Dork-o-Rama: The Random Thoughts of a Total Goofball

Embracing the Dork Side....Because Life is Too Short to Take Yourself Too Seriously

Friday, July 25, 2008

Why hula?

(Will I ever write about anything else? Yes. Not now.)

That's the question everyone asks me, when they find out I take a hula class. The answer is complicated.

I'm not Hawaiian, nor have I ever lived there, unlike most of my hula brothers and sisters who have strong ties to the islands. I got into this almost as a lark, because a friend suggested we take this class. She'd long wanted to take hula, as her daughter used to dance, and she'd gotten to know our Kumu through her connections to Polynesian dance, and work (confusing enough?).

Me? I just wanted to dance again, after a two-decade absence from any class. I took several jazz and modern classes in my youth, and quit a year into college, because my schedule got too full. I've always regretted that.

I had no idea what I was getting into. I was unexpectedly drenched with sweat after that very first hula class. I had no idea it was as hard as it is; like most people, I thought hula was just swaying hips and gently moving hands -- nor that I would come to love it as much as I do. The rituals, the spirituality, the language, the chanting...I love all of it.

I'll share with you what I wrote for the scrapbook we're giving to Kumu at our ho'ike (recital, but more) this weekend:

If anyone had told me two years ago that I would one day stand and chant solo before dozens of people, I’d have laughed. This is just one of the many surprises of my time in your beginning hula class.

For me, hula is a revelation. A challenge. A reward. It is beauty and warmth. It forces me to be in the moment. It has reawakened my creativity, brought new, wonderful friends into my life, and has strengthened my mind, body and soul.

Most of all, hula is a source of tremendous joy.

When my dear friend and her daughter had to drop the class, I almost did too, because, despite all of my bravado, I'm actually shy. I wasn't sure I wanted to do this without someone I knew at my side. I'm so glad I didn't let the 'fraidy cat in me win that one.

And I've stopped regretting that I stopped dancing in college, because if I'd kept at it, I probably wouldn't be having the experience I am now.

There are few reasons I would go out in public in really unflattering costumes wearing no makeup (almost), but that's exactly what I'll be doing on Saturday.

Hula is sacred to Hawaiians. Now, it is to me, too.

At 26 July, 2008 06:39, Blogger "Lucy" said...

Good luck today!!! We're all going to be with you today in spirit. Go get 'em!

At 27 July, 2008 08:36, Blogger "Lucy" said... was it?

At 29 July, 2008 19:36, Blogger buddha_girl said...

This post made me cry. The fervor you feel for all things hula is tangible.

I love that you've had this experience and am grateful that you've shared it here.

At 04 August, 2008 09:15, Blogger cadbury_vw said...

i'm glad that the dance speaks to you

speaks to your soul

we all need to engage in the dance more


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