Hula Dance: A Media of Storytelling

 In Blog

There’s a lot more about Hawaiian Hula beyond the coconut tops and the grass skirts. Want to find out?

The Myth of Hawaiian Hula

A dance thought to have been invented by goddesses, with so much cultural richness that when the opportunity to learn more about it presents itself, it can’t be passed up. Hula dance can be traced back to when the first Polynesian travelers set foot on the beautiful islands of Hawaii.

Along with the time it’s been around for, it carries endless stories with it that make it a deep-rooted part of the Hawaiian culture. The goal of a hula dancer is to tell a story, told by a particular song through movement.

Hula Kahiko and Hula ‘Auana

hot hula DenverThere are two sides to Hawaiian Hula: the traditional, known as Hula Kahiko and the modern, also called Hula ‘Auana. They vary in many things, including their customs.

Hula Kahiko is usually performed alongside a chanter which is responsible for “telling” the story through the song and, at the same time, set the rhythm. There’s a purpose behind this form of hula, which is to honor someone somewhere or something. There should not be any variations to this style; it is to be performed exactly as it was taught.

On the other side of the spectrum, we find Hula ‘Auana, which can be much more free-flowing. In fact, the word ‘auana in English means “to wander.” This style of dance is done to music that can be in English or Hawaiian, and the ukulele usually is one of the instruments that accompany it.

A Piece of Hawaii in Denver

We are lucky to be able to participate in the hawaiian culture right here, in Denver. At Bella Diva Dance, we are honored to share that history with you. Stop by our studio to join our Hula and Polynesian dance classes and learn more about the dance of the islands while you get a good workout in!