Hula dancing is one of the oldest traditions in Hawaii, designed to portray a visual story accompanied to music or chanting. Hawaii is home to countless hula ensembles and performances, from world-famous luaus to a special show that combines both magic and hula. There are also various hula festivals that attract told talent from around the world, in addition to many free shows offered to the public. These are nine of the best hula performances in Hawaii you need to check out.

See One Of The 9 Best Hula Performances In Hawaii

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1. Paradise Cove Luau

Get the best of both worlds by enjoying a seaside luau while watching talented hula and fire dancers perform. Paradise Cove is one of the largest and most respected luau shows in Hawaii, located on Oahu at the Ko Olina Resort. Enjoy the beautiful backdrop of Hawaii while award-winning dancers entertain to the beat of traditional songs to tell various cultural stories.

Address: 92-1089 Ali’inui Drive, Kapolei

2. Royal Hawaiian Center

The Royal Hawaiian Center in the heart of Waikiki (right in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel) promotes the Hawaiian performing and visual arts through a series of complimentary classes and live entertainment. Currently they offer hour-long hula classes, performances, and offer their Hawaiian Entertainment special in The Royal Grove, where top island entertainers perform a variety of dances to music while spreading the aloha spirit.

Address: 2201 Kalakaua Avenue, Kapolei

3. Merrie Monarch Festival

Located in Hilo, Hawaii, this annual cultural celebration lasts for a week in April and honors King David Kalakaua (aka the Merrie Monarch). The festival features a variety of entertainment that includes hula dancers, the Miss Aloha Hula competition, the Merrie Monarch Royal Parade, and award ceremonies.

Address: Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium, 323 Manono Street, Kapolei

4. Waikiki Beach Hula Show

Enjoy free authentic Hawaiian music and hula every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The ceremony opens with the lighting of torches and the traditional blowing of a conch shell. The show takes place at the Kuhio Beach Hula Mound on Kalakaua Avenue directly across the street from the Hyatt Regency Waikiki.

Address: Kuhio Beach Hula Mound, Kapolei

5. Kauai Mokihana Festival

Check out this weeklong celebration of Hawaiian culture on the island of Kauai that includes music and hula competitions, as well as educational lectures on a variety of subjects. The event runs from September 24 to 30, and one of the main draws are both the group and solo hula competitions that demonstrate the unique types of dancing. General admission is $20 for key events.

Address: 4331 Kauai Beach Drive, Kapolei

6. Magic of Polynesia

Experience both magic and hula dancing at this special show, which was created by Merlin Award-winning illusionist John Hirokawa. The stunning $7.5-million show room in Waikiki entertains guests with everything from vanishing acts and stunning illusions to professionally choreographed Polynesian entertainment ranging from Hula to Tahitian dances.

Address: 2300 Kalakaua Avenue, Kapolei

7. Hawaii Theatre Center

Serving the island of Oahu for 90 years, the Hawaii Theatre is a non-profit organization that has played a special role in Honolulu’s cultural scene. Their diverse lineup of entertainment includes an annual concert presented by the Kaukoko Foundation that incorporates movement and storytelling accompanied by Hula to celebrate various themes.

Address: 2300 Kalakaua Avenue, Kapolei

8. Waikiki Starlight Luau

The Hilton Hawaiian Village features one of the most impressive dance shows that incorporates Tahitian, Hawaiian hula, Tonga, Fijian, and Samoan dances and songs. Highlights include fire-knife dancers and the Hawaiian hula solo, where a dancer performs a story with her hands. Enjoy the show while feasting on a selection of local ad traditional dishes at the buffet, from Lomi Lomi salmon to taro-flavored bread rolls.

Address: 2005 Kalia Road, Kapolei

9. Polynesian Hula Show

Located in the midst of a beachside mall on Maui, this free hula show is offered Mondays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and features professional dancers accompanied by music. In addition to the hula dancing, which takes place in the open-air performance spa right in the midst of shopping, there are additional activities offer such as hula lessons, lei making, and coconut husking demonstrations.

Address: Shops at Mauna Lani, Kapolei

This article was written by Kamala Kirk.