by Fancy Brandy
Last year guest instructors taught our USO Show crowd to swing dance, and this year we again have instructors partaking in the festvities to teach us a thing or two about Hula!
What has been your experience teaching and performing Hula and other dances in New England? It’s been great. We are primarily a performing group; and our New England audiences are always very appreciative. Many people we do shows for have been to Hawaii and loved it, and are excited to bring an authentic touch of the islands to their own luau-themed event.
What’s your favorite dance to teach? We usually like teach an auwana (modern) hula called the Hukilau during our shows. We like to teach it because the mele (song) has a good variety of hand/arm gestures, and the footwork is very basic so people can follow along fairly easily.
What is something you think most people wouldn’t know about the Hula? I think most people know that the hula is a form of story telling and that each gesture has a meaning, which helps tell the story. But one thing people may not know is that today’s modern style of hula actually evolved from an ancient, sacred form of hula.
Another thing people may not know is that there are many different styles of hula, including whether the hula is ancient or modern, standing or seated, and with or without percussive implements. The hula is much loved around the world, with hula halaus (schools) and performing groups not only in Hawaii and the mainland US, but in such diverse countries such as Japan, Columbia, Mexico, the Philippines, France, Germany, Australia, and many others.