I’d been in Hawaii for ten days and to my disappointment, still not witnessed any hula.
Fair enough, I’d been camping in some pretty remote spots on the Big Island, but once I’d flown over to Oahu and landed in the capital of Honolulu I made it my aim to check out some tropical dance.
A local friend who was in the know, recommended a show that had recently launched in the heart of the city.
So on the eve of the 4th July Independence Day celebrations, I ventured to the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani where the show was being staged.
The hour-long Tales Of The Pacific extravaganza kicked off with an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Unfortunately, in true Hawaiian spirit, it had been raining just before we arrived, meaning the outside seating area at dinner was off limits.
Instead, we found a sheltered spot just a stone’s throw from the outdoor swimming pool and music stage.
The night we ventured to the Tales Of The Pacific show slices of prime rib and unlimited crab legs were on the menu.
And to wash it all down? A Mai Tai and Pina Colada of course.
After an hour of devouring a mix of buffet treats – the Poke raw tuna fish salad was divine – we were called in by one of the hosts to witness the show.
Seated not far from the stage, we were presented with a traditional lei fashioned from shells and two giant pineapples containing some more cocktail to keep us busy.
Adorning the humongous fruits were dozens of cocktail umbrellas and my favourite – bright red cocktail cherries.
All of a sudden the lights went down and we were plunged into darkness as the live band struck up.
Three men were singing, one man was on the guitar, one on the bass and one on the drums.
I was unsure what to expect from the show but I couldn’t help but smile as I watch everything unfold.
There was a male and female troupe of dancers, with each taking it in turns to strut their stuff.
The women performed some elegant moves with some Shakira-worthy hip thrusts.
Meanwhile, the men veered on the more aggressive side, with grunts and tears of sweat to boot.
The head honcho in particular struck some fear inside of me, as he held a manic stare, growled and pulled some strong shapes.
He was definitely over 6′ 5″ with dozens of tattoos coating his body – his thighs were inked in swathes of dark black.
Over the course of an hour, the show visited various islands in the pacific with different styles of dancing to match.
One moment we were in Tahiti and then another we had ventured over to Fiji.
Just as I thought we’d witnessed all there was to see, the head honcho started fire dancing.
I was mesmerized as he started juggling with fireballs.
At various points he even stopped to lick the flames and rub them along his thigh with not a wince on his face.
To ensure no fire came hurtling towards us, a net promptly dropped from the ceiling.
The performance culminated with some strong beats and all of the performers came on stage strutting on to take their final bow.
After the Tales Of The Pacific my thirst for hula had been more than satisfied.
Out in the lobby area we had the opportunity to have our picture taken with the performers.
Of course, I went in for a photo with the head honcho.
‘You were amazing,’ I said shaking his hand, and soon realizing that behind the fire licking and strong poses he was just a gentle giant.
‘Welcome to Hawaii,’ he chuckled. For anyone venturing Hawaii, a spot of hulu is a must!
Dinner and show at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani starts from $105 per person. To book or for more information please visit: www.temoananui.com