You can create an easy hula dance routine by combining basic hula dance steps. These moves are staples of a variety of cultures that practice hula, including Hawaiian, Polynesian, and Tahitian. Follow the progression below to perform a lovely hula!
Section One: Uehe
Perform uehe with your right leg as your lead leg for 32 counts.
- Begin standing with your feet hip distance apart, hands resting in fists at the front of your hips.
- Lift your right foot off the floor and swing your hips to the left.
- Stomp the ball of your right foot on the floor and lift both heels, drawing your knees out to the sides.
- Replace your right heel down and lift your left foot up as you swing your hips to the right.
- Stomp the ball of your left foot on the floor and lift both heels, drawing your knees out to the sides.
- Repeat steps two through five three more times before transitioning to the next section.
Section Two: Hela
From the last step of uehe, place your hands on your hips and transition into Hela for 48 counts, right foot leading.
- Tap your right foot on the floor in front of you, rotating your torso slightly right.
- Step your right foot beside the left to return to center.
- Tap your left foot on the floor in front of you, rotating your torso slightly to the left.
- Step your left foot beside the right to return to center.
- Complete these steps a total of four times with your hands on your hips.
- For the final 16 counts (two more rounds), take your hands off your hips and slowly draw them up so that your forearms are parallel to the floor, palms in front of your chest and facing the floor.
- End with your feet side by side.
Section Three: Kaholo
Perform kaholo next. You'll need to coordinate your arms and your legs from one side to the other.
- Step your right foot out to the right and extend your right arm out to the right.
- Step your left foot to the right so that you step together.
- Step your right foot to the right again.
- Tap your left foot in toward the right.
- Extend your left arm to the left and draw your right hand toward your chest as you step to the left.
- Step your right foot in toward the left.
- Step your left foot to the left.
- Tap your right foot in toward the left.
- Repeat these steps three more times. If you want to vary the move a bit, try kawelu, which involves placing one foot behind the other on steps two and six, rather than stepping together.
Section Four: Tamau Ami Combination
In the next section, you'll alternate between tamau and ami.
- From where you left off in kaholo, your left arm is out to the left and your right hand is in front of your chest.
- Plant your right foot beside the left and send end your right arm out to the right as you lift your left heel slightly and swing your hips sharply to the right.
- Lower your lift heel and lift your right slightly as you swing your hips sharply to the left.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 one more time.
- Roll your hips in a counter-clockwise circle four times.
- Alternate between eight counts of tamau at half-tempo (hit one, hold two), swinging your hips four times, and eight counts of ami, circling your hips four times. Complete this combo for a total of 64 counts, which is four times through.
- Perform the same combo again at full tempo for 32 counts before you move into kalakaua.
Section Five: Kalakaua Step
From ami, you'll jump right into kalakaua.
- Keep your hands extended out at shoulder level.
- Step your right foot across your body and sweep your right arm down across your body, turning your palm up to face to face the ceiling, and reaching your left arm up and back so that your palm faces the wall behind you.
- Replace your weight on your left foot.
- Step your right foot back and to the right and extend your arms out to the sides.
- Tap your left foot beside the right.
- Step your left foot across your body and sweep your left arm down across your body, turning your palm up to face to face the ceiling, and reaching your right arm up and back so that your palm faces the wall behind you.
- Replace your weight on your right foot.
- Step your left foot back and to the left and extend your arms out to the sides.
- Tap your right foot beside the left.
- Complete this sequence four times. On the last step, instead of tapping, stomp your right foot on the floor.
Section Six: Ka'o Transition
Ka'o is the final move in the sequence. Take it from where you left off, feet together, arms extended out to the sides.
- Shift your hips down and up to the left.
- Shift your hips down and up to the right.
- Repeat. Your hips should move in a figure eight motion. Complete for a total of 32 counts as you slowly bring your hands back to your first position with your fists in front of your hips.
Start from the Top
Begin again from uehe. Performing the entire sequence with your left foot as the lead. This second time around should be just as energetic, or even more so, than the first. Try to make your movements more pronounced so you build excitement for spectators as you perform.
Piece It All Together
Put these moves together to create your full dance. Practice one section at a time, mastering the move first, then executing it to music before you move onto the next. For the best experience, pair the dance with traditional Hawaiian music or practice to a simple drumming beat. When you perform, you can also choose a costume that represents the spirit you are trying to convey. Make your own grass skirt, purchase a hula Halloween costume, or wear something else that makes you feel good. In the end, the purpose is to learn a new dance routine and enjoy yourself. Have fun!