Guestrooms Lynn Erfer fine tunes
her skills with puili.
Lynn Erfer loves life on Maui. Since moving to “The Magic Isle”
eight years ago from Santa Cruz, Calif., she’s landed the enviable
position of director of marketing for the Maui Visitors Bureau.
So from a career standpoint, Erfer is definitely riding
“I’m so fortunate in what I’m doing here,” she said. “I have the
most wonderful product to sell. In fact, often when I travel,
people say I must have an easy job since everyone wants to go to
Maui.” Erfer naturally dived into everything local. Of all the
island’s offerings, she’s found true passion in hula. In fact,
Erfer is certain she was drawn to hula’s power well before she
actually knew much at all about the art form.
Erfer recalls purchasing split bamboo implements called puili,
used for hula, simply because she liked their uniqueness.
“I had no idea what they really were and what they were used for
until I got into hula,” Erfer said.
Always moved by music and eager to experience the culture of her
island home, Erfer was so hooked on hula that she watched it
performed everywhere possible. She finally signed up for beginning
hula lessons three years ago.
“So many islanders begin very young,” Erfer said. “But my halau
[group], Halau Napua O Kapaiolani, welcomed me although I was an
adult beginner. I explained that I couldn’t be there for every
single lesson because of traveling, but I promised to practice even
if I missed a class.”
Due to her rigorous schedule, Erfer’s halau nicknamed her
Kahelelani, which means “‘the moving heavens’ because I’m not
always around,” said Erfer.
What Erfer enjoys most is hula’s relaxation element.
“The movement is so soothing that you have to really focus on
moving with the music,” she said. “It’s like a moving meditation.
You can’t think about anything else, which is good. Your other
concerns take a backseat to the dance.”
Erfer also appreciates the group interaction and
“For hula, it’s not about you, it’s about staying with a group,”
she said. “It’s wonderful because you’re dancing and trying to
synchronize your movements with a group. In hula, everybody always
helps one another because they’re trying their hardest to stay
together. It’s a wonderful effort.”
As far as sharing hula with Hawaii visitors, Erfer said it’s a
“It’s wonderful fun! It’s such a wonderful way to immerse
yourself in the music and the culture for those who really want to
experience Hawaii,” she said.
Here’s a selection of places to catch complimentary hula shows
throughout the islands.
Maui Mall (Center Stage), Kahalui
Saturday and Sunday from 1-2 p.m.
Lahaina Center, Lahaina
Wednesday from 2:30-3:30 p.m and Friday from 6-7 p.m.
Whalers Village, Kaanapali Resort
Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 6:30-8 p.m.
Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Kaanapali Resort
Nightly from 6:30-7:30 p.m. (complimentary lessons).
Waikiki Beach Walk, Waikiki
Tuesday from 4:306 p.m.
Kuhio Beach Park, Waikiki
Nightly from 6:30 p.m. (6 p.m. November through January)
Ala Moana Center’s Center Stage
Days and times vary.
Hilton Hawaiian Village, Waikiki
Saturday at 5:45 p.m.
Coconut Marketplace, Kapaa
Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, Poipu
Tuesday and Saturday from 6-8 p.m.
Hilton Kauai Beach Resort, Lihue
Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6 p.m.
THE BIG ISLAND
Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, Keauhou
Saturday from 8-10 a.m. (adults) and 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Hilton Waikoloa Village
Friday at 11 a.m.