Sunday, February 1, 2015

Adventures in Hula Dancing

Elder Jones has been attending his one week scuba diving course each evening.  I thought to myself, "Self, you are going to go do all the things you've not wanted to drag the husband to this week".  Except that I haven't gotten the taxes done.  So I stayed home each night to get the paperwork together.  Maybe not the MOST fun I've ever had, but a necessary evil.

Still, I wanted to accomplish something fun this week...so I went to my first hula lesson - well, not a lesson, really.  It's a hula group - referred to as Halau Hula o Kekela   This is the exact group that I posted pics of a couple of weeks ago.


I was invited to go by a sister missionary I work with.  I thought it sounded wonderful!  I love watching the hula - it is a beautiful and expressive dance - not anything like what you see in cheesy old movies.  It is a graceful love story set to music.

So I signed up.  Wednesday nights.  One hour.

I received a text from Kekela herself the night before.  Come at 6:30, it said.

So the next evening I arrived at 6:30.  Turns out it started at 6:00.  Oops, typo!

Lovely women were well into the session.  "Jump right in" I was told.  Uhmmm, they were already dancing to a fully choreographed piece.  About 15 beautiful Hawaiian women who clearly knew what they were doing, and about 4 overwhelmed newbies making up the back row.  I joined the newbies (yep, they were all Haole's, like me.)  Haole = mainlander/outsider/let's try to be patient with this person.

I liked the back row, so was happy to hang out there.  Except that somehow I got pushed into the second row to 'fill in a hole'.  These second-rowers knew their stuff.

And so, I immediately became a:
"fish out of water"

In this particular piece, we were using puili sticks.  These are sticks made from bamboo split at the end so that when you tap them together they go "chunkkkkkk" and when you tap them on your shoulders, they go "chussssh".



So off I go, following the pros as best I could.  "Chunk, chusssh, chunk, chunk, chunk"....all the while, moving one's feet in a graceful heel to toe movement.  Ah.....lovely.  "Chunk, chusssshhhh, chunk, chunk, chunk."  Stepping over here, "chunk".  Stepping over there, "chusssh".  Forward, back, "chunk, chusssh, chunk"........and TURN!

Meanwhile, I'm trying not to trip over my awesomely huge feet.

"Okay, ladies.  In this section we need to bend our knees and go LOWWWW"

Meanwhile, I'm trying not to land on my butt.

"Now we go diagonal.  To the left.  Now to the right"

Meanwhile, I'm trying not to panic as my feet go sorta left and sorta right and "thunk, creak, splat."

"Okay, ladies, wave your sticks over your head in a clockwise motion.  Elegant, ladies - be ELEGANT!"

They looked elegant.  I looked like an elephant (is that close enough?)

"Okay, my dears....during this portion I need you to get really tight...pack it in.  Become ONE in the dance."

I move in.  Really tight.

Meanwhile, those sticks are chunking and chusshing right past my face.  I find myself ducking against my will as my need for self preservation seems to be winning over any unity the group may be feeling.

AND.........perchunk!  Sticks from each woman slaps against their neighbor's stick in this amazing move of coordination and dexterity - except for mine.  I'm covering my head like I'm taking refuge in a foxhole.

I think to myself.....this is craziness, I'm going to try to slide my way back into the Haole line in the back row.

"Get CLOSER" hisses my elegant neighbor.

I close my eyes and move in next to her - trying so very hard not to chop her ear off.

It's about then that it dawns on me.

I'm living an I Love Lucy episode.  You know, the type where Lucy wants so badly to be a part of Ricky's dance troupe that she finds a way to sneak in to the show - and tries her best to blend while -in reality - she sticks out like a neon sign.


Yep, I'm Lucy.

So, I decided to wear my mantle with pride.  Lucy always made the most awkward situation fun, so I decided I would too.

Big smile, prance, dance and "CHUNKKKKKKKKK!!!!"

Can't wait until next week!

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To finish up the storyline....husband had an equally - nay - far more rewarding experience.  He has seen the underwater world in all it's glory and says he is now HOOKED!

Right now he's off looking at expensive scuba diving equipment.

Yayyyyyyy!!!!!! (uh, wait......)

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MISSIONARY REFLECTION

There is a current low level hula-a-ba-lo gaining some momentum in town regarding a new dress code facing students for the upcoming "Culture Night" which will be held on campus.

Dress codes.  On a church campus.  Imagine my shock.

I need to be careful - because I am, by nature, a rebel for many causes.  But I've also learned that I really don't know it all.  In fact, compared to Heavenly Father, I don't know anything.

So what I am discussing here is not a dress code, as important as this issue may seem at the moment.  Because issues come and go.  There will always be issues.  We will always be on one side of them or another.  People will disagree.  People will stand up and voice their opinions and concerns.

What I want to address here is how we behave when facing these challenges.  Who are we, deep inside?  What voice do we use?  What results do we seek?  Do we work to stir up contention, or do we seek resolution?

Facebook is a wonderful place to share your personal thoughts....but remember, flip comments can be shared, argued and twisted by others.  Many others.  In many ways.  What you say can, and will influence your friends, and your friends' friends.  So again I ask, "What voice are YOU using?"

There is such a thing as 'righteous indignation', but when you revert to name calling, emotional (vs. fact based) arguments and unsubstantiated accusations, you lose your mantel of 'righteous' and simply revert to indignant.  There is no glory in it.  There is no valor.  There is no trust.  There is no faith.  When you sacrifice civility, you have already lost any argument that can be made.


Elder Marvin J. Aston:

"There is a tendency among too many in our society, young and old, to knock the establishment, knock the community, and knock the neighbors. There is a certain growing segment of society who would rather knock than kneel, rather knock than negotiate, or rather knock than know."


So, I encourage our beautiful, passionate students, concerned community members and campus leadership to discuss, share and reflect.  But in the end, show the respect to others that you demand for yourself.  Because this university is dedicated to the Lord of Heaven and Earth, I challenge anyone and everyone to have faith that Heavenly Father is here, ready to guide and support.  And when we find resolution, it will be HIS resolution, or it will not happen.


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