Hula world conference starts dancing Monday

PUHI — There is so much to learn and so little time, said Michele Weinhouse of Escondido, California Friday at the Kauai Community College campus.

“I am excited,” the dancer from Halau O Malelani said. “But I am also scared.”

Caylee Weinhouse, Michele’s daughter who has been dancing with her for 11 years, said this was an opportunity to get a better understanding of hula and learning from the best.

“We have a thousand people from all over the state and from 11 countries,” said Kehaulani Kekua, a principal and founder of Ka Aha Hula O Halauaola, or the fourth World Conference on Hula. “It surprised me to find out that hula is studied in Hungary and Switzerland. Other countries, including the United States, which have sent halau include Japan, China, Mexico and more.”

During the world conference, which opened with registration Wednesday, hula practitioners, students, and kumu will have an opportunity to share, learn and practice hula.

The public can also enjoy portions of the world conference starting Monday. The dance will run through Friday when the hula and music concert performs at Island School from 5 to 9 nightly.

Tickets for each night’s performance are available at the door. There will also be food booths, arts and crafts booths, the Kuai Logo Shop, and performances from musicians and hula dancers.

Held once every four years, Ka Aha Hula O Halauaola was first presented in Hilo in 2001 with 100 Kumu Hula and Cultural Practitioner presenters and 926 conference participants from around the world.

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