Love of Hula

Kaylee Puccetti (11) has been dancing for the past 10 years of her life. The type of dancing might be different than what comes to mind at first. Puccetti dances Hula, a Hawaiian dance that dates back to 1893. She has dedicated her life to dancing and finds it beneficial to both her mental and physical health. She has found herself dancing for many social events, but recently she has not due to the airborne COVID-19 pandemic.
Puccetti dances at Mau Loa Ohana, located in Antioch, California. The studios main instructor, Monique Castaneda, started the program in her small garage with a dream that she would spread inspiration and peace amongst those who share a love of hula. Puccetti has since bonded with her dance team, although she prefers to call them her family.
“My experience while dancing has been incredible, dancing has a way of opening your mind to things you would be opposed to otherwise. I have bonded so much with the people I dance with, they are family to me,” stated Puccetti.
As a child, Puccetti attended Krey Elementary School, which hosted an annual Hawaiian fest every year. Watching the dancers opened her eyes to a new world of beautiful and spiritual dance, and she was soon welcomed to the team. Since she has been a part of Mau Loa Ohana, she has felt more like herself.
“Hula has changed me as a person, in the way that I am much more creative and I have learned to love others through dance,” said Puccetti.
Hula’s rich history is described through hand and body movement in dances. Hand movement can be used to to describe specific things in stories, while body movement often represents what is going on.
“Hula is all about telling a story and so hearing the stories about the songs that we dance to is amazing. We are literally dancing history,” stated Puccetti.
Puccetti hopes to continue Hula throughout her life, though she states she knows it will be impossible to do forever. She doesn’t want to pursue Hula as a career, but rather a side job. She says she would like to pursue something in the business industry as her career. Kaylee has no plans to let go of dancing anytime soon as it is so special to her.