Monday, March 16, 2009

Living Aloha

This weekend was the annual Arizona Aloha Festival. It is the largest Hula Festival outside of Hawaii in the world, and it's right in the middle of the dessert. Go figure. Actually there is a lot of Polynesian culture here. I love all things Hawaiian!

A few years ago John and I were at a Worship conference in California and I saw what they called Hula praise. Where they incorporated Hula dancing into their worship. It was absolutely the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. In high school I took all kinds of dance and just loved it, and I've missed it. And when I saw the Hula I just knew my girls would love it too. So a couple weeks after that conference we went back to California for a Disney vacation and decided to stay an extra day so we could go back to visit that church with the family. And I was right, my girls fell in love with Hula too.

So when we got home to Arizona I got on line and found a place for my girls and I to take Hula lessons. It was so much fun. We loved it. We took lessons for over 3 years. (And how many Pastor's wives can put "professional Hula dancer" on their resumes?! I'm sure I'm one of the only ones!) But life just got to busy and the classes and costumes got too expensive. So we have been taken the last year or so off. But, we stay in touch with our Hula group, and go to the big festival to see them perform. It's so much fun. And some day I will make it to Hawaii and I'll already know how to Hula when I get their!

Kyle, Olivia, Erica & Lexi enjoying Hawaiian shaved ice at this year's festival! Yum!

One of the things I love about Hula is that Hawaiian women come in all shapes and sizes, and they are all extremely beautiful! I didn't have to worry about my daughters getting the wrong kinds of messages about body image and having to look a certain way. I love all types of dance, including ballet, but like their mother, my daughters will probably not be stick thin. ; ) I also didn't mind my girls learning about the Hawaiian culture, we all need to learn about other cultures. The only real issue we had was if a song we were learning a dance to was in any way used as worship to a Hawaiian god, we would sit that one out. And our group understood that.

So, if you ever get a chance to see some Hula, I highly recommend it. You won't be disappointed. Here are a few pictures of my girls and I dancing in the Hula festival two years ago. . . and always remember to live Aloha!


Anonymous said...

Oh, I love this! I would take hula lessons in a minute if they were offered anywhere around here. I've never seen much in the way of Polynesian culture in Arkansas. ;-) What a fun thing for you and you daughters to do together!

C. JoyBell C. said...

WOW! Hula praise??? How unique!!

I love dancing, too! In fact back in h.s. i was in the dance troupe wherein we danced cultural dances! And even if the culture isn't my culture, they just always made me the "tribal princess" who sat on a throne in the dances... ha ha hah ah a!