And...It's HULA FRIDAY!!!!
Today I will be doing my very first solo performance for my teacher!!!
Trust me when I say-I did not volunteer. But I have been practicing. In fact, yesterday I wore my hula skirt all day and practiced in between work and writing and meals and more.
There are 3 parts of the song I am struggling with.
1. Because I practiced the wrong direction for several hours in between classes. This means I have to rewire my muscle memory...that's taking a minute or two...for some reason.
2. Then there is an instrumental segment that we didn't learn any moves for and it's structured in between the first two verses and the last two verses. I spoke to my hula teacher about this and she said I can do verse one over again in the instrumental part. But that means I'm listening to the instrumental beats instead of the story. This is difficult for me from a timing aspect. I'm trying to work on being eloquent in my movements and in the transitions. This is not going so well. But I won't give up.
3. The last verse. Oh. My. Goodness. This is advance stuff and I am not advanced. The entire song is right/ left sequencing. This last verse is left/right. While it may sound easy. It is not. There is this one part where we turn left/right but my body is telling me to move right/left and if you do that you are not set up properly (you meaning ME) for the next part of the story. In addition to this, as my feet are supposed to go left/right. My hands are supposed to go right/left. My mind doesn't like this. However, in the rare moments that I am able to do it. It is very beautiful. Yet I haven't been able to do that consistently. My muscle memory is not solidified yet. Which impacts the next part of the story. The song is fast. There is no time to miss.
I have approximately 3 hours to solidify my muscle memory.
The reason I have been selected to do the solo performance today is because we are having a party for our Hula teacher for Teacher appreciation day and I'm her newest least advanced student. It would mean a lot to her if I can nail this....
I came in not knowing a thing about Hula or a thing about the Hawaiian culture or the culture of Hula. (And Hula is it's own culture) Sometimes in my ignorance, that meant making mistakes that aren't respectful in nature but I didn't know that. It wasn't intentional. How could I be anything other than ignorant to a culture I have never been a part of? She and the women have taken the time to explain these things to me, to help me, to guide me and I appreciate that, them and her so much.
There are many distinctions between my experiences on the mainland vs my experiences here in Hawaii. One of them is-how ignorance is treated.
A state of being and word we have essentially raped with our negativity, instant judgment and our own ego-centric self-righteousness.
Ignorance is a state of being uninformed or lack of knowledge. The word ignorant is an adjective describing a person in the state of being unaware and is often (incorrectly) used to describe individuals who deliberately ignore or disregard important information or facts.
Here, my ignorance and inability to know the subtleties of a culture I have never been a part of- has been handled with an underlining desire to educate me in reverent ways. Where there is an intent to honor the culture while still treating me with dignity. On the mainland, there is often this weird misuse and intention or false sense of superiority, or misdirected anger attached to what it means to be: Ignorant.
Clearly, it helps that this is a melting pot of humans and a small island full of natives who are used to people not understanding their culture. Yet, it does have me thinking about how quickly us mainlanders are to label someone ignorant with distain rather than take the time to help each other understand the subtleties in each subculture which is essentially every family on the planet.
There were many many moments between Dr Pk Roberts and I where she looked at me with that special look that makes me smile when I think about these moments..The moments where a white girl comes into her home and does things she's a no to. Many times... "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?..OH CHILD!...WE DO NOT DO THAT IN THE BLACK CULTURE"
I can still see her face and hear her voice... These moments are so endearing and funny to me. Some of our moments were not that funny or endearing for either of us. Sometimes she had to work hard, sometimes I had to work hard too...to understand moments that triggered us both. Yet, still...my ignorance was handled with dignity. Even when there was a deeper element existing.....
It makes me wonder...how different things would be if we handled each others ignorances with reverence and dignity for one another....how would that go?
I personally very much appreciate it when I am ignorant and people take the time to help me, guide me, teach me instead of getting mad at me as if I'm "supposed to know."
Taking the time to share and explain....that's not easy to do. It takes something...something very special....I appreciate this very much in others and am grateful.
Now I must go practice my Hula.....
Oh, I hope I nail it
HAPPY ALOHA FRIDAY
HAPPY HULA FRIDAY