Learn to Hula Dance and Immerse Yourself in Hawaiian Culture

If you love to sway your hips and dive into a new culture while traveling, this one is for you! As one of our exciting event offerings, the Waikiki Resort Hotel is hosting complimentary hula dancing lessons. These classes are beginner-friendly and conveniently located in our resort lobby so that you can learn to hula dance while visiting the island. 

This experience is not just a fun activity but an invitation to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Hawaii. Do you want to learn more about hula dancing before joining a class? Keep reading.


The Storytelling Power of Hula

Hula is more than a dance; it is a powerful expression of storytelling and a living connection to Hawaiian history. Through graceful movements, dancers narrate tales of gods and reflect on nature and the human experience, embodying the emotions and stories of ancient Hawaii. 

Traditionally performed at religious ceremonies, for royalty, social gatherings, as a form of entertainment, or to make requests of the gods, hula is a versatile art form celebrated in various contexts across the islands. 

Pualani Kanakaʻole Kanahele, a Hawaiian hula teacher and author, says in her book, Holo Mai Pele that hula has the power to teach us how to:

  • celebrate life's journey and find meaning in its impermanence
  • respect ohana (family) and connect with and cherish the natural world
  • cultivate knowledge and wisdom through memorizing chants
  • embrace responsibility and navigate relationships with respect


A Legacy That Stood the Test of Time

During the 1800s, religious teachers labeled the art form as pagan and banned it. But the sacred dance lived on, was performed in secret, and eventually emerged when the tourist trade in Hawaii took off during the 1900s. While commercialized, many hula dancers prioritize the traditional purpose and message. 

Today, you may see hula dances at restaurants and beaches providing entertainment. Remember that dancers perform each dance with pride, honor, and significance of the land ('aina) and its people (ohana). 


Questions About Hula Dancing:

Is It Okay to Learn Hula Dancing as a Tourist?

Tourists are encouraged to understand and show respect for the rich culture of Hawaii. It is okay for someone who isn't Hawaiian to learn about Hawaii's culture and dance hula. It shows respect and appreciation for Hawaiian traditions. But it's important to be respectful and sensitive and not to misuse the culture. Also, learning from knowledgeable teachers who know about the culture is essential.

Who Is Hula Dancing For?

Waikiki Resort Hotel's hula lessons are designed for guests of all ages and skill levels. Whether you're a seasoned dancer or have never danced, our skilled kumu hula (hula teacher) will guide you through the basic steps and deeper meanings behind this beautiful dance. 

Can Men Learn How to Hula Dance?

Traditionally, both men and women perform hula. Traditionally, the men's dance was more active when compared to the women's fluid and graceful moves. Everyone is welcome in our free lessons. 

How Can I Join Free Hula Classes at Waikiki Resort Hotel?

Guests are encouraged to sign up in advance at the front desk. The schedule is subject to change, so confirm details upon your check-in at the hotel. 


Embrace the Hawaiian Tradition

The Waikiki Resort Hotel's hula dancing lessons offer more than just an activity; they provide a pathway to understanding the soul of Hawaii. Through the rhythmic sway of the hula, guests can connect with the islands' traditions, stories, and the aloha spirit that makes Hawaii so unique.

Mahalo for considering this enriching experience. We invite you to step into the world of hula and carry the essence of Hawaii with you long after your stay.