Hoo-RAE!: I’m ready

H%C4%81lau+O+Ka+Hanu+Lehua+smiles+with+joy+after+performing+%22Hanohano+%CA%BBO+Maui+Nui+A+Kama%22+at+the+2019+Merrie+Monarch+Festival.+Look%2C+there+I+am%21

Photo by courtesy of Rhonda Kalama

Hālau O Ka Hanu Lehua smiles with joy after performing "Hanohano ʻO Maui Nui A Kama" at the 2019 Merrie Monarch Festival. Look, there I am!

By Lauren Kalama, staff writer

Aloha guys! I know, it’s been a while, but I’m back! Hope you didn’t forget about me! Now, yes, I am still the same Lauren Rae, living life and dancing hula, but I think itʻs time I get back to blogging because Iʻm ready!

Throughout the past two months, I’ve been paddling, dancing hula, keeping up with my classes, and making more memories with my family and friends, of course, but as I approach the end of the third quarter of my junior year, I begin to realize that there is a lot to be done and prepare for. For instance, my senior project and studying for the SAT test.

But yet, through all the stress I encounter, the one thing that keeps me smiling is my love for hula. I have been dancing hula for almost 10 years now at Hālau O Ka Hanu Lehua with Kumu hula Kamaka Kukona.

Just recently, I was selected to compete in the 2020 Merrie Monarch festival in Hilo, Hawaiʻi, with my hula sisters. This is my second time going to that stage, and I canʻt be more excited for this! To me, itʻs a feeling like no other.

Picture this: youʻre standing there waiting to be announced on live television. Youʻre nervous, pretty much sweating but trying your best to keep all the make-up and hair spray intact. Then, you hear it, “From Waikapū, Maui…,” and boom–you’re walking on the stage in front of hundreds of people cheering and cameras everywhere. You give it your all as you dance across the stage because it has always been a dream; then it’s quickly over. Yes, this is everything I felt.

Now I know what youʻre thinking, why hula? I would say, why not hula? It is such a stress reliever, it keeps me in shape, and I am able to learn so much about my culture, my ancestors, and myself.

As I continue on with my junior year and life, I hope to keep up with my blog and of course my work, but Iʻm happy to say that I am ready for whatʻs ahead.

Oh wait! Canʻt forget, I just turned 17 too, LOL!