and characteristics of singing styles are critical to understanding their function. The combination of the overall style (with or without dancing) and the context of the performance determines which vocal style will be used in the chant. Kepakepa, kāwele, olioli, ho'āeae, ho'ouēuē , and ‘Aiha'a are examples of styles that differ in vocal technique. Kepakepa sounds like fast speech and is often spoken in long sentences. Olioli is a style that many compare to a song as it is melodic in nature and includes sustained notes, [7] often with ‘I’ , or a vibrato voice containing vowels at the end of lines.

    Law enacted in Hawaii in 1896 (shortly after the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom by the Americans), banned the use of the word lelo Hawai'i in schools. This, combined with the general usurpation of Hawaiian social, political, and linguistic autonomy, led to the wholesale decline of the Hawaiian language, which was on the brink of extinction. As a result of Americanization, including the spread of Christianity, many traditional chants came to be seen as pagan and were eventually forgotten. But the cultural revival that began in the late 19The 60s and continuing to the present, revitalized many Hawaiian practices, including speaking and singing, and this was facilitated by growing support from various institutions, including the Pūnana Leo Hawaiian language immersion schools, funded by the Hawaiian Organizations 'i State Department of Education , as well as major hula competitions such as the Merrie Monarch Festival, which officially began in 1971. [8]

    At Khalau Hula (hula schools) ask permission to enter the space to join knowledge kumu (teacher) is a key component of discipleship. Many halau use a variation of "Kunihi", [9] en Oli Kahea , most commonly done in olioli style. Students often stand at the entrance and repeat the chant until the kumu decides to let them in and uses a different chant in response. This is an example of how oli is being integrated into modern cultural practices in the context of hula learning.

    Tools and fixtures

    Hula dance researcher Joanne Kealiinohomoku with Puili and Aliuli hula implements

    • Ya PU - One gourd drum
    • Ipu heke - double gourd drum
    • Pahu - drum covered with sharkskin; considered sacred
    • Puniu - a small knee drum made of coconut shell covered with fish skin (kala).
    • 'Eliili is a water-worn volcanic stone used as castanets.
    • ʻUlīʻulī - feathered gourd rattles (also ʻulili)
    • Puili - split bamboo sticks
    • Kalaau - sticks for rhythm

    Anklets made of dog teeth, sometimes worn by male dancers, could also be considered instruments as they accentuated the sounds of foot stomping.


    Dancer with ʻuli`uli, hula kahiko competition, Merrie Monarch Festival 2003

    Traditional dancers wore casual clothes. pow , or wrap skirt, but were topless. Today, this dress code has been changed. As a sign of generosity, the pau can be much longer than the usual tapa length, or a bark cloth that was long enough to wrap around the waist. Visitors report seeing dancers wrapped in many yards of tapa, enough to greatly increase their circumference. Dancers may also wear jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets, and bangles, among many others. lei (in the form of headdresses (lei poʻo), necklaces, bracelets and anklets (kupeʻe)) and other accessories.

    Luau hula dancers in Lahaina, wearing traditional ki leaf skirt

    Green ki skirt ( Cordyline bush ) leaves can also be worn over pow . They are arranged in a dense layer of about fifty leaves. The ki were sacred to the goddess of the forest and the hula dance. Laka, and therefore only Kahuna and Ali were allowed to wear ki leaf lei ( lei lai ) during religious rituals. Similar C. fruticosa leaf skirts tupenu are also used in religious dances in Tonga, where it is known as sisi . However, Tongan leaf skirts usually use red and yellow leaves. Traditional dancers (and sometimes men) also wear a bra made from coconut. [10] [11]

    Traditional male dancers wore a casual loincloth. Again, they could wear a bulky little made from many meters of tap. They also wore necklaces, bracelets, anklets and leis.

    After praying to Lake and the forest gods, materials for the lei were collected in the forest and worn during the performance.

    The leis and tapas worn for the sacred khula were considered imbued with the sanctity of the dance and could not be worn after the performance. Lei were usually left on the small altar of Lucky, which was found in every halau, as offerings.


