Hula Dancing & Storytelling
These discussion ideas can help your child begin to understand the role dance plays in communities – preserving history through storytelling, routinely pulling people together to reinforce community beliefs and values. Invite your child to watch a quick video or two. Please review first. The women’s video has one coach outburst that isn’t great – you decide if the rest of the video is worth it. I think it is. Hula for men. Hula for women.
- Can we take a few minutes to check out a cool form of dancing – the hula? Many people think of it as just beautiful movement by pretty women, but it is so much more than that. It is really a powerful way the people of Polynesia tell and celebrate their history. Their dance has it’s own language and movements that make it unique.
- What do you notice when you watch these dancers?
- It looks like there are very specific moves for specific words or ideas. A whole new language. Could you understand what they might be saying?
- Just like people in different locations have their own language, they can also have their own dance language, and other art styles. That’s one way they stay connected.
- Why might parents in Polynesia want their children to learn their local dances?
- It takes people lots of time to learn and perform together. LOTS of time. Why do you think people are willing to work so hard?
- What sorts of things are important enough to you that you are willing to practice even when you are tired? When I was a kid I really wanted to learn ….. (Share a personal story. Were you nervous? How did it feel? How did things work out for you?)
- Let’s think about creating our own holiday dance – like Thanksgiving – where we remind people what we are celebrating. We can make it short and fun – and have everyone do it before we eat dinner. Who knows? It might become one of our family traditions. Who can we get to do a video?