Behind the Scenes with Lu‘au, 3

Behind the Scenes with Lu‘au, 3

April 16, 2013

For freshman Karla Dubey, a first year with Lu‘au culminates with success.

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Since the beginning of the school year, I’ve heard so many great things about Pacific University’s Lū‘au, and the haunting stories about how hectic it would be planning it.

Two months ago, I had no idea what I was in for. I didn’t even know how to dance hula.

Then, in the blink of any eye, it was Lū‘au day. After two months of dance practices, making leis, preparing food, unloading thousands of pounds of cargo, even waking up at 4 a.m. for Drew Carney’s annual “Out and About” coverage, I woke up the morning of April 13 thinking, “Wow, this is it. Lū‘au is finally here.”

It was kind of surreal.

Twenty minutes before the show, the members of the Nā Haumāna O Hawai‘i gathered in the girls’ dressing room as Aunty Edna and Uncle Jeff made their last announcements and gave words of encouragement. We stood in a huge circle, praying for the best and for all of our hard work to pay off.

Then the sound of the Hawaiian conch shell filled the gymnasium and it was show time.

Inside the gymnasium was a sold-out crowd of family and friends who flew up from Hawai‘i and various other places. Those who couldn’t make it sat at home, watching live online. The adrenaline rushed through the performers — anticipation, nervousness and excitement emitting off everyone.

“Before stepping on stage, I was more concerned with how the audience would take in and soak the experience of our culture, our life. I wanted them to enjoy our music and dance,” said Hannah Beltran ’16. “That night, I felt as if I was back home, and I am sure others felt the same way.”

“The best part of Lū‘au is not just dancing but making friends in the process. I was a transfer student in the spring semester, and if it wasn’t for Lū‘au practices, I wouldn’t have made nearly as many friends or connections that I still keep to this day,” added Kristen Yamamoto ’13. “Lū‘au is such a big production and so much time and effort goes into it, so in being a participant, you can’t help but be proud of what we accomplish and have to show.

At the end of the night, we all knew that the show was a success. We had shared a little piece of home, and I couldn’t be more proud to have been part of it. As many would say at home: Lū‘au is pau hana. Until next year, aloha aku aloha mai. That is, spread a little aloha, everyone.

Freshman Karla Dubey wrote a series of behind-the-scenes stories from her first year of Lu‘au. Read more in Part 1 and Part 2.