ʻAʻa i ka hula, waiho ka hilahila ma ka hale

When one wants to dance the hula, bashfulness should be left at home

Many of us in Hawaiʻi, and definitely the majority of those who live in Hilo, are still recuperating from an incredible Merrie Monarch Week. Wow. Talk about reaching a level of professionalism and perfection while maintaining the true focus of hula — telling a story using all of the senses.

If you were watching the performances on television/livestream, surely you could tell that there was not a shy person on stage. Each competitor projected the joy of dancing hula and the manaʻo (thought/feeling) of the mele (song/chant). Dancers were transformed to a place, a time, embodying the spirit of the mele. It was beautiful.

So let us take this ʻōlelo noʻeau a step further — beyond hula — to any other art form, whether it is a visual art, a performance art, a sport, a skill.

One must leave any form of shame or embarrassment behind and just GO FOR IT. As an educator, I have seen students hold back from meeting their potential because of fear. But more than that, I think of myself as a student and how much I didn’t do certain things because I was too embarrassed.

I recently read an article about masters in their craft, such as pianists or violinists and how, many times, they are not incredibly talented by means of genetics or giftedness but moreso because they put in thousands upon thousands of hours of practice. When they make mistakes or have a difficult challenge, they don’t give up. They put in more hours. Hard to do that when you shame. GO FOR IT.

So have you been thinking about learning hula?  Go for it! Want to master the art of feather lei making? Or how about kapa making? DO IT!!! E waiho ka hilahila ma ka hale – Leave your embarrassment at home.

No be shame!

Photos courtesy of Star Advertiser


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