GW students hula-danced for guests at a luau hosted by GW’s Hawaii Club Saturday night in the Marvin Center Ballroom.
We wanted to bring the aloha spirit to GW because it’s hard for Hawaiians to make the transition to the mainland, said Aishah Valencia, president of the club.
The luau, which organizers said they are hoping to make an annual event, consisted of a traditional Hawaiian dinner and performance of several different dances from the three corners of the Polynesian pyramid – Tahiti, Hawaii and New Zealand.
The main course was Kalua Pig, a traditional dish of a pig cooked in an underground oven with heated rocks.
Twelve dancers took hula lessons and practiced all semester, leading up to the luau. They performed a traditional hula, modern hula, Maori and Tahitian dances to the sounds of local Hawaiian musicians who came together for this show.
This is a dream come true for the Hawaii Club because we started so small, said Valencia, a junior from Oahu, Hawaii.
The group raised about $2,500 for the luau, including sponsorship from the Marvin Center Governing Board, the Diversity Program Clearing-House, Program Board and the Residence Hall Association. Parents and companies donated the flowers and other decorations, Valencia said.
The club decorated the ballroom with flowers and posters from Hawaii. A large Hawaiian flag was hung on a wall, and smaller ones were the centerpieces on the tables.