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Byron Shire
December 7, 2021

Hawai’ian Hula puts a smile on your dial

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Lilith and the Hawai’ian Hula. Photo Veda Turner.

For many years The Echo‘s Lilith has been known for delivering Byron Shire its weekly horoscope, but you may not know that our resident stargazer is also a dancer.

Lilith has been teaching hula in Byron since she formed the Bay’s first hula group, The Hulahines, in 2006.  ‘I started Byron Bay Hula – Mana Aloha Troupe seven years ago when I was 70.  On my 77th birthday my students presented me with a book they’d had printed of our last seven years together – it’s my most precious possession.

Lilith says that classes are fun. ‘We laugh a lot, and deep,’ she says. ‘Classes touch on history, geography, botany, meditation, language, poetry, imaginative interpretation, emotional expression, chanting, dance, releasing stress, personal growth, learning to work with group dynamics, the list goes on…

‘Everyone who’s progressed to the troupe says that hula has changed and enriched their life.’

At the beginner level, Lilith says students learn about the history of how ancient hula morphed into its current contemporary form. ‘We tune into nature and the elemental world, with our own ancestral roots and the spirit of the land we dance on.

‘We also learn the foundational movements which all hula is based on, along with basic hula terminology as well as the principles of aloha, which include courtesy, respect, kindness, generosity, solidarity, patience and more.

Lilith says Hawaiian chants and language are part of the tradition and choreography is taught in both English and Hawaiian.

Exciting time for beginners

‘We have a kumu hula – master teacher Kawika Alfiche – returning to Byron in early October, so it’s a highly exciting time for beginner hula students right now, because they get the rare opportunity to learn some basic skills so they can study with, and perform for him, in a few months.

Lilith says the dance form is an all-encompassing combination of physical workout and mental exercise in remembering choreography, learning a different language and imaginatively becoming the different elements you’re dancing. ‘Since all hula are love songs celebrating a person, place or activity, there’s a lot of accessing feelings and developing emotional flexibility.

Hula honours the natural world

‘The spiritual aspect of hula honours the natural world, and the gratitude for opportunities to perform hula which provides joy for others is nourishing and rewarding.’

Lilith says she loves it when beginners progress to performing with the troupe and sharing what they’ve learned. ‘Now in our seventh year of dancing together, our hula ohana (family) celebrate birthdays together, spend days weaving plants and flowers and when I had to spend time in hospital the troupe came to dance for me – a tremendous treat for the staff and other patients.’

Lilith says that it’s often people who’ve been touched by seeing the group perform who seek out classes. ‘It’s people wanting something more than just a dance workout,’ she says. ‘It’s more about connection with emotions and the natural world.

‘Fortunately for me as a teacher, husbands of students are usually so delighted by the results of hula class in their partners they’re happy to mind the kids, carry equipment and take videos. Our hula husbands are a very valued support.’

If you would like to see the troupe perform or take a class, visit the Byron Bay HulaFacebook page or email: [email protected] or call 0417633080.

 


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10 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you Eve for this great article. Learning hula with Lilith and our visiting kumus has become such a teaching and source of nourishment for me over the past years. The aloha and integrity of hula, and the discipline and fun of memorising of dances is keeping my body and mind flexible!

  2. Highly recommended ??❤️? hula soothes the soul and in turn, the universe!!! Power to the Peaceful People ✌️

  3. Lilith is a kind hearted and wonderful teacher. I love lessons with her. I’m delightfully surprised by how warming, stretching and graceful the dance movements are. I’m so glad to have found her. She’s an incredible gem in our community.
    I hope the classes grow and flourish.

  4. Beautifully written article. I am one of the new beginners and Liliths classes are a much richer experience than I had imagined, I feel drawn into the culture. I love hula!

  5. Perfect for relieving stress and improving the mind/body connection. So much fun, you just can’t help smiling!!

  6. thank to the Echo for publishing this article.
    Hula is such a joy, it balances the stressors of life.
    Good to see the Echo presenting this sacred dance to the public.

  7. Gorgeous course in reconnecting to beautiful simplicity and the natural rhythms of life. More than ever in troubled and uncertain times, the practise of connection to natural earth rhythms, cultivating beauty and harmony have proven results in creating resilience and a more appreciative outlook on life’s blessings. Dance and ceremony preserve peace and health within the tribe.

  8. To all the potential dancers and Hula husbands out there – there is no greater joy than to come home to hear beautiful music playing and your partner gracefully swaying, practicing a sacred dance. Hula is transformative, great for the body, heart, soul, and relationship! Ladies, step into this beautiful opportunity!

  9. I started in the beginner’s class 4 years ago Now I’m loving hula more and more everyday,physically mentally and spiritually it is healing me.Leander

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