Hula dancing has many benefits for adults as well as children. Hula is one of the best ways to learn about the Hawaiian culture, language, customs and protocol. In Hawaii and abroad, students learn hula at a very young age. Many schools in California offer something different to their students (performance, competition, cultural sharing, etc.) Finding a hula school in your area that is right for you will take some time and research.
Halau O Kahealani is culture and learning based. Students are not required to perform however small performances are available for students that are interested in experiencing “the stage”. Please read below for a description of our keiki classes.
PAPA KUPUKUPU (Age 5 - 8)
This 30 minute class is designed to provide the maximum amount of instruction in a shorter period of time. This has been proven to be the most effective way of teaching physical activity to kinder aged-children. Children are introduced to hula through basic hand and foot movements helping them to develop coordination and rhythm. They will also learn to sing songs in Hawaiian to encourage learning the language. Children learn all basic hands and feet movements according to Ike Kumu basics (handout). They will learn ancient, contemporary and noho hulas. In addition they will be slowly introduced to dancing with hula implements (short kala’au, pu’ili). This class will help prepare the student to move forward in skill and understanding required in the next level (Kaikamahine B).
PAPA LIKO (Age 9-12)
Students will be tested on Hawaiian vocabulary and need to know the Ike Kumu basics. They will learn dances which require more complex movement and coordination. Hula implements used in this age group will be ipu, ‘uli’uli, pu’ili and ‘ili’ili. This class will help prepare the student to move forward in skill and understanding required in the next level hula (teen hula class).
PAPA LAU'AE (Ages 13- Older)
At this level, students will have mastered the foundation skills for both ancient and modern styles of hula. Because teens learn at a rapid pace they will be learning on average one hula per month. Ancient hulas will include ‘Ai Kahiko (hulas written in the 20th and 21st centuries that follow the stylistic protocols of the ancient hula kahiko) and lineage kahiko. At times this class will be strenuous both physically and mentally. Please be sure to bring water and a towel to class.
PAPA LEHUA (Performing Group)
At this level, students will have mastered the foundation skills for both ancient and modern styles of hula. The advanced class is responsible for learning ALL dances taught in the halau and be able to perform it professionally on stage.
Students in this class will be required to perform at festivals, recitals and cultural sharing programs as requested. To be a member of this class, students must first pass a test (entrance exam).