Going to a luau is the first thing on everyone’s to-do list in Maui and it was certainly on mine.
Besides delicious pork there’s the hula girls, and I’m a bit ashamed to admit I didn’t think it would be very difficult to do, kinda like belly dancing right.
Oh so wrong.
As Shakira says, hips don’t lie and I’ll never be a hula girl because I have no idea how they can move like this.
My first luau in Maui was at the Westin Wailele Polynesian Luau and it wasn’t considered a traditional Hawaiian luau because it includes fire dancing, which is actually Polynesian.
Regardless of the authenticity I was drawn in from the first performance.
But I was okay with that because they guys dance with fire. Even if it’s not Hawaiian it is still amazing to watch.
That’s a lot of crushing for one girl.
As entertaining as the fire dancing was, I was really captivated by the women dancing. It’s a level of grace on par with ballet and ballroom dancing, up close you see it takes years of training to be this good.
When my mother arrived she also wanted to see a luau in Maui so it was the perfect opportunity to go to the Old Lahaina Luau which everyone raves about and it’s considered the best on Maui. I sat at a table with crusty locals who had free tickets and were ready to criticize but even they had to admit from the costumes to the dancing Old Lahaina was completely traditional.
They don’t have the flash and energy of the Wailele Polynesian Luau but the luau takes you through the history of Hawaii and the costumes reflect the earliest days through when new settlers decided they should cover up. But the story remained beautiful and impressive.
I had so much respect for the dancers, but also for Maui to continue teaching visitors the story of their land. Just another reason why Maui is so much more than a great beach, the indigenous heritage remains strong. Every day it captures a bit more of my heart.