written language did not exist. The movements using various steps of the foot, hand gesture, and
swaying of hips were used to tell a story. It is said that the hula dance connected the Native people
to their gods. This unique dance form has profound cultural significance and is a symbol of Hawaiian
culture. So, if you are wondering how to hula dance, here are some information to get you started in
the right direction.
The origin of Hula
Hula was also danced for social enjoyment. It is believed that hula originated on the Molokai island,
but some legends say it originated on Kauai. Hula and Hawaiian music were suppressed and
outlawed due to the arrival of missionaries. Hula was again restored along with other cultural
aspects with the Ascent of King David Kalakaua to the throne in 1874. With time, Hula evolved, and
now it is a common sight in Hawaii.
Types of Hula
There are two types of hula dance which are the Hula Kahiko and the Hula Auana. The Hula Kahiko is
the traditional style of dance form which has been passed down the lineage. It has unique and
traditional motions, voice and choreography, which are derived from the ancient hula dance form.
This unique style is performed along with chants and percussion instruments like the pahu or ipu,
which are different types of drums. The Hula Kahiko requires training and effort as this dance form is
considered as the spiritual dance of ancient Hawaii.
The Hula Auana is the modern version of the hula which has some aspects of the hula ideology, but
done with contemporary music and choreography. This style has evolved with the times while
retaining some elements of the old ways. Hula Auana is accompanied by instruments like the
ukulele, guitar, and piano.
The Hula Dance Steps
If you are wondering how to hula dance, remember the necessary steps. The Hukilau dance, part of
Hula, is straightforward to perform and can be done by children as well. During Hukilau, the
Hawaiian people pull the fishnets together. Once the sun sets, a Luau is held, and the native people
celebrate by singing and dancing. The Hula dance is an illustration of swimming and pulling the
The Hukilau dance is easy to learn. Let’s look at how to do Vamp, which part of the Hukilau. In this,
you step to your right on the ball of your right feet and then bring the left feet. This is repeated
based on the music and the dance. The arms and hands of the dancer are faced in the direction of
the steps with the hands performing the wavy motion. The steps mimic as if you are pulling the
fishnets from the sea. If you want to learn more about how to hula dance, you can look at various
dance tutorial video available online.