    Hula was performed for spontaneous daily entertainment or family feasts without much ceremony. However, hula as an entertainment for the leaders was a worrying matter. High chiefs usually traveled from one place to another within their domains. In each locality, a leader and his or her retinue had to be housed, fed, and entertained. Hula performances were a form of loyalty and often flattery to the chief. During the performance, the men would start and the women would come in later to close the performance. Most kahiko performances started with an opening dance, kai, [12] and end with the final dance, hoy, [13] to state the presence of hula. There were hula praising his lineage, his name, and even his genitals (hula mai). [14] Sacred hula dances were also performed to glorify the Hawaiian gods. All of these performances must be performed without error (which would be both unfortunate and disrespectful).

    Visiting chiefs from other areas will also be honored with a hula performance. This courtesy was often extended to important Western visitors.


    Dancer (hula ahuana), Merrie Monarch Festival

    Modern hula emerged from the adaptation of traditional hula ideas (dance and chalk) to Western influences. The main influence was Christian morality and melodic harmony. The hula'auana still narrates or comments on the story, but the stories may include events dating back to the 1800s. The costumes of the dancers are less revealing, and the music is heavily influenced by the West.


    Mele hula awan are usually sung as if they were popular music. The lead voice sings in a major scale with occasional harmony parts.

    The subject matter of the songs is as wide as the range of human experience. People write mele hula ʻauana to comment on significant people, places, or events, or simply to express an emotion or idea.


    Hula auana musicians usually use portable speakers. stringed instruments.

    used as part of a rhythm section, or as a lead instrument
    • Steel guitar - emphasis on the vocalist
    • Bass - supports the rhythm the same tools as for hula kahiko. Often dancers use ʻUlīʻulī (feathered gourd rattle).


      Kiliya Reichel Hula Halau

      The traditional Hawaiian hula costume includes kapa cloth skirts and men only wearing a malo (loincloth), however in the 1880s the hula auana was developed under Western influence. It was during this period that the grass skirt began to appear everywhere, although the hula awan costumes usually look more western, with dresses for women and trousers for men. [15]

      The regalia play a role in illustrating the hula instructor's interpretation of the mele. From the color of their clothing to the type of decoration, each part of the auana costume symbolizes a part of the mele auana, such as the color of a significant place or a flower. Although there is some freedom of choice, most halau follow the accepted tradition of costume. Women usually wear some kind of skirt or dress. Men may wear long or short trousers, skirts, or a mala (cloth wrapped under and around the groin). For slow, graceful dances, dancers wear formal attire such as the muʻumuʻu for women and the sash for men. A fast, lively, "fraudulent" song will be performed by the dancers more frankly or festively. outfit. Hula Kahiko is always done with bare feet, but hula auana can be done barefoot or with shoes on. Old times [ when? ] they had lei and other ornaments, but their clothes were completely different. Women wore a bandage called "pau" made of tapa fabric, while men wore loincloths called "malo". Both sexes are said to have gone shirtless. Their ankle and wrist bracelets, called "coupe", were made from whalebone and dog teeth, among other natural materials. Some of them are making music - shells and bones will bang against each other as the dancers dance. Most of the Hawaiian hula dances are performed by women. Hula dancers usually wear colorful tops and lei skirts. Traditionally, however, men could also perform hula. A grass skirt is a skirt that hangs down at the waist and covers all or part of the legs. Grass skirts were made from many different natural fibers such as hibiscus or palm.

      Staff training

      Kumu Hula Hinaleymoana Wong-Kalu, Honolulu, 2013

      Hula is taught in schools or groups called Halau . The hula teacher is Kumu Hula . Kumu means "source of knowledge" or literally "teacher".

      There is often a hierarchy in hula schools - starting with kumu (teacher), alakai (leader), kokua (helpers), and then olapa (dancers) or haumana (students). This is not true for all Halau, but it happens frequently. Most, if not all, hula halau(s) have permissive chanting to enter where they can practice. They will all chant the opening chant together, then wait for the kumu to respond with the entrance chant, when he or she is done, the students can enter. One well-known and often used chant for entry or permission is Tunihi Ta Mauna.


