24- Seeking a Halau

After the Hawaii Pharmacists Association meeting today on Oahu, I took my daughter out on the town. Turns out it was Spam Jam. In case you weren’t aware, Spam is a huge deal in Hawaii. Scary, but true.

We couldn’t find a place where we wanted to stop and eat that both allowed a view of the ocean and didn’t cost a fortune. Finally, we ended up at The Edge, which is the last place I visited when I was on the island a couple of weeks ago. When I was there last, I was lucky to have happened upon an amazing singer Kamakakehau, accompanied by a guitarist and a lovely hula dancer.

Well, he was there again tonight! There was another hula dancer, and she was just as lovely as the first. I am mesmerized by the hula dancers, and especially by the grace of their whole being. I don’t mean just gracefulness, but the grace with which they conduct themselves in the world. Some Maui hula dancers were there, so I asked the kumu about what it takes to get into a halau.

I could sense there was some hesitation about a haole wanting to learn hula. So many people think hula is grass skirts and shaking the hips. It means so much more than that, and I realize that. He explained there is the halau that will take you if you have money, and there is the halau you are invited into. They teach the spiritual side of hula and even take you up into the forest to be a part of the land, to learn how to cultivate, to chant to the plants, and to truly pay homage to the earth. I find that aspect so much more interesting than the performance of hula alone.

I don’t know that I have time to join a halau just yet, but I now have the name of a good contact, and I intend to make my way over to speak with him when the timing is right.