Hawaiian Dancing

There are a few dances in the world that are as distinctive as Hawaiian dancing. It is simple, profound and happy—much like the people where it came from.

Hawaiian dancing, or more commonly known as the hula, has been around for centuries. The history of the dance is clouded in legend and folklore. The island of Hawaii, small as it may be, is a land that is rich in natural resources, beautiful people and otherworldly myths.

There are several legends that tell of how hula came about. It is said that the volcano goddess, Pele, was running away from her sister Namakaokaha’i, the goddess of the oceans. She finally found refuge in an island that the waves could not reach, thus she was safe from her sister. In the craters of the island (Hawaii), she danced the haunting victory dance that is known today as the hula.

Another legends tells of Pele being bored and asking Laka, the goddess of hula to dance. Laka started to gracefully move to convey events and expressions that they both knew and this gave birth to the hula. Still another myth says that Laka first danced the hula in the sacred island Moloka’i. Whatever the story is, Hawaiian dancing gained popularity and renown in the island and the people visiting became entranced by it.

When it first came about, the hula was much more ritualistic and symbolic than entertaining. In the 1800s, some missionaries landed in Hawaii and perceived the hula as a heathen dance, discouraging the people to practice it. However, the natives still held the hula close to their hearts and when the controversy over the dance died down, Hawaiian dancing flourished again and became even more popular than before.

Hula is more than a social recreation activity to while the time away. For the Hawaiians, it is as closely knit to their hearts as the very land they live in. You will notice that these people are tied with a bond that transcends geography and time. It doesn’t matter where they are, they will always have a love for the land they call their own.

A part of this magic is perhaps because of the beautiful culture and traditions that is passed on through music and dance. The hula, in its original form, is a way for one generation to pass on the legends, traditions and important cultural elements to the next generation. It is woven together in the movement, the rhythmic sounds of the island, and the soul of the people so that you will never forget.

Nowadays the hula is done for entertainment value more than anything else, especially in countries outside of Hawaii. While the significance of the dance since to have diminished, at least in the cultural point of view, it is always beautiful to watch and enjoyable to experience. There are hula schools that are established to teach people who want to learn this dance.

Find out more about Hawaiian dancing and other beautiful dance forms when you visit the links on this page today.


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