Take in the spirit of hula at local dance classes
LEANDRA Gurbiel has always had vision of sharing the beauty, power and meaning behind hula dancing with others after learning the traditional dance on visits to Hawaii for the past 18 years.
"I have a deep love for the tradition and I've been learning Hawaiian dancing, the language and the ukulele," Ms Gurbiel said.
"I trained in Hawaiian chanting ... I have such a passion for it and love doing it and I just want to share it.
"It brings so much friendship, connection and beauty to people - and that's the vision."
The Hervey Bay resident is now sharing her passion after starting a successful weekly Hawaiian hula dance classes, and singing and ukulele lessons.
"My vision was to bring Aloha to Hervey Bay and that's happened through the Hawaiian dance classes and the Hawaiian singing group that accompanies the dance classes.
"So when we come together and put on a performance, it's a whole big group with a band, dancer and singers - it's a lot of fun."
From small beginnings a year ago, Ms Gurbiel now teaches up to 15 ladies a week aged from 16 and up to 85.
The group was well received at the Oceans Whale Festival and Blessing of the Fleet last year, and has also applied to take part in this year's Childers Multi-Cultural Festival.
"Hervey Bay is a gorgeous place and to bring more culture, more music, more friendship and more connection - that's pretty much the vision and the dream."
Ms Gurbiel believes hula is a great way for ladies to leave their worries at the door by spending an hour enjoying the dance, even if you have two left feet.
"I welcome their left feet ... we'll teach them how to have a right foot too," she said.
"It's not about being a good dancer, it's about having a really good time and about the joy and the beauty of it."
There's several ways to get involved with the group.
The regular Aloha Ohana Hula Na Wahine Hawaiian Hula Dance Class is on every Thursday from 7-8pm at Ocean Tree Yoga Studio, the Esplanade, Torquay.
There will also be a Hawaiian Hula Dance Classes Introduction Workshop on Saturday, February 24, from 2-3.30pm. Cost is $15.
A beginners Aloha Ohana Hula Na Wahine Hawaiian Hula Dance Class will start on Tuesday, April 3, from 7.15-8.15pm also at Ocean Tree Yoga Studio. Cost is $15.
There's also an open
door invitation to singers and musicians who would like to join the Aloha
Ohana Hawaiian Singing and Ukulele group every Monday at 12.30-3pm at the Sporties Club in Urangan. Cost is $5.
"You can either just sing or bring your ukulele along," Ms Gurbiel said.
To find out more, phone 0418404166 or