Perhaps more than anything else, hula dancing is immediately
recognized worldwide as being representative of Hawaiian culture.
The St. Regis Princeville Resort is proud to regularly host a local
school of hula dancers, the Hälau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leinaÿala.
This hälau (hula school) is the creation of one dynamic kumu hula
(hula instructor), Leinaÿala Pavao Jardin.
Leinaÿala positively exudes joy and speaks with sparkling
enthusiasm as she shares something that is clearly very close to her
heart. “With no hula, there is no Hawaiÿi.” Perhaps this is because
early Hawaiians didn’t have a written language, so they illustrated
stories, including about their ancestors, through dance.
Various theories abound as to the precise origins of hula, but
by the time American Protestant missionaries arrived on the
islands in the 1820s and watched performers paying tribute to
Hawaiian gods, they denounced it as a heathen dance. Some of
the Hawaiian aliÿi (royalty) who had converted to Christianity
also frowned upon it, but many Hawaiians continued to practice
in secret. We are grateful for them today for keeping this rich
KA LEI MOKIHANA O LEINA‘ALA