Beginner’s Hula Dance with Alia

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Looking to try an inspiring and enjoyable dance-form and exercise? Try Hula from The Hawaiian Islands.

Hula means “dance” in the Hawaiian language, and is the gentler form of Polynesian dance, with a rolling hip action that expresses the motion of the ocean, while the hands tells the story. You will be taken on a journey of the sun drenched shores, edged in palm trees that is one of the World’s best known beaches – Waikiki.

This class caters for all levels of dance/ages/abilities, and all you need to bring is a sarong to tie around your hips, a happy smile and maybe invite a friend or two.

Your teacher Alia has family history in bellydance and has over 30 years’ experience internationally as a performer and teacher. She studied Hula in-depth in Honolulu from some of Hawaii’s best Kumu Hulas (Master Dance Teachers – Kumu literally means “source, foundation & origin”), most notably one-on-one teaching from Koleo (regarded as one
of the best Male Hula dancers), and is the MC and trainer for the famous Royal Hawaiian Hula Luau Show.

What will we cover?

In this workshop we will explore:

  • Warm ups and safe dance/movement techniques
  • An introduction to Hawaiian Hula
  • Learning traditional dance combinations and muscle movements
  • A cool down based on belly yoga (again standing or chair-based, no floor work)

This is a total beginners class, suitable for all ages and fitness levels, with no floor-based activity.

Please wear comfortable clothes that allow for movement such as yoga gear (jeans not recommended!). This also helps you to see your own movements.


  • Wheelchair Accessible Venue
  • Gender Neutral Bathrooms
  • Quiet Spaces
  • Free Tickets for First Nation Attendees
  • Auslan Interpreted on Request

    Who will be Teaching? 

    Deborah Kananghinis (she/her), who also goes by her stage name Alia, is a Bellydancer and Teacher with over 30 years of international experience. She has danced professionally in Egypt, and has taught, performed and delivered workshops in the USA, Singapore, New Zealand and around Australia.

    Deb’s background is Ethnic Gypsy, so she’s grown up with belly dancing as culture, and her own family lineage goes from NZ (where she was born and grew up), to the UK, the Middle East and to the Berber people of Morocco.

    Deb is also part of LOTUS – a group dedicated to honouring and sharing ancient traditions of MENAGaT
    (Middle Eastern, North African, Greek & Turkish) dance traditions,
    in their performances and in their teaching.

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    Photo: Public Domain

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