Hula Fundamentals

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Hula Fundamentals

MĀKAUKAU   Dancer stands with feet about four inches apart, knees bent, weight on the balls of the feet. The left arm is extended (soft elbow) at the side at shoulder level, palm down, fingers extended. The right hand palm down fingers extended is placed at the center of the chest with the elbow out at chest level.

HULA BOW   The arms are extended forward (soft elbows) with the first two fingers of the right hand placed on the first two fingers of the left hand, thumbs together, palms down.

POSTURE   Keep the back straight, shoulders back and head held high.  Keep the knees flexed softly.  Keep a natural upright position. The position of the head is important.  The eyes should be “bright” a in most cases should follow the movement of the hands especially the hand farthest away from the body.  The wave of the hands should be soft rippling movement. The fingers are worked in unison. The dancer should have a happy expression and smile.

KAHOLO   (Basic step or vamp)  A “kaholo” has four (4) beats. R ft. step to R; sway hip to R (count 1). L ft. close in beside R ft; sway hip to L ( count 2). R ft. step to R; sway hip to R  (count 3). L ft. close in for a “pause”, finish 3rd sway (for count 4). On the “pause” or 4th count, move slightly to half close the gap, turn heel in slightly, pointing diagonally for the tap.

KUHI   In mākaukau position. Wave both hands 1X ‑ Count 1, 2. Move left hand diagonally forward, wave 1X ‑ Count 3, 4. Repeat on R.

HELA  (Step‑point) For a R hela, step to the R with the R foot.  Bend or squat and point L ft. forward, sway to the R.  The weight should be on the back foot which should be slightly bent.  The forward foot fully extended should rest on the ball of the foot. For a L hela, step to the L with the L ft. and point R ft. forward, sway to L.

HOLOHOLO   (Slide) or (A step‑close) Step on the R, sway R and Lft step close beside R ft. sway to the L.

AMI   (Circular hip motion).  Feet together, weight on one foot which remains flat on the floor.  The 1            hip motion starts on the L side, moves L back, R back, R forward, L forward.  The shoulders do not rotate with the hips.  Try to keep the shoulders level. In the “Ami” to the L, the hips rotate in a clockwise direction.

AMI POEPOE   (Around the island).  Feet together, hip rotation in a full circle.  Turn the body around counter‑clockwise with four (4) right “Ami” pivot on the L foot while stepping around with the R foot.

KUKU   3 small, quick “Ami”.

UWEHE   Weight on L; a slight brush forward with the R foot and place R foot beside L foot.  Weight on both feet raise heels quickly, throwing knees up and forward.  Drop heels, shifting weight to step on R.  Keep upper body still.  Sway hips to R, L, R, L.

O   (Side step).  Quarter turn to L, weight on L brush R ft. on the 4th count and place beside the L ft. Step on L ft., step on R ft., moving body to R sway hips to L, R, L, R.  Repeat quarter turn to R. Weight on R brush L ft. on the 4th count and place beside the R ft.  Step on L, step on R moving body for “O” or side‑step on the L.

KAWELU   Double “O” or side step.

WAWAI KI’I   For R. Weight on L ft., R ft point to R side then frontR corner, then step R ft next to L ft. and uwehe.

KAO   Weight shifts from R ft to L ft, sway hip R over to L.

AMI ONIU   (Figure 8).  With hips, draw a figure 8.  Move hips front back on R and then on L.

LELE‑UWEHE   Step on R.  Weight on R.  Brush L ft. and place beside Rft. and uwehe.  Repeat on L.

KALAKAUA   R ft. fwd, weight on R ft.  R ft. back, weight on R ft.



Re-typed with minimal changes/additions 9/12/2013 by K. Holoaumoku Ralar




IMUA   Move forward.

IHOPE   Move backward.

HULI ‘AKAU   Turn to the right.

HULI HEMA   Turn to the left.

E HO’OMĀKAUKAU KĀKOU   Are we all ready?

ʻAE, MĀKAUKAU KĀKOU   Yes, we are all ready.