The Spirit of Hula

The spirit of hula filled the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) when the 22nd Annual Moanikeala Hula Festival showcased dancers of all ages. Beautiful garments and fragrant lei accentuated the dancers’ graceful movements as dancers from Hawaii and Japan came together for a celebration of Hawaiian culture in honour of Aunty Sally Wood Naluai, PCC’s first Hawaiian instructor. Moanikeala kicks off a year’s worth of cultural events at the PCC, which includes the We Are Samoa Festival, featuring the popular World Fireknife Championships; Te Mahana Hiroa Tumu O Tahiti Tahitian Dance Festival; and Te Manahua Maori Cultural Festival. This year’s festival featured a mixture of both long-time participants, such as Halau Hula Olana and Joan S. Lindsey Hula Studio, who have been a part of the festival since its inception in 1990, and first time participants. Founded in 1963 as a non-profit organization, the PCC has entertained more than 36 million visitors while preserving and portraying the culture, arts, and crafts of Polynesia.