It’s sometimes easy when homeschooling to stay indoors. There is always so much to do its tempting to forgo outings that, let’s face it, can be stressful. So it’s really great if you have a fun way to engage the kids to just move and be active without ever leaving the house.
Hula is something that provides this for us. We studied Hawaiian culture recently and learned about Hula dancing.
Hula dancing is the traditional art that tells a story or represents movements of nature like leaves blowing in the wind, trees swaying or fish swimming in the ocean.
Hula originated in ancient Hawaiian oral history as a ritual dance performed for the Volcano goddess, Pele. Story tellers share that her sister, Laka, originally performed the dance for Pele. She is the keeper of the dance. Laka is honored with prayers, offerings and leis (flower necklaces) given by the dancers.
We learned Hula Dancing is made up from a series of only six traditional moves performed by both men and women. The traditional garb is the skirts made of palm leaves as well as flower leights around their arms, lower legs and heads.
We made some grass skirts and leis for each of us and watched several videos to learn some basic dances. This beginner video series (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kN3WjN2FnaY&feature=youtube_gdata_player) on YouTube really helped.
It’s been a wonderful exercise of fun and unity in our family – not to mention a great way to get our bodies moving.
To learn about the history of hula dancing, click here.
Article By Nuria Almeida
Picture By Franklin Park Library