Grace Hula Dance Company spreading aloha spirit

FORT Worth, Texas — Census Bureau data recorded in 2017 indicates there are about 73,000 native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders dwelling in Texas. There were being also 1.7 million Asian Us citizens in Texas living in Texas then. The best numbers of both of those Asian American and Pacific Islander populations in Texas ended up located in Harris County, followed by Dallas County and Tarrant County. 

This variety in Texas will allow absolutely everyone in the Lone Star Condition to learn additional about these cultures and rejoice them, especially through May well, which is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month. 

In Tarrant County, the Grace Hula Dance Business of Fort Worth is sharing the AAPI culture and spirit of aloha throughout the DFW location. 

The dance school, or ‘hālau’, started back again in 2001 out of Grace Kalakalani Evangelista’s garage in a north suburb of the city. Now, immediately after 20 many years it has turned into her complete-time career to showcase the traditional dances of the Pacific island. 

“This is my enthusiasm, you know. Like the stating goes, do what you enjoy and like what you do, and this is it,” she mentioned. 

She feels a large amount of pride in entertaining, but most importantly training the community a lot more about the tradition. 

“When they see us dance it feels like they are in Hawaii. You know, we are in a position to share our society to them, the aloha spirit, and you can see their faces, they are smiling.”

Kalakalani Evangelista states it is vital to train the serious which means driving the phrases they use and essential values to other individuals.

“Aloha means like and good day and goodbye, but most importantly, appreciate,” she claimed. 

Past classes, her students sort part of a unique ohana [family].

“They are all good and they’re all loving to us,” reported youth hula college student Ava Madanski. 

Ava’s sister, Sophia Madanski, agrees that the strategy of turning into component of a household as a dancer with Grace Hula Dance Company is just one of the most gratifying elements of signing up for.

“It just would make me feel ohana – all people is really sweet here,” she explained. 

One of the most critical values that Kalakalani Evangelista wishes her college students to learn is to acquire joy from almost everything they do, which is inevitable no matter what age team her dancers are in. 

“They make me really feel joyful,” stated youth dancer Emily Erikson. 

For all those who are now a extended way from where by they grew up on the Pacific islands, dancing with the Grace Hula Dance Business is a way to maintain their beloved upbringing current.

“I enjoy that we rejoice this and we share this with the population and make confident folks see how astounding the Pacific Islanders and the Asians are,” claimed Christy Killian-Beckett, who grew up in Hawaii. 

Some others, these types of as Sarah Sutton, whose father was born and lifted in O’ahu, Hawaii, say it allows new generations like her to hook up with their heritage.

“I’m actually proud of my heritage and currently being from the islands and it is just an honor to be in a position to share that heritage and culture,” stated Sutton, who kinds section of the qualified dancer group. 

Those people connections give Kalakalani Evangelista a good deal of gratification and inspiration to continue to keep going. 

“That’s my principal objective in acquiring this studio or this halau,” assured the skilled dancer and teacher.

Since in the vicinity of or significantly, the island way of lifetime is within just them no issue where by they are.