For a story I'm doing on hula - in advance of the flower show - I headed to Narberth last night to observe a hula class at Aloha Style on the Main Line. Well, I've just added "hula lessons" to my someday-to-do list.
What fun. Real Hawaiian hula bears no resemblance to the cartoon most of us know - the jiggling hips, the coconut bra, the plastic-grass skirt. Real hula is beautiful - slow, sensual, graceful and, yes, complex.
The group last night was all female, ages ranging from 9 to "of a certain age." The women spoke of hula as exercise, as a way to unwind, as something that made them feel happy and beautiful and as a vehicle for friendship.
Robin Fischer of Bala Cynwyd, shown here, said hula has been her physical therapy for a balance problem. She dances by the pole to steady herself and brings Lab/German shepherd, Honey, service dog with her to class. Everyone calls Honey "hula dog."