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Hawaii: In Waikiki, there will be a whole lot of swaying going on

February 15, 2013|By Jay Jones
  • Japan Halau performs for hula conference attendees at a previous opening ceremony. The conference this year is May 17-19 in Waikiki.
Japan Halau performs for hula conference attendees at a previous opening… (International Waikiki…)

Visitors to Waikiki can immerse themselves in the islands’ ancient dance traditions May 17-19 during the International Waikiki Hula Conference. The gathering, at the Hawaii Convention Center, aims to fully engage participants through dance and cultural workshops.

Now in its sixth year, the conference attracts hundreds of hula fans and will pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Merrie Monarch Festival, a Hilo event that celebrates Hawaiian traditions and cultures reintroduced and embraced by King David Kalakaua in the late 19th century.

More than 40 kumu hula (hula instructors) and cultural experts will lead classes covering many aspects of hula, including ancient and modern dances, mele (songs) and costumes. Guests will also learn how to make Hilo-style ti leaf leis and ipu heke (double gourd drums).

On the evenings of May 17-18, students can display their new skills during hula shows at several places in Waikiki.

The price for the three-day event is $385 ($250 for Hawaii residents) and includes shuttle service between various Waikiki hotels and the convention center.

More info is available on the conference website.

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