All posts tagged: hula

E is for Expression

Do you love to dance, sing, write, sculpt, paint, or debate? What’s your favorite way to express yourself, creatively? I have a variety of artistic outlets, but my favorite is dancing. I began dancing hula as a child and quit before high school. In the years I wasn’t dancing hula, I tried other dance forms, like jazz, ballet, latin, even modern. I also endured my fair share of dance-related injuries, including shin splints, sprains, and a dislocated knee. 6 years ago, I returned to hula and have been dancing regularly, twice a week, for 2-3 hours each practice. For me, hula isn’t just exercise. It has permeated all aspects of my life, informing my career, my life, and my relationships. It’s taken me to grand and humble stages around the world to learn about new cultures and dance forms, and to be able to recognize and honor their parallels to Hawai’i.  As Maya Angelou has said, “we are all more similar than different” and that truth has been reaffirmed in the connections I’ve forged, engaging with the people, environments, and myths of those locales, all while knowing myself …

Lingering in Liminal Spaces

Transitions are difficult, but necessary and serve to usher us from one reality to another. For many of us, they are uncomfortable and the best way to get through them, is quickly. Transitions are meant to be temporary, but serve a very important function for the individual, which is to provide the time and space for reflection and acclimating. I’ve grown to liken it to a calm harbor, a place to drop anchor temporarily, take stock of the journey, rest, and prepare for the next leg. I had not always been cognizant of honoring transitions until I returned to hula 7 years ago. As an adult, I had grown serious and single-minded, my only priority being my career. Hula always brought out the best in me, and being older, the reawakening and aligning of self felt like a homecoming. It was evident that for far too long, I wasn’t entirely engaged in life, particularly on the physical, spiritual, and artistic fronts. Hula gave me what was desperately missing in my overly sensible and cerebral life. And so …

Revisiting Keahualaka

I am on a journey of spiritual rediscovery with Kauaʻi. My childhood was filled with camping trips at Māhāʻulepū, going on long hikes through Kōkeʻe, and exploring the abandoned cane field roads behind my house in ʻŌmaʻo. It was a time filled with wonder and a developing kinship with the sands that raised me. Becoming a practitioner of hula, I now see Kauaʻi in a very different light, through a cultural lens that I hadn’t developed when I lived there as a child. Kauaʻi is an old island, not just geologically, but mythically. Below its thick and glossy image as a tourist destination, before even the rich local culture developed out of the plantation lifestyle, Kauaʻi is the backdrop to many of the traditional staples of hula and oli. It is home to mystical places and magical events in Hawaiian mythology, particularly those related to Pele and her ʻohana. I went home to Kaua’i this past weekend and made it a point to visit Keahualaka. The heiau is literally translated to “the shrine of Laka” and holds …