Aloha mai kākou mai ka ʻāina o ka lā ʻulaʻula!
From January 14 until January 30 I was in Japan. I LOVE coming here and seeing all of my LOVELY haumāna whom I consider my ʻohana. To see all of their smiling faces and to feel all of their ALOHA is so refreshing and so comforting to know that they are a big part at keeping my Hawaiian Culture and Hula alive.
My first stop for this trip was to HACHINOHE where we opened up a class for our Papa Pualani and a Mama & Baby class as well. This was the first class and although small in number their interest level is really high. Most of them were first timers where one or two had some experience. But it doesn’t matter how experienced you are when you come to one of my classes as you have to learn my style and I do have some different steps and I don’t stick to the norm.
After Hachinohe we made our way to home base in Shinjuku. I dropped my things off to my apartment and then we were off to Aoba Japan International School. I work with a group of kids ages 8-11 or something like that and they are LOUD! They make a lot of noise but I LOVE IT! They have SOOO MUCH ENERGY and they put a lot of that energy to HULA as well. They have improved a lot and their “Kāwika” is better then when I last saw them. I started “Puka Pants” with them as we are getting them ready for a show in April that they will share what they learned in their hula class.
The next day we had Papa Tulipa Hoʻike, my show group. We did an intense workout and went into our Kahiko Set for a show we are doing in February called Haʻaheo. The set is about 6 minutes long and the formations and movements on and off stage are on precise counts. So we do it over and over and over until they get it. With the remaining time we reviewed the ʻAuana number and started to do formations too. We then had regular classes for the rest of the day
The next day was my lecture day. In Papa Nā Mea ʻIke Hawaiʻi I lectured about Nā Nūpepa Kahiko. I taught about how they were used as a teaching tool and also as a way to push religious, political, and personal agendas. The most heavy and the worse were the religious agendas, SAD! In Papa ʻŌlapa I lectured on the Language and how important it is for us to pronounce the words correctly and how we need to recognize the difference between the words as there are various meanings for a lot of the words.
Monday through Saturday we did regular classes. In Papa Pualani we are starting at the beginning with Pronunciation exercises, repeat after me, and at the very beginning of Basics. Papa Mokihana we started Waikīkī in the ʻAuana and just reviewing in the Kahiko. We are also prepping the, for ʻulīʻulī use and getting them used to doing back bends. Papa Tulipa is reviewing “Koʻolau” in ʻauana for Haʻaheo Show and learned “Ke Aloha I Ka Ua Loku” in kahiko. My Kamaliʻi and Nauga are also learning “Ke Aloha i Ka Ua Loku” as it is an original Mele written for our hālau.
We had one more practice with Papa Tulipa-Hōʻike and at this practice of course we did a hard heavy intense workout followed by working on the formations to our ʻauana. This proved to be a challenge because of one of the formations I requested of them makes them think a lot and it is tricky. But after doing it a million times and doing a million squats when they wouldn’t get it, they finally got it!
The day after this practice we had workshops in Shinagawa with Hālau ʻO Nohealani. I met with their keiki, Kupuna, Gracious Ladies, and Wahine. It was GREAT workshops and the lunch was fabulous too.
Rest of the week was regular classes and my body is just hating the cold. All my old Football, Self-Defense injuries were coming back in full force because of the cold. BLEH, next trip I need to dig out my leggings to keep my legs warm lol, I HATE THOSE THINGS lol.
Alright, time to relax and wait for my flight. Going to send out some emails and facebook a bit, I will probably sleep my whole way home because right off the plane I go to HULA with my Kupuna/Gracious Ladies when I get back to Hawaiʻi!!!