This week’s Dance First Member Spotlight is brought to you by Kumu Karyne Daniels, founder of Sacred Dance Path.
“Your heartfelt hula is the vehicle for aloha to travel out into the world! This aloha is just what the world needs right now. When you step into your dance time, know that the world benefits as well – your world, and the world at large! This is how ALOHA Rises!”
At the age of 5, I was officially called out and called in to the dances of Polynesia. Being Mexican and Italian with no history, background, or connection to the Pacific Islands culture, I was an uncommon, unlikely candidate to be a carrier of this dance. But I was! I trained for 11 years. At age 18, I became an urban/jazz dancer and traveled and taught professionally for 20 years. It wasn’t until I moved to Maui in 2004 that my dance calling really became a sacred idea.
“Those who are drawn to hula are being called to hula.”
In Maui, wrapped in the arms of the specific and particular lessons that Hawai’i bestows upon one who is ready, a NEW dance began to surface. As I moved through a challenging life phase (becoming a mother again at the age of 41, going through a divorce, and exploring how my dance could support my new single life), God began to show me my deeper dance calling. I began to move every day in private dance. I heard God’s voice inside my body say, “sacred interpretation,” “meaningful movement,” “dance-speak.” Along with some AMAZING music that dropped into my life miraculously, I began to create the dances that would be the foundation of my company: Sacred Dance Path.
Because I am not only trained in Hawaiian and Tahitian dance but also am an urban-funk choreographer, my approach to movement is unique. My only goal when creating dance is to develop true authentic interpretation to match the intention of the song I am working with. As a result, these dances become anthems, little prayers, little church moments, mini-plots of land to plant soul-seeds within.
“Let this hula fall upon you as you step into its presence. This hula is alive, and it continues dancing within you even when you’ve finished your practice. This hula is a place.”
Sacred Dance Path is not a free-form or spontaneous dance. It is specific, guided, and intentional. It is filled with what I call the Movement Codes of Aloha, where we move into the ancient postures and positioning of Polynesian dance, to find ourselves and God.
If you are a woman with an affinity toward movement and are looking for a spiritual dance regime to fold into your daily devotions, I invite you to step onto the Sacred Dance Path. In SDP, we drop into the earth through hula, rise with aloha through heart-opening interpretive expression, ascend to heaven through the fire of Tahitian dance, and finally rest and receive through prayerful sacred sitting dance. This dance is Noho Hula. Through the circle of the hips, the bent knees to the earth, the storytelling in our hand gestures, the melodic music of the islands, and the drumbeat of Tahitian passion, we are awakened and enlivened. Through this earthy and otherworldly dance, we become the ALOHA Rising.
alo – sharing in the present, mutuality, front and face
oha – spreading as vines, joyous affection
ha – life, breath, energy, Spirit
Aloha is: Joyfully sharing life & breath face to face
For more information about Sacred Dance Path, please visit Karyne’s website: www.sacreddancepath.org
View choreography samples of her prayer dances at:
Current program: MALAMALAMA – Tuesdays via ZOOM
July 7 – August 25
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