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Once outlawed due to its “heathen” nature, hula survived in secrecy and now thrives as an important part of Hawaii’s cultural heritage. In the islands, hula makes an appearance at backyard luaus, important celebrations, and even in religious ceremonies. There are plenty of opportunities for visitors to see hula in the islands, too. You’ll surely be captivated, but remember this admonition from a popular Hawaiian song:
Whenever you’re watching a hula girl dance
You gotta be careful, you’re tempting romance
Don’t keep your eyes on her hips
Her naughty hula hips
Keep your eyes on the hands
~Lyrics & Music: Tony Todaro, Liko Johnston
Keep reading to check out these free performances and lessons in Waikiki and Honolulu:
Royal Hawaiian Center (2201 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu): Situated adjacent to the iconic pink Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki, the center presents a free hula show Monday through Friday from 6 to 7 p.m.
Waikiki Hula Show at the Kuhio Beach Hula Mound (2365 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu): Opening with the traditional blowing of the pu, or conch shell, the free hula shows at the Kuhio Beach Hula Mound take place from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Mana Hawaii at Waikiki Beach Walk (226 Lewers Street, Honolulu): On Wednesdays at 4 p.m. keiki (children) can learn a few simple hula movements and on Friday mornings at 10 a.m., everyone is invited to give hula a try.
Ala Moana Center (1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu): On Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m., catch the Center’s Keiki Hula Show.
Ward Amphitheater (1050 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu): Presented by Native Books, young adults and kupuna (elders) can enjoy free beginning hula lessons from 5 to 6 p.m.
Lahaina Cannery Mall (1221 Honoapiilani Highway, Lahaina): Free hula every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m., the kids’ Keiki Hula Show takes the stage.
Whaler’s Village (2435 Ka’anapali Pkwy, Lahaina): Free shows nightly at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. featuring Polynesian and Tahitian dance or other cultural performances. Located near the Kaanapali Beach Hotel.
Note: Schedules subject to change.