Hula for Young and Old

•May 3, 2018 • Leave a Comment

It is an honor to share the Aloha spirit, dancing the Hula and other Polynesian dance arts for senior homes and the residents that reside. Many people have visited Hawaii and other islands for vacation, living, or military stations. It is a nice experience to share with people who are living their golden years.

Lots of times, we get busy in our days and forget about the people who helped us accomplish what we’ve arrived at in our lives. It’s important to remember that age is something constant and that in all our stages of life, the most vulnerable time was when we were young children and when we become old. Children and the elderly are the audiences I most desire to share these dances.

Hawaiian dances are magical and nostalgic. Children are engaged and love it and I cannot explain why it relates to them as much as it does to an elderly person. The next time you are thinking about presenting an event for children, the elderly, or combined ages, think of giving the experience of Hula.

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Hula Dance in US History and Its Impact

•April 12, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Hula dance in US history and its impact is vast and diverse. From the beginnings of Hawaiian Island tourism, mainstreaming Hawaiian music throughout the USA, and the tiki culture of today.

Let’s start with talking briefly about what Hula is. Hula is a traditional Hawaiian dance that started long before colonialization. It is a storytelling of culture, history, and every day living for the Hawaiian peoples. In http://www.huladancehq.com/hula-dancing-history.html, a blog about Hula dance history, it is explained that Hula dancers were grouped in age groups of the young for modern and energetic dances and the more mature for traditional dances and historical relevance, Olapa, and Ho’o-paa. This site talks about how workshops in learning the Hula had a large hand in the growing tourism of Hawaiian Islands.

The dance and music of Hawaii go hand in hand. Since the 1800’s people across the world visited the tropical paradise and brought along their instruments. The slack-key guitar, ukulele, piano, and even the violin along with jazz music brought over from immigrants had a strong influence on how the rhythms of Hawaiian music evolved. The popularity of Hawaiian music is largely owed to the songs of Queen Liliuokalani’s songs played throughout the United States. The epic queen penned the now famous, Aloha Oe, the queen’s lovesong to Hawaii. Popularity in Hawaiian music began in the late 1800’s according to http://www.surfingforlife.com/music.html.

Hawaii’s tourism initiatives started in 1892. Unfortunately, the bubonic plague that erupted in 1899 and 1900 almost killed the industry. However, promotions for tourists to Los Angeles encouraged tourists to “go a little farther,” and visit Hawaii too. In 1902, the Merchants Association proposed a permanent tourist promotion. These were the humble beginnings of the booming tourism industry, Hawaii is well-known for today. The island would see a landmark success in the millions by 1948. https://www.hvcb.org/corporate/history.htm.

Hawaii’s unique geography makes it a strategic placement for US military bases but also works as a hub for Asian and US relations. Large quantities of Asian immigrants come to Hawaii to better their lives and are received with mostly acceptance better than other areas of the US. The different cultures from Asia, Europe, and the mainland US plus the plight of Native Hawaiian peoples, created a melting pot unlike any other. Reggae is also popular in Hawaii due to the plight of Africans which parallel to the heart and spirit of the Hawaiian people. http://www.hawaiianreggae.org/culture/ Hawaiianreggae.org explains the different identities of the people inhabiting Hawaii and the spirit of aloha that effects them all.

When Elvis Presley started making films in Hawaii such as Blue Moon, Hawaiian music began placement in the top 40’s playlists. Hollywood portrayed Hawaii in such a way that tiki culture was born. Tiki culture and mainstreaming Hawaiian music coincided together and is explained here https://www.sutori.com/story/hawaii-to-hollywood. These are King’s Hawaiian’s all-time favorite Hawaiian playlists that topped the charts https://www.kingshawaiian.com/blog/the-all-time-best-hawaiian-music-playlist/.

Today, the music of Hawaii ranges from rock to reggae. The music scene is one of the hottest on the planet and you cannot live in Hawaii without being encompassed in it. There is even a genre known as Jawaiian, a mix of reggae with the influence from the ukulele. https://www.to-hawaii.com/hawaiian-music.php.

When performing Hawaiian Hula dance, most performers in a full luau show will perform the tiki culture type of dances that emerged during the heyday of Hollywood movies in Hawaii. However, you may hear some songs remastered with new instrumentation and influences due to the melting pot that is Hawaii. That melting pot started in the 1800’s during colonization, through the Hollywood tiki culture era which is still, unfortunately, stereotyped today, and the present day reggae influence from other tropical islands like Jamaica. https://www.to-hawaii.com/hawaiian-music.php.

Hawaii is its own culture but so ingrained in the US culture as well. There is no other place quite like it.

