Many professional Hula Dancers of Hawai`i spend their day performing at multiple events, engaging with people from around the world, and graciously sharing the aloha spirit. A Hula Dancer's day is usually filled with happiness and joy, as we are able to celebrate many special occasions, and be apart of people's noteworthy moments. Allow me to take you on a walk through my day.
My day started at sunrise down on the beach where the ocean meets the sand. As the sun rose, and the birds chirped, I danced to the sweet sound of my favorite musician playing his ukulele. After my opening hula I watched 6 couples, from 6 different countries, renew their vows as they openly shared their love for one another. The sunrise vow renewal ceremony gave my body more caffeine than a cup of my daily Starbucks.
Following the early morning start I treated myself to a beautiful Hawaiian hike before my next gig. A few hours later, I met up with two of my closest friends to dance as a trio at one of O`ahu's secluded, high-end hotels. We shared the stage with three of our usual, talented musicians. The six of us worked together to deliver a high-energy show. After the show we were invited to eat the left over food and mingle with our guests, who came from Australia. They were celebrating a 25th wedding anniversary. Having recently traveled through Australia, we had a ton to converse about. We shared travel tips, and wished them well before heading down to end the evening at the well-known Waikiki strip.
As I pulled into my last gig of the evening at a prestigious Waikiki hotel, fireworks going off over the ocean greeted me. Although I grew up about 10 minutes from Waikiki, the magic of Waikiki that you hear about in many Hawaiian songs never gets old. I met up with two of my musicians excited to begin my last show of the evening. After my first hula a pair of adorable sisters approached me. The girls were dolled up in Hawaiian print dresses with flowers in their hair. Although they were both under five years old, they were extremely friendly and conversational. We became an instant group of besties, and they decided to sit with me until my next set. Their polite parents were worried that they were in the way, but I insisted they were just fine. When I went up for my second set I surprised the girls by calling them up to do a hula with me. Their parents smiled and recorded their daughters dancing a song about seashells under the bright Hawaiian moon. As a hula dancer, one of the things I value most is the happiness I'm able to share with others, and these girls couldn't contain their smiles.
The day of a Hawaiian performer is typically fueled by passion, energy, laughter, the love of people, and dance. The next time you see a Hula Dancer's radiant smile you'll be able to relate to his/her daily experiences, and know that you are contributing factor to that display of pearly whites.