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Friday — April 23, 2004


Have a hankering
to hula?

Dancer forms club to share
Hawaiian culture

Express Staff Writer

The Wood River Valley may have it all, except the smell of sea salt, crashing waves, miles of sandy beaches and dancers in grass skirts and leis. Things are about to change.

"I love hula. Hawaii is a part of me and my being, and it is a beautiful thing to share" explained Eana Rose. Rose recently arrived in the Wood River Valley after living in Kauai, Hawaii, for the last 21 years. Now she is "excited to continue on with what I love about Hawaii in the mountains." She is looking to share her love of Hawaiian culture with the valley.

Eana Rose dances the ancient Kahko form of hula dancing.

Rose is forming a hula club to share her knowledge of the hula and Hawaiian culture. The club will meet for the first time at 5 p.m. today at the Art of Dance Studio in Ketchum. The club is open to teenagers and adults who are curious to learn more about hula.

Rose will share basic hula steps, but she will also incorporate the stories, chants and philosophies behind the dance. Students will soon learn hula is about more Hawaiian heritage than exotic women and swaying hips.

Each hula is deeply cultural and tells its own story. The unique form of storytelling incorporates dance movements with mele, or chanting, in order to recount legends and lessons. Rose will teach basic Hawaiian alphabet chanting to those attending.

The first dance the club will learn is the "Heakua malihini Pele o ka la" hula. This basic hula tells the story of the fire goddess Pele. Together the dance and chant explain how the goddess made her way from Tahiti to Hawaii in search of a home.

Students will also learn the "I Ku’u One Hahau" hula. Rose explained this dance praises the water and Earth for their support of the Hawaiian Islands. Rose compared the Hawaiian legend to the importance of the environment to the valley, saying the story "honors the way we are sustained by our environment and is applicable to Sun Valley and our surroundings here."

In addition to learning about Hawaiian culture, students will reap the physical benefits of the dance. Rose explained "the purpose (of hula) is to bring up the fire of lower body energy." This form of Hawaiian dancing isolates the hip joints and strengthens the entire muscular system.

Rose does not label herself as a teacher. This title is a prestigious honor reserved for an elite few. Instead, she explained, she is an experienced student of the practice who was given permission to share her knowledge with others.

She studied Huna, the spiritual philosophy of Hawaii and the hula, with teachers Roselle Bailey and Naomi Yakatake. Hearing Rose speak of her training it is evident each teacher played a vital role in her experience. Rose’s respect for her teachers obviously plays into her own enthusiasm for wanting to share with others. Her passion for Hawaii is palpable and emerges in other aspects of her life as well.

This hula enthusiast also practices Lomi Lomi massage. Lomi Lomi is an ancient bodywork technique that melds massage with hula and chanting techniques. She is now practicing this massage technique in the valley.

Rose believes there is a "rainbow connection between Hawaii and Sun Valley." With the new hula club in the works others will be able to share in this special connection.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.