Hula Dancing & Storytelling

These discussion ideas can help your child begin to understand the role dance plays in communities – preserving history through storytelling, routinely pulling people together to reinforce community beliefs and values. Invite your child to watch a quick video or two. Please review first. The women’s video has one coach outburst that isn’t great – you decide if the rest of the video is worth it. I think it is. Hula for menHula for women.

  • Can we take a few minutes to check out a cool form of dancing – the hula? Many people think of it as just beautiful movement by pretty women, but it is so much more than that. It is really a powerful way the people of Polynesia tell and celebrate their history. Their dance has it’s own language and movements that make it unique.
  • What do you notice when you watch these dancers?
  • It looks like there are very specific moves for specific words or ideas. A whole new language. Could you understand what they might be saying?
  • Just like people in different locations have their own language, they can also have their own dance language, and other art styles.  That’s one way they stay connected.
  • Why might parents in Polynesia want their children to learn their local dances?
  • It takes people lots of time to learn and perform together. LOTS of time. Why do you think people are willing to work so hard?
  • What sorts of things are important enough to you that you are willing to practice even when you are tired? When I was a kid I really wanted to learn ….. (Share a personal story. Were you nervous? How did it feel? How did things work out for you?)
  • Let’s think about creating our own holiday dance – like Thanksgiving – where we remind people what we are celebrating.  We can make it short and fun – and have everyone do it before we eat dinner. Who knows? It might become one of our family traditions. Who can we get to do a video?