It all started when...
in 1999, while camping on Kauai, I met Puna Kalama Dawson, a kumu hula (teacher source) of ancestral knowledge and royal lineage, and she invited me to participate in sacred ceremony with the waters of Mt. Waialeale, in the middle of the night under the full moon and stars of Makali'i. I was hooked.
Traditional hula originated as a cosmic ritual and discipline, timed by the movement of the heavenly bodies, one with I'O (Spiritual Source), and deeply connected to the sacred manifestations of this creative force on earth, the sway of ocean waves, the fire of Pele and the breath of spirit in the winds, all expressions of aloha.
Hawaiian Hula is a beautiful, gracious dance that inspires femininity with the circular swaying movements of auana (modern hula) and power with the angular fiery style of kahiko (ancient hula). It provides gentle weight-bearing exercise that strengthens the bones, loosens the hips, improves posture, and creates a sunny disposition.
However it is also a way of life based on aloha (unconditional love) and ohana (family) and it is these things - hula as life - that open the heart and create smiling faces as we dance in sisterhood.
I go to Hawaii frequently to learn, dance, and do ceremony with Puna and her halau, Ka Ipu Ha'a 'O Kekau'ilani Na Pua Hala 'O Kauai. However last year we had the great honour of Puna traveling to Gibsons to share her art and charismatic personality with my halau students and at public events.
I have permission to share Puna's teachings, and I embrace her philosophy that hula is about participation and dancing praise. My halau (hula school and dance troupe) is called Keia Papa Kaua ("We are of this earth mother") and I offer weekly classes for both experienced and beginning hula dancers at Inner Moves Studio.
"When you dance from the heart there are no mistakes." ~ Puna