Swiveling the Season Away

The rhythms of Hawaii's ancient dance are an all-inclusive exercise for body and soul.

The rhythms of Hawaii’s ancient dance are an all-inclusive exercise for body and soul.

Countering last week’s icy blast with a balmy spirit — and with the idea that a strenuous New Year’s fitness undertaking isn’t realistic for most busy folks — we recommend Kaleo Wheeler’s beginning “Hawaiian Hula” class, held Monday mornings at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Hendersonville.

Last year, around holiday time, we interviewed Wheeler, who revealed how she healed from childhood abuse using the soothing, meditative rhythms of this ancient practice  (see Hawaiian at Heart).  More so than bellydance or yoga, she infers, hula not only expresses spirituality but tells each dancer’s specific story: “It deepens our understanding of ourselves.”

Reached last week, she emphasized that body size, prior experience, and dexterity mean nothing in hula. Everyone is a beginner, bringing new moves to old stories. Wheeler hosts the classes weekly as a drop-in option, with a cumulative discount for the returnee.

“It helps women of all ages, sizes, and ethnicities to experience their inner beauty and flow, giving them a better self-image and sense of who they are,” she says. “Hula is the heartbeat of the Hawaiian culture … a celebration of the land … with its winds, soft rains, waterfalls, and surf.”

January 16 and every Monday, 10:30-11:30am at the UU Church (2021 Kanuga Road), $15/per class, $40/month. Cost includes dance and mp3 translation of Hawaiian words. Kaleo Wheeler also holds a Tuesday-evening class at her home. For directions and more information on either series, call 812-929-8898 or e-mail kaleowheeler@gmail.com.

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