The Best Places to Learn Hula in Honolulu

Hawaiian dancers
Hawaiian dancers | © Yun Heng Lin / Unsplash
Photo of Marjorie Perlas
Contributing Writer8 April 2018

Since hula holds such a spiritual and meaningful place in the hearts of the Hawaiian people, it is not something shared so freely outside of luau performances.

The art of the hula is meant to bring people together—to create a sense of community and family for those participating. Because of this, lessons are rarely available to those just visiting. Aside from roaming the streets of Honolulu trying to find a local kumu to teach you traditional hula techniques, there are a few options in Honolulu that do welcome visitors.

Royal Hawaiian Center

Shopping Mall
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Honolulu Festival Parade - Tama Hawaiian Hula | © Daniel Ramirez / WikiCommons
Typically known for its large array of luxury shopping destinations, the Royal Hawaiian Center is so much more. Aside from the plethora of offerings like lei making, ukulele, weaving, the center offers hula lessons for free. These lessons are geared specifically towards the tourist population roaming around Waikiki, so you’re bound to meet people from all over the world. With a fantastic location right in the heart of Waikiki and on the main strip of shopping, it’s also easily accessible no matter where in Honolulu you might be staying.

Still And Moving Center

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Spirit Ball | © Jason Leung / Unsplash
There’s absolutely no limit to the menu of offerings at the Still and Moving Center. From martial arts to aerial acrobatics, this center focuses on mind and body wellness through their courses. Each area of the space is designed in such a thoughtful way as to give visitors a full and proper experience. Complete with a healing room that features lomilomi massages for after class when your muscles are aching, it’s the perfect place to spend a full afternoon in Honolulu.

Hālau Nā Pua Hala Kūnou i ke Kai

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The students | © Hālau Nā Pua Hala Kūnou i ke Kai
For those looking for a more local and authentic experience, this is the scene to hope for. This halau is the real deal. Since opening in 2013, the program has grown and expanded while still being able to focus on fostering the local community. Come to drop in on a class and stay to chat with the locals and learn more about the community. A truly unique experience, this is just one of those things you won’t be able to replicate staying within the bubble of Waikiki.

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