Hula was once banned in Hawaii, this competition fosters the next generation of dancers

The Hula O Na Keiki competition fosters the next generation of dancers

  • Hula O Na Keiki is Maui’s only hula competition for children that seeks to perpetuate Hawaiian culture
  • The competition pushes students to reflect on what it means to be Hawaiian and practice hula, an art that was once banned in Hawaii
  • Hula teachers see a lot of hope in the next generation of hula dancers

MAUI — Clipped into hair and strung into leis, fresh plumerias fill the banquet hall with a sweet scent. Soon, the dim stage lights brighten and the audience quiets. A group of 10 or so kaikamahine, or girls, take the stage outfitted in ruffled off-the-shoulder tops with vintage-inspired bloomers that peek out from their pāʻū lāʻī, or skirt made of green ti leaves. The hula dancers get into position.

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