Lynn Erfer, Maui Visitors Bureau, on hula happiness

Dawna L. Robertson 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 stand

By: Dawna L. Robertson

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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 high.

“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 cooperation.

“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 must-try experience.

“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.

RESOURCES

Here’s a selection of places to catch complimentary hula shows throughout the islands.

MAUI
Maui Mall (Center Stage), Kahalui
Saturday and Sunday from 1-2 p.m.
808-871-1307
www.mauimall.com

Lahaina Center, Lahaina
Wednesday from 2:30-3:30 p.m and Friday from 6-7 p.m.
808-667-5758

Whalers Village, Kaanapali Resort
Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 6:30-8 p.m.
808-661-4567
www.whalersvillage.com

Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Kaanapali Resort
Nightly from 6:30-7:30 p.m. (complimentary lessons).
808-661-0011
www.kbhmaui.com

OAHU
Waikiki Beach Walk, Waikiki
Tuesday from 4:306 p.m.
wwwww.waikikibeachwalk.com

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.
www.alamoanacenter.com

Hilton Hawaiian Village, Waikiki
Saturday at 5:45 p.m.
808-949-4321
www.hiltonhawaiianvillage.com

KAUAI
Coconut Marketplace, Kapaa
Wednesday at 5 p.m.
808-822-3641
www.coconutmarketplace.com

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, Poipu Resort
Tuesday and Saturday from 6-8 p.m.
808-742-1234
www.kauai.hyatt.com

Hilton Kauai Beach Resort, Lihue
Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6 p.m.
808-245-1955
www.hiltonkauairesort.com

THE BIG ISLAND
Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, Keauhou
Saturday from 8-10 a.m. (adults) and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (children).
808-930-4900
www.sheratonkeauhou.com

Hilton Waikoloa Village
Friday at 11 a.m.
808-886-1234
www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com

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