Hawaii Club dances the hula

Hawaii Club president Mari Kanna shares a piece of Hawaiian culture through Hula dancing.


Atticus Adedire//CHIMES (file)

Dancers perform traditional Hawaiian Hula at Biola.

Patricia Yang, Staff Writer

On Friday, Feb. 17, a little group climbed up the stairs of Soubirou Hall and gathered in the fitness room. There was light chatter, some laughing, a little messing around. Hawaii Club president and senior business administration major Mari Kanna pulled out her laptop and opened Spotify. A Hawaiian tune played out, and with laughs and cheer, she taught the group how to dance Hula.


Kanna grew up on the islands Oahu and Kauai and founded Hawaii Club in spring 2022 after transferring to Biola.

“I kept meeting people from Hawaii. And I was like, ‘oh my gosh, it would be so cool if we could all gather together and share our culture, our experiences living in Hawaii to [Biola],” Kanna said.


Kanna first learned Hula in elementary school for an event called May Day, which celebrates Hawaii’s diverse island cultures. At this event, Kanna decided to teach members basic steps for Hula, a form of Polynesian dance where participants step and sway in flowing, rhythmic patterns.

“There’s a lot of different kinds of dances,” said Kanna. “There’s Tahitian, there’s Samoan … [They were done in honor of] who their king was at the time, or they would do it at ceremonies. So it was… to appreciate the land or the nature of the islands.”

One thing Kanna values about Hula is its community aspect.

“[I like] being with a group of people, learning a dance that kind of is in honor of whatever the song is singing about,” said Kanna. “I just enjoy watching it. I think it’s just a beautiful form of dance, [and] every movement has meaning.”

Kanna also loves the culture of the community in Hawaii as a whole.

“Everybody is a family [on] the whole island. Like, we’re there for each other, serving each other. And I think that’s really cool,” said Kanna. “Everybody wants to treat each other well and help out whenever they can.”

Students can get connected with the Hawaii club by emailing [email protected].

0 0 votes
Article Rating