About Studying with Me
I've danced hula all my life so you can say hula is my life. My dance school began in Marin in 1996. Many changes have come about since then and the Halau has grown and evolved. Even in our current large classes, I adjust my teaching to each individual student's need and level of achievement. My relationship with each of my students is based on mutual respect and trust, creating the best environment for each person to grow, change, heal, and integrate their life experiences. To see this growth happen is the reason I teach hula. Kumu Hula Shawna Alapa'i
On-going regular hula classes are currently offered in San Anselmo and San Rafael, California. These classes include the ancient kahiko form of hula as well as the more modern 'auana style.
Students begin by learning the traditional basic steps and movements of hula. They then progress, when the Kumu feels they are ready, to learning choreography to Hula Kahiko (ancient dances), as well as learning to use their voice in the art of Oli (vocal chanting). After a period of time studying and perfecting the dance style/teachings, students who are deemed ready by the Kumu are moved to more advanced classes, and beyond that, are invited to join the performing group.
Hula...Lite and Easy Introductory Hula Classes
If you've ever had an interest in the Hawaiian culture, our introductory Hula Lite & Easy classes are perfect for you. Many of our students are not from Hawaii or of Hawaiian ancestry. The reasons people are in these classes are as varied as the number of participants. These classes are open to men and women of age 12 and up. No prior dancing experience is required or expected.
How to Attend
These are the only classes that are available for the general public to take or observe. You don't need to let us know you're coming, just drop by and observe the class. If you want to participate, you'll only have to pay the drop-in per-class fee.
You may pay by cash or check. Email us with any questions you have about this class.
What to Bring
Bring water and wear comfortable clothes. You'll be dancing barefoot.
What You'll Learn
- All the basic modern ('auana) hula steps
- Traditional hula choreography
- Modern hula choreographed by Kumu Shawna Alapa'i
- Body awareness, balance and control
- How to express emotion through your body
- How to dance from your heart center
$18 per class or contact us for volume purchases.
Classes In San Anselmo
Every Thursday evening from 6:15 pm until 7:15 pm at the Knights Of Columbus Hall, 167 Tunstead Avenue, San Anselmo, California. Directions.
Classes In Santa Rosa
If you are interested in a class, please email us first to make sure the class is not on break.
Hula Lite & Easy is offered every Saturday afternoon from 12:30 pm until 1:30 pm at Sonoma County Taiko, 3325 Regional Parkway, Suite #11, Santa Rosa, California..
Kahiko Hula & Oli Class is offered every second and fourth Saturday of the month from 2 pm until 4 pm, also at the Sonoma County Taiko location.
Joining the Halau
If you are ready to make hula an important and ongoing part of your life, your next step is to join the Halau. All Halau members are expected to have an increased level of commitment, appreciation, and respect for the Hawaiian cultural practices, and a willingness to learn and follow Halau protocols. Once you feel you're ready, make an appointment for a personal interview with Kumu Shawna.
Halau members are required to pay monthly Halau dues that include 4 classes per month at their developmental level. Dues are collected in the first class of each month in advance. Advancement from one level to the next is determined by Kumu Shawna according to each student's level of attainment and speed of learning.
Ka Papa Kumu Kahi (Beginning Hula)
This class focuses on learning and mastering basic traditional Hula Kahiko (ancient) techniques.
Location: Knights Of Columbus Hall, 167 Tunstead Avenue, San Anselmo, California
Na Papa Mohala (Intermediate Hula)
This class focuses on the development, recognition, and execution of the style of our hula linage and the integration of that style with the techniques already learned.
Ka Papa Wekiu (Advanced Hula)
This class focuses on using the mastery of style and technique learned in previous levels to express and communicate a unified and elegant dance.
Ka Pohai Ho'okipa (Performing Group)
From members of the advanced class, the Kumu will invite certain exceptional students to join the performing group. This group is expected to commit to the extra rehearsal practices required and to accurately represent the high standards of the Halau in public.
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