“This year’s competition calendar was quite the rollercoaster ride with having to prep for two competitions that took place within two weeks of each other: Kumukahi and E Hula Mau. Even though we had two competitions with two different sets of mele, it was probably one of the most memorable summers or competition experiences. From road trips in a bus to far off lands to a trip down the freeway, it’s difficult to express in words how thankful I am to be surrounded by people where I can be me, craziness and all, and it’s OK…sometimes.
We walked away with awards. They liked it, they really liked it!? All jokes aside, what a feeling to walk away with recognition for our hard work, mentally and physically. We walked away with awards but for me the other real award is the memories I get to take with me when all is said and done. I enjoy that our road to competition/backstage stories are just as colorful as our actual meles we dance on stage. We are storytellers, we dance hula.
The road to competition wasn’t just physical practice. We also had to research our meles (kahiko and `auana). In doing so, it opened up interesting discussions since we brought an array of life experiences together. Actually, the time we spent together allowed me to reflect back to when I was in grade/middle school, high school and college. E Hula Mau was a real treat because we had the kaikamahine, wahine, and makuahine lines. It’s a physical representation of the different stages of life. Individual’s strengths were manifested throughout the weekend and I think it was a pleasant surprise for all to see everyone surprise themselves.
In all, I will remember this competition and it will never fade since we never forget anything and will remind everyone of our EPIC and memorable moments. Again, we are storytellers and we keep it alive by retelling our stories, on stage and off stage.”