When someone mentions keiki hula competition, I instantly think of the big one that happens every year on Oahu. The Queen Liliuokalani Keiki Hula Competition is the cream of the crop when it comes to children’s hula in Hawaii, attracting hundreds of little dancing feet from around the state.
But have you ever heard of Maui’s Hula O Na Keiki hula competition?
To be honest, I had not heard about it until just recently. My friend’s daughter has competed in this one for the past few years on the grounds of Maui’s beautiful Kaanapali Beach Hotel. For more than two decades, the three-day festival has been bringing together locals and visitors alike to celebrate and experience the budding culture of Hawaii.
Girls and boys (ages 5 to 17) participate in Hula O Na Keiki competition. And like most competitions in this beautiful art, the contest itself consists of hula soloists, hula auwana (modern hula), hula kahiko (traditional) and palua (pair of boy and girl). So there can be a variety of ways for you, as the audience, to learn more about this dance.
In addition to hula, attendees enjoy other cultural aspects throughout the event, such as Hawaiian arts and crafts, food booths, cultural workshops and live music. I know the workshops are always really popper because they include stuff like lei making, lauhala weaving and oli (chanting).
Make sure to stick around for the cutest awards in town, too. The competition’s award ceremony takes place on the second night. Then there’s a champagne brunch with live Hawaiian music on the last night of the event.
HULA O NA KEIKI
• Three-day hula contest and cultural festival in the beginning of November • Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Maui • www.hawaiianculture.com/cms/View.aspx/Show/HulaONaKeiki • 808-262-8450