ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Dance Hula: Basic Hula Dancing Techniques

Updated on April 29, 2012
Source

How to Dance Hula

Hula is the traditional dance of Hawaii. Shortly after the Polynesians migrated to the Sandwich Isles, Mele Hula, songs that were accompanied by hula dances were performed before feasts to honor the gods.

Hula still remains today. Numerous festivals celebrate this traditional dance in Hawaii and all over the world. If you want to learn hula, follow the simple steps below and you are bound to be the best in your halau (hula group).

Source

Have you ever danced hula before?

See results

Graceful Hands

Hula dancers can be strong, but when their limbs are extended, they keep them looking very delicate. When extending your hands, do not let them flop, or straighten. Imagine you are carrying a chick in your hands. In order to avoid crushing it, you will have to relax your fingers. To make sure it is safe from falling out of your hand, you will need to cup your hand a bit. Imagine you are holding something delicate like a chick or an egg while you are dancing and your hands will look delicate like the professionals'.

For your feet, be sure to keep your toes in line with each other while pointing them. In other words, do not bend your toes or put any of them above another.

To make sure your hands and toes are looking graceful, follow their movement with your eyes. (This is also a very important technique when dancing the hula, which makes the observer feel the dancer's emotion.)

Source

Bending your Knees

One of the most basic hula tips is bending your knees. Some say this is the hardest part about dancing the hula, because you will be bending any knee that you are putting weight on. In the photo above, you will notice how much the dancer is bending her knees. She is at least six feet shorter than when standing fully erect.

Bending your knees not only helps with movability, but also with controlling your hips. You never want to move your hips without shifting your weight onto another foot. If you are standing correctly, you will be able to see your hips move when shifting from one foot to the other (without having to move your hips manually).

Source
Source

Pointing your Toes

Like your hands, your feet need to look delicate when extended. A common rule about pointing your toes when dancing the hula is to make sure that your big toe is touches the ground when extended. This will assure that you keep all other toes in their place while keeping all weight off of the extended foot.

You may fall over when practicing this technique, but remember that if you have your other knee bent enough, you will be able to keep your balance.

Source
Source

Staying Balanced

Hula dancers have to get really low to the ground. If you want to dance hula, you need to remember to keep your balance. Practice by doing squats. If you can get as low as the woman in the photo above without shaking or tilting, you have the right balance.

If you had trouble doing squats and keeping your torso and head straight, you should practice them every day. Hula dancers keep their weight on the palm of their feet--not their heels. If you are having trouble with squats and keeping your weight on your toes, try to keep your knees bent while walking. You will feel your weight shift and you will be stronger in your legs.

Source

Looking at your Hands

A technique that not only helps you to dance better, but also draws the audience in is following your hands with your eyes. Hula is not just a dance, but a story. Each movement is based on the song's lyrics, much like sign language. The hula dancer that keeps their eyes on their hands is one that will not only look professional, but will tell the story the best.

There are times when you shouldn't be looking at your hands, however. For example, if you have both hands on your hips, you will want to look forward. When you are extending your arms, look at them.

Source

Staying in Sync

If you are in a halau (or hula group) you will have to practice staying together as a group. Make sure to practice with the music you are performing with so that you can time each movement from beginning to end. Like a choir, a hula group needs to know the exact moment to stop a movement (or in the case of the choir, stop a sound or say a letter).

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 

      6 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      My daughter was a dancer at a local Halau and I was one of the drummers. I played the Toere and a large Pahu To Pahi.

      Voted Up.

    • onlinereputations profile image

      Frank Hobson 

      6 years ago from Dumaguete City

      You learn something new everyday. Thanks for the great Hub. I love Hubs like this.

    • brittanytodd profile imageAUTHOR

      Brittany Kennedy 

      6 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      Thank you so much, Rebecca. I have danced hula since I was very little. Mahalo.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      What a great job explaining the Hula dance! I love expressive dances. Great photos.voted up and beautiful.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)