Support this page while enjoying a tutorial for learning the Hawaiian Wedding Song. Enjoy the magic of the Hula. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/weddingdancetutorial

 

 

Wounded Warrior Project: Luau

•March 20, 2018 • Leave a Comment

When I was contacted by a coordinator from the Hampton VA Medical Center for an event at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #392, I was ecstatic. They were working with the Wounded Warrior Project. This is exactly the type of occasion I want to be involved with and partake. Not only was I doing what I love, dancing the Hula, but I was also sharing the day with soldiers who have sacrificed so much for our country.

A recent death during the time in my own family had been weighing heavily on my heart. It felt right to try and make someone else happy and lift the burden of sadness off of myself. After all, they say making others happy also increases your own. I decided I was going to work with the coordinator, a kind woman named Erin.

The destination was quite a trip away but the donation for the Hawaiian Luau presentation was enough for me to drive the day before and book a cheap hotel for the stay. The next day was full of positive energy and I got to meet Erin’s service dog, Oi! I am a big pet and animal lover so that is always nice to experience someone else’s animal companion on my dance journeys.

My storytelling started in Hawaii and I explained all the nuances for different Hulas. The presentation is limited in length, so I try to encompass as much diversity in the cultures of Hawaiiana or Polynesian culture. For an audience, not Hawaiian or from the islands, it is important to keep the pace of the show dynamic and versatile. There are different formats for making this happen. Usually, luaus encompass other Island life hailing from New Zealand, Tahiti, Samoa, and the Marquesas.

Everyone was involved and engaged throughout the day. The veterans seemed to truly care what I would say in my explanations. Most of all, the feeling of Aloha was felt by me, Erin, and the veterans. They were giving me Aloha back! Everyone was genuinely happy and we were all in the moment.

I’ve been blessed with many fun and high profile event performing. This is not an ego brag, this a true statement of my dance experience. The Wounded Warrior Luau at the VFW  experience was definitely steering me to present more of similar venues and causes. The rewarding feeling was illumination.

To the veterans, that day and all members there, thank you for the moment and sharing that time in history with me, Wounded Warriors!

Kind words from the event coordinator, Erin, after the performance.

http://www.gigsalad.com/promokit/review/144761

“Fantastic!

So thankful to have had such a wonderful person and performer at our event honoring Veterans from the VA Medical Center. What a gracious and thoughtful performance. Mahalo!”

Support this page while enjoying a tutorial for learning the Hawaiian Wedding Song. Enjoy the magic of the Hula. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/weddingdancetutorial

Thankfulness of Hawaiian Wedding Song

•November 17, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I hope everyone has been having a great holiday season so far. For myself, the season kicks off with Halloween. Haloween is something my family and I have enjoyed and consider one of the more enjoyable aspects of the holidays. Thanksgiving is coming up which is my second favorite festivity of the year. I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve had a long year with a tragedy that will affect me for the rest of my life, that of the passing of my stepfather, who was the father figure in my life. I am revisiting my goals of past that may see fruition or may not. Life doesn’t always grant your every wish. Despite that fact, I should put my best efforts in completing the tasks to accomplish these goals.

One of my goals included bringing back to life a collection of retro hula dances passed on to me by a retired hula dancer. I obtained these choreographies along with the hundreds of records accompanying the dances more than five years ago. I need to document the dances in video form as well and share this knowledge. For this, I am trying to create my own funding.

The clip below is taken from the tutorial: Hawaiian Wedding Dance. The video instruction is available on my Vimeo page. I never did much advertising for the video. The choreography is mine, but the steps are authentic Hula which of course belongs to the Hawaiian culture.

I hope you enjoy the clip below and if you want to learn more about this dance or hula, please consider buying an online copy from Vimeo. The funds raised will help get the Retro Hula Restoration project off the ground!

Happy Holidays!

Yours in Aloha,

Kinikia

Click the link below to see the clip:

Hawaiian Wedding Dance Chorus

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Watch Hawaiian Wedding Dance Tutorial Online | Vimeo On Demand on Vimeo

•June 29, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Enjoy my Hawaiian Wedding Dance Tutorial. I designed this tutorial with brides in mind to include a unique and honorable showcase of Hawaiian Hula during their special day or in preparations of wedding celebrations. Please check it out and have a great summer!

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/weddingdancetutorial/195217345Hawaiian Wedding Dance Tutorial

8 Māori Words to Have You Celebrating Exactly Who You Are. | elephant journal

•November 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/08/8-maori-words-to-have-you-celebrating-exactly-who-you-are/

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I’m grateful for many things. I found this article interesting and wanted to share. The Maori dances and cultures have enriched my life deeply. I’m sure their cultural effects have touched other people’s lives as well.

Some Fun Summer Photos

•October 25, 2015 • Leave a Comment

This is from September’s Hyattsville Festival. I hope you enjoy the photos. We certainly had a blast performing here with this lively crowd!

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