      Legendary origin

      Dancers of the Sandwich Islands depicted by Louis Horis, artist aboard the Russian ship Rurik who visited Hawaii in 1816.

      There are various legends about the origin of hula.

      According to one Hawaiian legend, Laka, the goddess of hula, gave birth to dance on the island of Molokai, in a sacred place in Kaan. After Lucky's death, her remains were hidden under a hill. Puu Nana .

      Another story tells about Hiʻiaka who danced to propitiate her fiery sister, the volcano goddess Pele. In this story, the source of the hula is in Hawaii, in the Puna region on the Jaén coastline. The ancient hula Ke Haa Ala Puna describes this event.

      Another story - when Pele, the goddess of fire, tried to find a home, running away from her sister. Namakaokahai (goddess of the oceans) when she finally found an island where the waves couldn't touch her. There, by the chain of craters on the island of Hawaii, she performed the first hula dance, signifying that she had finally won.

      Kumu Hula (or "hula master") Leato S. Savini of Hawaii's Halau Cultural Academy Na Mamo O Tulipa, located in Waianae, Japan and Virginia, believes that hula goes back to what the Hawaiians call Kumulipo , or story about how the world was created primarily by the god of life and water, Kane. Kumu Leato is quoted saying: “When Kane and the other gods of our creation, Lono, Ku and Kanaloa created the earth, man and woman, they cast spells that we call Oli or Chanty, and they used their hands and when reading these oli they moved their legs. Hence the origin of the blasphemy.”

      19th century

      Hula dancers, 1885.

      American The Protestant missionaries who arrived in 1820 often denounced the hula as a pagan dance that carried remnants of paganism. The newly Christianized alis (royalty and nobility) were called upon to ban blasphemy. In 1830, Queen Kaahumanu banned public performances. [16] However, many of them continued to privately patronize blasphemy. By the 1850s, public hula was regulated by a licensing system.

      Hawaiian performing arts revived during the reign of King David Kalakaua (1874–1891), who encouraged the traditional arts. With Princess Liliuokalani dedicated to the old ways as the patroness of ancient chants (mele, hula), she emphasized the importance of resurrecting their forefathers' waning culture under the pernicious influence of foreigners and modernism that forever changed Hawaii.

      Practitioners teamed up with Hawaiian poetry, sang vocal performance, dance moves and costumes to create a new uniform, hula kui (kui means "to connect the old and the new"). In pahu does not appear to have been used in hula kui, apparently because practitioners respected its sanctity; then i pu gourd (Lagenaria sicenaria) was the local instrument most closely associated with the hula kui.

      Ritual and prayer surrounded every aspect of hula training and practice even into the early 20th century. Teachers and students were dedicated to the hula goddess Laka.

      Hula dance of the 20th century20

      Hula changed dramatically in the early 20th century when it was introduced to tourist glasses such as the Kodak Hula Show, and to Hollywood movies. However, the more traditional hula was maintained in small circles by older practitioners. Interest in hula, both traditional and modern, has been renewed since the 1970s and the Hawaiian renaissance.

      In response to several Pacific Island sports teams using their local war chants and dances as ritual pre-game challenges, the University of Hawaii Football team began singing and dancing in their native Hawaiian language, which was called haa before the 2007 games.

      Since 1964, the Merrie Monarch Festival has been an annual one-week hula competition held in the spring, attracting visitors from all over the world. This is in honor of King David Kalakaua, known as Monarch Merry, who revived the art of hula. [17] Although Merrie Monarch was seen as a hula halau competition, it later became known as a tourist event due to the fact that it attracted a lot of people. [18]


      • Kumu Hula: guardians of culture (1989) Directed by Robert Magge.
      • Kholu Pole - halau ō Kekuhi (2000) Director Katherine Tatge
      • American Aloha: Hula outside of Hawaii (2003) Lizett Marie Flenner and Evann Zibens
      • Girls (2006) (2006) (2006) (2006) (2006) (2013)
      • Kumu Hina (2014)