hula performers
From right, Nā Kumu Hula William Kahakuleilehua Haunuʻu Sonny Ching and Lopaka Igarta DeVera

Hula is seen by many as an active and physical cultural practice, however, those immersed in it recognize the mental and spiritual component that can contribute to the overall well-being of an individual who participates. The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Counseling and Student Development Center (CSDC) and Native Hawaiian Student Services (NHSS) are hosting a free webinar led by award-winning Kumu Hula William Kahakuleilehua Haunuʻu Sonny Ching on the nourishment hula provides for the body, mind and spirit.

The livestream event, Hula Ka Mauliola: Hula the Power of Healing, Hula-Mind-Body-Spirit, will be held on Monday, April 4 at 6 p.m. The presentation is open to the public. (Register online)

“As an ʻōlapa (dancer) of Hālau Nā Mamo O Puʻuanahulu, hula has been a blessing to solidify my cultural foundation and values,” said Kyle Help, a student service specialist at NHSS. “I have been grateful and fortunate to learn from Nā Kumu Hula William Kahakuleilehua Haunuʻu Sonny Ching and Lopaka Igarta DeVera, to connect and find balance in my physical, mental and spiritual strength that contribute to my lifestyle and well-being, especially as a Hawaiian.”

Ching invites participants to learn more about how hula can be practiced as a form of health and wellness. To help address COVID-19-induced stress and anxiety, NHSS and CSDC have partnered to provide resources in connecting holistic practices to Native Hawaiian culture.

The webinar is partially funded by the SEED Initiative for Diversity, Equity, Access and Success grant awarded to three CSDC doctoral interns in health service psychology.

This event is an example of UH Mānoa’s goal of Becoming a Native Hawaiian Place of Learning (PDF) and Enhancing Student Success (PDF), two of four goals identified in the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.