Hula is the language of the heart, therefor, the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people.
-King David Kalakaua
A unique art form deeply rooted in history, tradition, and culture, Hula dance is known worldwide to represent Hawaii. Each and every movement, hand gesture, step, and hip sway help a story unfold to the music. To Hawaiian’s, hula is more than a dance, more than a way of life, Hula is life. In ancient Hawaii, hula was a way to keep history, genealogy and culture alive and passed down through the generations and believed by many to be a gift from God to humans. At one point in history, hula was almost lost as it was suppressed and even outlawed by western missionaries. However, in 1874, King David Kalakaua came to the thrown and restored the culture and it’s traditions. Hula is now enjoyed and taught worldwide by many who have found a love passion for this Polynesian art form.
Ale Gabino representing Hula
“The connection that I feel to my dance is the stories it tells. I love how the Polynesian dance and culture is so connected to the Earth and the spiritual world. The movement is important to me to stay connected to nature, the spiritual world and to myself. It has shaped me to be not just a better dancer or educator but also a better person. Including history in our teaching is important because we are helping to perpetuate a culture. We also teach the story of the dance that the students are learning since it’s key for the interpretation of the dance. Polynesian dance is a very complete activity. It’s not just moving your body to music but you are also telling a story, you learn the music, the history, the myths and legends of the islands, the language and more.”
Executive Producer, Academy Director, Dancer and Teacher at Hōkūle’a – Academy of Polynesian Arts