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For the Love of Dance

Makena's Accountant Trina Purdy returns from a triumphant Merrie Monarch appearance.

If you watched the Merrie Monarch the other week you did you might have seen our very own Trina Purdy on the “hula Olympics” arena stage. We caught up with Trina upon her return to talk about her Merrie Monarch experience and why dancing hula is so important:

“Growing up in Hawaiʻi, it is a rite of passage to dance hula. Dancing keeps me grounded not only in my culture but to myself as a person. It’s my passion, and it’s who I am. I’ve been dancing hula for 21 years and I’ve been competing in the festival or over 14 years with Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka.

'A'a i ka hula, waiho ka hilahila ma ka hale.

Get up and dance, leave shyness at home.

Every year that I compete, it’s a new journey! The process of preparing and the resulting outcome differs from year to year. The truth is, the challenge of participating in the festival is my favorite part; it pushes you to your limits. A lot of people think that dancing hula is easy and that’s far from the truth. The commitment, along with the physical activity that your whole body goes through while training is not an easy task.

Also, this competition is the most prestigious hula competition in the world…everyone calls it the “Hula Olympics.” It is an invitational, meaning not everyone gets to compete, your hālau must be invited. So, it’s a competition against the best of the best. Just knowing that our hālau has this opportunity that many others don’t have, is such an honor. This year our hālau (dance team) did mele (songs) about Maui. It was special because all of us dancers have a personal connection to the island. It is where we were born and raised. We also placed 5th for our Kahiko number!”

Congratulations and mahalo Trina, to you and your halau for representing Maui! Eō Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka!

Click here learn more about the Merrie Monarch Festival