Hula is an ancient Hawaiian dance form used to tell a story and convey emotions. In these classes, participants learn basic hula steps and hand movements of the different styles of hula. A typical hour class includes a warm up, 30 minutes of drilling steps, and then choreography and a cool down. Because of Amanda’s studies in Hawai’i, she also brings into classes, hula etiquette, discussions on lineages/styles of hula, Hawaiian culture, Hawaiian language, and oli’s (chants).
A new group of students will begin with the hapa-haole style of hula (Hollywood Era of Hula/westernized with songs in English…Blue Hawaii, Little Brown Gal, etc). Students also learn the ‘auana style of hula. This is the elegant modern version of hula, typically set to instruments and vocals in the Hawaiian language or English. Translated ‘auana means “to drift”. Students during the 6 week series will also learn kahiko (traditional) dances to mele’s (songs) with more of a drumbeat (ipu), some of which are estimated to have been created over 150 years ago. From the three styles shared, dancers will find one they resonate with perhaps more, but Amanda feels it is important to know/study/learn/experience the various styles and history of hula.
Classes are focused on the physical exercise and movement aspect of hula, the enjoyment of dance (as adults we forget how much we love to dance), cultural education, and community service with the Aloha spirit.
The classes are a wonderful way to connect with the body through gentle and graceful movements of the hips and arms. Hula is for every age, size, ethnicity….each dancer within the lineage framework makes it her own as she dances. Amanda teaches the lineage she follows, but understands everyone’s body is different and some students will just want the physical workout level of it while others will explore the deeper spiritual aspect of it. Students will naturally learn a little of the Hawaiian language as the dancer must know the lyrics…even the keiki (children) learn Hawaiian words for songs they dance.
Hula is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice. The intention of each class is to move the body, stimulate the mind, and expand the heart. Through hula, each dancer will connect to her own heart in a unique way. This expression and connection to the heart with Aloha may cultivate greater self-love and ripple out more love to share with others in expressing the joy and love of living life fully. Hula dancers grace us with a feeling of love, beauty, and so much more. In the classes, friendships are formed that carry over into everyday life outside of class.
Another form of “hula”, known as Kalana Hula is a simple moving meditation that includes breath work and flowing movements similar to Tai Chi or Qigong. Amanda offers Kalana Hula at various yoga studios around the state when she’s in the area. Visit the Kalana Hula page to learn more.
“Hula is the language of the heart, and therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people.”
David Kalakaua, King of Hawaii, 1874 to 1891.
For adults, there are 8 levels of hula learning. Each level runs for 6 weeks. Each level includes learning one hapa-haole, one ‘auana, and one kahiko number. Levels must be taken in order as they do build up each other and can always be repeated for more depth and clarity. Each level includes new steps and new dances. (Amanda’s way of organizing, every teacher will be different).
Kids/Youth classes are limited in enrollment and usually geared to ages 6-11 unless otherwise noted (summer camps have separate age groups for 3-5 yo). See the weekly schedule page and the summer camp links below. Amanda is also available for school events, home luaus and birthday parties.
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