May Day Dance Performance

Ritual Dance Performance:

At the informant’s elementary school in Hawaii, every May Day there is a celebration where the students perform traditional Hawaiian song and dance.


The informant went to elementary school in Hawaii and moved to California in the fourth grade. Within her four years of elementary school in Hawaii, this annual celebration was a very big deal, and she spent one day each week practicing Hula throughout the year in preparation for the May Day dance performances. 


The performance of traditional Hawaiian song and dance on May Day in the informant’s elementary school, as well as the largeness of the May Day celebration, is a clear example of a folk group actively keeping their culture alive. Especially in places like Hawaii that have become part of larger countries like the United States, it is evidently very important to find ways to keep cultural practices thriving. It is clear that celebrations like these are done with the intention to pass culture along to the youth, as well as to celebrate said culture together. Performances of traditional song and dance provide community members with a sense of shared identity as well, likely aiding in making the informant’s school’s May Day celebration so excitedly anticipated throughout each year. Celebrations involving song and dance are very good ways of keeping culture alive and celebrated, because in music and dance performances, everyone involved can participate to some extent, whether they are the performers or audience members.