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Hula Terms

Alaka’i - Teacher of Hula. Also, Kumu Hula

E makaukau? – Ready? Can also Be Emakaukau! meaning Ready!

Ha’ina (ha-ee-na) – Indicates final two verses. Also can mean “This is the end of my song” or “This is the end of my tale.”
Halau – School of Hula Instruction.
Hehi miomio – Step forward placing toe on surface then tap heel before doing same with other foot.

Ho`i - Exit chant for dancers

Hula Auana - The more common form of hula dancing taught today.  This dance is performed more for entertainment. It involved costumes that are used to enhance the dance, uses more specified body movements and hands. There are several types of instruments used for this type of hula.

Hula Haole – Hula influenced by Westerners

Hula noho – Hula performed while seated.

Hula Kahiko – Traditional, old-school hula. Teaches not only the hula but also the history and culture of Hawaii. This dance involved the lifestyle of the dancer and was performed as part of religious ceremonies. It involved percussion instruments, chanting and was story driven. The costumes were not made to enhance the dance but rather as part of the story being told. Required that students be dedicated, committed and follow specific rules to be able to learn and perform the dance.

Hula Holoholona – Hula where dancers imitate animals.

Hula Ho’on’n’ – Any hula done for amusement.

Hula P’iumauma – Chest slapping hula

Huli – The movement of turning

Iluna – Raising from the knees

Ilalo – Gently lowering oneself on the legs.

I luna – Up

I lalo – Down

Imua - Forward

Kala`au - Performance of hula using sticks.

Kawelu – Twice on each side

Kiki`i kua – Standing up then lowering the whole body back.

Kiki`i noho – Leaning back from the kneeling position.

Kolea – Quick three-step side to side hop/run, like a bird hunting food..

Kaholo Koloa – Waddling like a duck.

Kaholoholo – Waddling like a duck twice.

Kuhi no ka lima, hele no ka maka – The translation for this phrase can be looked up, however the literal meaning is to keep the eyes focused on the hands.

Kupea – Anklets worn by male dancers

Lele – Side step

Lewa - Tilting the hips outward during sway.

Maewa – Regular Hip Sway

Pa! – Command made by instructor means “begin dancing.”

Palua – Double Time

Pau – Finished, no more.

Po`ohiwi ka`a – Rolling on the floor on one shoulder then landing in a position with one knee on the ground and foot of other knee on the floor.

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