Christian Clubbing: Hula club dances during chapel

Biola’s Hula Halau club performs cultural dances as a form of worship.


Courtesy of Macie Cummings

Performers from the Hula Halau club pose in Chase Gymnasium after Monday’s chapel.

Macie Cummings, Freelance Writer

The Hula Halau club lead worship for the student body through cultural dances during chapel on Monday morning.


This is their first performance in chapel for the school year, although they performed at various school events last spring. They began with two numbers, before chapel programs director Lisa Ishihara spoke on Paul’s prayer in Ephesians. During a break in the middle of the sermon, a small group of four dancers, including club leaders senior kinesiology major Ashley Ariyasu, sophomore communication sciences and disorders major Caitlyn Kobata and senior English secondary education major Lorissa Payne, teamed up with one of the chapel bands to perform a dance to the song, Spirit Break Out. This merging of the two forms of worship continued in the last song that ended chapel.

Junior public relations major and member of the Hula Halau club Megan Jones shared that performing in chapel is an honor and goes far beyond the pressure of performing for an audience.

“We just have to have the mindset that since it’s worship, we’re dancing for Jesus,” Jones said. “If we mess up, it’s okay. We’re doing it for Jesus. There wasn’t necessarily pressure to look good for everyone, but to just worship God accurately.”


The Hula Halau club focuses primarily on dancing, but also on the aspect of unity as a family and what it looks like to worship through that. Ariyasu shared that their group goes beyond just dancing and performing.

“We do mostly dance, but we do really stress [the idea of] family,” Ariyasu said. “We stress unity and friendship with people, so we’re more than just dancers. We’re family.”

The club leaders state that they aim to worship God through cultural dance. They view their team as a family, which allows them to come together so cohesively to worship through dance together.

“When a group is a family or really close you can see it in how they dance,” Kobata said. “We really want to get close so that it shows on the stage.”

Students enjoyed the change in pace of chapel worship and getting to see the Hula club’s performance. Sophomore journalism major Joel Ashor enjoyed the pleasant surprise of the club performing during worship.

“There’s not just one way to worship,” Ashor said. “I like the variety of how you can dance and worship. There’s different ways we can worship the Lord and I just think our chapel does a really cool job of bring that together.”

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