Why I Hula

 P1010685 When I tell people that I’m taking hula lessons, their reaction normally is, “Hula?  Like hula hoops?”  Then I have to explain that it’s hula DANCE.  I don’t dance.  I’m way to structured and self-conscious for that.  I can speak in front of people, I will wear a bathing suit in public, I will make myself the subject of a comedian’s jokes, but I don’t dance!

So why am I taking lessons?  When I came back from my Hawaiian cruise in 2001, I decided that I can dance the hula.  After all, those other ladies dancing were larger than me, and the dance looks really slow, so I’m sure I can learn it.  In the summer of 2001, I signed up for eight lessons through the recreation center where I live.  Ten minutes into the first lesson, I couldn’t breathe, my legs were aching, and I was sure I was going to quit!  I didn’t just have to remember one or two things at the same time.  I had to be aware of what my fingers, wrists, hands, arms, hips, legs, and toes were doing all at the same time!  I also had to remember where to look at each move, AND I’m supposed to remember to smile!  For the Tahitian numbers, I had to really shake my hips – read the first paragraph, I’m self-conscious!  I also had to use implements in some of the dances, which meant I had to hold something, like a gourd, and use that while remembering everything else!  What did I get myself into?!  Needless to say, I finished the session.  At the end of each session, my instructor tells us to invite our family and friends for a recital and a potluck afterwards.  Several friends came along with my husband and daughter, but I have to admit, I was really bad!  Although the classes were year-round, I only took it in the summer time but stopped after 2004 when my work got very busy.

I signed up again this summer, and many of the women in my summer 2001 class were still there.  Of course, they danced really well and wore full costumes for the recital!  I took the Beginning/Intermediate class because my daughter was taking piano lessons in the same location, so it was more convenient.  We had to learn 5 numbers.  In the interest of not embarassing the rest of the class, I only performed the two I remembered well enough.  Plus, it looked like some of the other women knew the other songs from a previous class, so it was really a disadvantage for me to muddle through it. 

The first number was a Hawaiian dance but not in English.  It’s a little harder to dance when you can’t get your cue from the words, but I did fine.  Pictured above is me doing the second number, a Tahitian dance, with live drumming in the background.  We are using an implement called the i’i i’i (pronounced E E – long e sound). I’m not smiling because I’m too busy concentrating!  You’re supposed to follow the beat, but I can’t find the beat to start with, so this was a challenge!  After I was done, I was very tired… but I’m signing up again for September… I’m going back to the beginner’s class, and my goal will be to learn all the numbers… I’ve never done that in any of the classes because it was just too hard to remember all the moves.

So… my next recital is going to be in December.  I’ll let you know how that goes!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sez_who_sez_you
    Aug 20, 2007 @ 07:53:00

    Rose, I think that is neat! I never knew this about you. When I was a kid, I took ballet/tap. I was in the third grade, and to be honest… I REALLY SUCKED!!! In fact, my Grandmother gave me all the home movies, and she had taped the recital. I wish she hadn’t, because of all the movies, the family laughed hardest at that one!!! It was really bad!!!! Reaaaaaallly! LOL Needless to say, Mom only put me in that one year. (The teacher probably begged her not to put me in again! lol) I had taken them thru the community center. Well, I noticed that my old teacher has her own dance shop, not too far from where I live. I have thought about redeaming myself and trying again. I still can’t dance either, but I have thought about it.
    Have a great day! Tracy


  2. boltnut55
    Aug 20, 2007 @ 17:02:00

    Thanks for sharing, Tracy… maybe you should sign up and see your former teacher’s reaction.  The kids in the class are SO cute when they dance… and they do look around to see what others are doing as well, so I guess they don’t memorize it all either.  I think the teens have it all down though.


  3. Shutterbugd
    Aug 23, 2007 @ 20:12:00

    you go girl!!  LOL  how cool is that Rose!  I think that would be so fun!  it doesn’t seem like it would be that big of a workout but I’m sure it is.. specially from what you said about the first class ya took… LOL  I could sure use the exercise.. eeek


  4. spidey5o
    Aug 24, 2007 @ 16:01:00

    i should learn how to hula since i’m planning on moving to hawaii in a few years…


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