While the hula may have been popularized by movies and modern culture, this traditional Hawaiian dance is considered to be an ancient art, with dances and chants used to document events in the times before the written word. For those who want to get involved with this beautifully graceful dance form, here are a few ways in which you can learn, and then show off, a few hula skills.
If you are looking to truly immerse yourself in hula, then a hula retreat, held in Hawaii itself, is the best way forward. One of the best retreats to look into is the Hula Immersion program that is run by the University of Hawaii, as this features a week of intensive hula instruction by some of the islands’ most prized dancers. The retreat takes place on Big Island, and you will have the opportunity to learn and perfect the Kahiko dance, while also trying out some traditional chanting and lei making. You will also discover first-hand how specific instruments are used to accompany the dance, and will even be able to try your hand at the rhythms of the ipu. To round off your experience at the end of the week, you will be able to show off your hula skills by performing the Kahiko dance at the edge of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, before producing a sacred offering to Pele.
For those of you who want to learn more about hula, but do not particularly want to invest in a week-long experience in Hawaii, you are likely to be able to find hula classes being held at a location near you. Different types of classes will be available, some of them focussing on more traditional techniques, with others being more modern, making use of instruments such as the guitar and ukelele. In addition to being able to learn a new skill, these classes will also provide you with a fantastic form of physical exercise, which brings about its own array of incredible health benefits.
Live Online Classes
If you are not quite confident enough to show off your hula skills in public yet, then working on your skills through online tutorials can really help with this. YouTube is a great resource when it comes to learning hula, as you will find many instructional videos created by talented dancers who want to share this art with others. Once you have learned the basics, it would be well worth signing up for a live online hula class, as this brings you the many benefits of a group class, but from the comfort and privacy of your own home. There are many online classes to be found that are hosted in Hawaii itself, meaning that no matter where in the world you may live, you will still be able to learn the traditional form of the dance from native Hawaiians.
There are so many different styles of hula out there, with each instructor bringing their own individual creativity to the dance. No matter how you choose to show off your hula skills, this is an ancient dance form that deserves to be enjoyed, so be sure to really make the most of it.