To walk and chew gum? Controls basic motor functions: movement, control, coordination, balance and equilibrium, and muscle tone.
The lack of grace I display on my first night of Hula. The warm and gracious dancers, brown and beautiful, move like butterfly wings on morning’s makai breeze. I fumble and muss, jerky and awkward, newborn walker. We sweat and move to Kealii Reichel, music turned max on a tiny tape player. The women smile at me warmly, welcoming my spastic efforts which, on their limbs, is fluid and graceful. Gracious beauty and strength hidden under the many folds of tapa print Pa’u skirt, wrapped, gathered tucks at the waist, hip accentuated skirt that glorifies the female form. I work the basic moves, forcing my seemingly disjointed frame. Get it right, turn here, hand picks a flower, put behind ear, turn and cross arms, reach fingers to the sky, to the heavens, to Hina, moon goddess, beauty and grace. Help me, Hina! To relax, turn off the noise and hurry-sick of my mind, to hear the beating drum of my own heart and the hearts of those who came before me. Hina, take pity on a hurried haole, lacking grace, perhaps, but not spirit.