There are some basic steps, and a lot of variations on those steps. All of the arm motions have meaning – and there are about a million different motions. Besides the legs and the arms and moving the hips and not moving the shoulders and staying low, you are supposed to be looking a certain way. I think that’s a long way off for me. I have to be either looking at the teacher in the mirror or at the feet of the person in front of me.
I can’t figure out if the names of things are Japanese words or maybe Hawaiian words, with Japanese pronunciation? When I hear “hula” it sounds like “fura”. One arm motion looks like rain falling and it is called ame – rain in Japanese. Other motions sound like all vowels, so I don’t know what the words are. The skirts we wear in class are big and poofy, with several rows of elastic in the waist. I thought they were called “puff” skirts, but when I was looking up hula steps on the internet, I saw the skirt word is “pa’u”. Their skirts all stay at hip level. Mine starts there, but the elastic makes it migrate up to my waist. With six or eight inches of elastic rows, it comes to rest much higher than it should. I can’t be yanking it down all the time because my hands are making rain or waves or some other motions. You can just imagine how unlike a hula dancer I look.
The polite way to address someone is by name followed by “san”. These ladies are all good friends and call each other by a short form of the first name followed by “chan”, like they are little girls. They shyly practice their English with me and say “sugoi” (amazing) when I say any little thing in Japanese. One woman told me I will be good at hula because I am maru! (Maru means round). I am having a good time with this and hope that their patience with me will continue.
The first snow may have been late this year, but it’s been snowing like crazy to catch up.
|The car on the far right is ours|