Office of the Native Hawaiian Liaison to sponsor hula workshops
September 13, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Hawaii.
Ah, just the very sound conjures up images of gentle, tropical breezes, lightly scented with plumeria flowers; endless miles of white, sandy beaches; catching the perfect wave; and learning the hula.
Soldiers and family members will get the chance to learn about the hula Tuesday and Thursday when kumu hula (teacher) Ladd Haleloa presents two free workshops about this unique dance.
Sponsored by the Office of the Native Hawaiian Liaison, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, in partnership with Army Community Service, and Sgt. Yano Library and Aliamanu Community Center, the workshop will include information about kahiko (ancient) and auana (modern) hula.
"We are excited to give our Army community a chance to meet with other families, and learn the diverse aspects of our Native Hawaiian culture, like lei-making, playing an ukulele or dancing hula," said Annelle Amaral, Native Hawaiian liaison, USAG-HI. "We welcome all Soldiers and their families to join us next week for our hula workshops at the Sgt. Yano Library and Aliamanu Community Center."
Haleloa, a kapuna (elder) who teaches Hawaiian language, oli (chants), mele (songs) and dance at Ala Wai School, Honolulu, also teaches free basic and advanced hula lessons for Soldiers and family members, Monday nights at the Kalakaua Community Center, Schofield Barracks.
Carolyn Simmons, an Army spouse who has been in the class since February 2009, said she encourages spouses to take the class. "I tell them that participating in the hula class is a great way to meet new people and learn history of the hula. By doing so, you can take a piece of Hawaii with when you leave."
"I am fortunate to learn not only the dance but all about the Hawaiian culture and traditions that come along with the dance," Simmons continued. "Also, I get lots of exercise. Dance practice is not only fun, but it is an incredible workout all over your body."
Haleloa said he enjoys sharing the Hawaiian culture at the classes.
"It seems that most of the people that I come into contact (with) here at Schofield love the hula and they have this yearn to learn, they really do," he said. "My beginning class has spent five weeks to learn one song."
The Schofield Barracks hula class recently performed at the Hui O Na Wahine spouses club "Super Sign-Up" at the Nehelani, Aug. 30.
"They did just a wonderful job (that night)," Haleloa said. "As a kumu, I'm trying to teach my students what I've learned, what I've grown to learn in the hula world." Haleloa has been a kumu for 12 years.
He said that all ages and abilities can learn the hula. While some of his younger students at Schofield have tap and ballet experience, others, such as a mother of eight, come to hula without any dance experience and do just fine.
"Two of her children are in the class, also," Haleloa said, speaking about the mother of eight. "I think that's just fantastic."
Learn more about the hula, Tuesday, at Aliamanu Military Reservation's Community Center, and Thursday, at Schofield Barracks' Sgt. Yano Library, from 5:30-7 p.m. to learn the history of the hula and some basic steps. Call 808-655-8002 for registration and information.
For more photos of the hula class, visit <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/usag-hi/sets/72157624365027685/">Flickr</a>.