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Feel Good Friday – Flash Mob Hula At 38,000 Feet

The Halua Na Lei Hula I Ka Wekiu performs a hula on Hawaiian Airlines flight from San Francisco to Honolulu. The first dance is “Kealoha” by Akoni, one of my personal favorites. (Ehelldame is a hula fan.) The Halau did over a dozen hula “hit and runs” around San Francisco during their visit.


The translation of the Hawaiian lyrics of “Kealoha” are:

Calling to my love,
My tears are falling
Return my love, my desire,
Of my heart
You are precious to me
One in your soft eyes
Pleasant in my sight
My one and only
Don’t think my darling
About the talk which flows so freely
For we are together
Sealed to me as one
Turn to me, my love
For you have become
The most important thing to me
Of my heart

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lily G September 9, 2011, 7:11 am

    Have you ever seen the opposite number, a “haka” in New Zealand? It’s a Polynesian war dance meant to intimidate your enemies. The NZ rugby team was so successful in performing their haka, their were asked to refrain by the world rugby association!

  • TychaBrahe September 9, 2011, 7:38 am

    OK, that’s probably pretty close to my personal version of hell. Small enclosed space, no way to get out, tempers already frayed, and people start playing music.

    The nice thing about a flash mob is that you can walk away from it.

  • Hemi Halliwell September 9, 2011, 8:47 am

    I enjoyed the video very much! The clouds have rolled out and the sun is shining in my town again and this has inspired me- I think I’ll have a few friends over for an impromptu hula/Hawaiian party!

  • SouthernSugar September 9, 2011, 9:52 am

    Man, I would so be banging my head against a bulkhead wanting this to end! As Tycha said, the good thing about a flash mob is that you can walk away from it. A flash mob on an airplane is just abusing a captive audience. I see pretty much nothing here to feel good about.

  • Jessie September 9, 2011, 10:00 am

    That was lovely, I enjoy hula very much and even dabbled in it myself when I was younger during my dancing years. I have always loved watching it and the music is so enchanting!

    I think if I were a passenger on this flight I would find it very relaxing to have something so peaceful and sweet played out. =)

  • Diann September 9, 2011, 10:46 am

    Cute idea, but if this would have happened on one of my flights I would have freaked out! I get panicky on an airplane anyway and I can hardly stand it when people try to walk by my seat, I can’t imagine being trapped for almost 5 minutes while people dance around!

  • Elfqueen September 9, 2011, 11:23 am

    I agree with TychaBrahe. Lots of people are nervous flyers to begin with. Combine that with the hoops we have to jump through just to get on the plane and the general inconvenience of flying, a sudden flash mob doing the hula at 30,000 feet might be more than my nerves could take.

  • Ashley September 9, 2011, 11:45 am

    Makes me wish I still lived in Hawaii…Instead I am gearing up for another Wisconsin winter. Perhaps I will take up hula over the winter to cheer myself up…

  • Lola September 9, 2011, 12:53 pm

    Lovely song and dance, but I have to wonder – is this safe? I mean blocking the aisles of the aircraft for the duration of the song. Though I bet it was pre-cleared with the crew.

  • MaryFran September 9, 2011, 2:06 pm

    Wow, flashmob on a plane! I think it’s cool. They don’t seem to be disturbing the other passengers.

  • Norrina September 9, 2011, 4:05 pm

    Beautiful music and beautiful dancing, but I would not appreciate being a captive audience to the performance at 30,000 feet in the air.

  • lkb September 9, 2011, 5:34 pm

    Nice idea, but I think one song would have been sufficient. True it was only 4:40 minutes but the other passengers didn’t know that. I’m like previous posters who said their nerves would have been shot.
    I realize the flight was from San Francisco, but I think this would have gone off better with authentic hula music rather than that song. (I admit, I’ve always thought “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” to be rather cheesy.)

  • amyg September 9, 2011, 6:53 pm

    Not to be crude here, but I bet this would start up right when I needed to avail myself of the facilities. That would interfere a bit with my enjoyment, although I love the gracefulness of it, plus the pre-welcome to Hawaii.

  • JenaR September 9, 2011, 7:36 pm

    I agree with the majority here who don’t like this idea. Aside from issues of safety and convenience, this is an imposition. I would think there’s a breach of etiquette at work here… perhaps akin to a situation where one passenger stuck in an assigned seat is forced to deal with some problem created by another passenger during the trip. No matter the intention, if it’s unsolicited, one should think twice about executing what they think is a good idea.

  • Anna September 9, 2011, 7:50 pm

    Their dancing was lovely, but I agree with many of the previous posters that an airplane just isn’t an appropriate place for this. In terms of a captive audience, you can’t get much more “captive” than a bunch of people stuck on an airplane.

    Besides the issues of blocking the aisles and imposing their choice of music on everyone, airplane aisles just aren’t wide enough to dance without imposing on the personal space of the seated passengers. The dancers appeared to be performing hand movements over the heads of aisle-seat passengers, and I’m sure the long loose hair of some of those ladies was swinging into passengers’ personal space as they did some of the turns (that would bother me, and I know of people much more squicked out than me by strangers’ hair in their space).

    Plus, while a sleeping passenger might sleep through the relatively quiet and peaceful music being piped over the sound system, they would be in for a quite an unpleasant jolt when the applause started at the end of the performance. 🙁

    Nice idea, but a very bad choice of venue, IMO.

  • chechina September 9, 2011, 8:14 pm

    (I like hula and I’m a cheerful flyer, so to me this would have been entertaining, but…)

    If you pay attention to those passengers who are not dancing or videotaping this as part of the flashmob, they are either sleeping or ambivalent. My personal favourite is the guy who looks up momentarily to see what’s going on and then goes back to his in-flight magazine.

    Flashmob fail.

  • Cindy September 10, 2011, 11:06 am

    I agree with everyone else saying this seems like more of a bother than a good thing. It would make me uncomfortable and feel trapped in my seat. If I was one of the people they were waving their hands over, I’d have been really freaked out. I hate having people in my personal space as it is on an airplane, I would not appreciate having more. Add in the safety risks and everything else…

    Then there’s also the fact that they are video taping people on the plane then uploading it online. I understand that in this day and age with camera phones and everything you could end up online at any time, but come on. When I fly I’m not exactly looking my best. I usually take really early flights so I don’t have time to do my whole morning routine, and on a long flight like this I’m apt to dress down and comfortable and then change when I get to my destination. I would not appreciate having my travel face broadcasted on the internet. Even if they make people sign off saying they don’t mind being taped, in a cramped space like that you could still end up included. Like others have said, since it’s a plane you can’t just chose to walk away and remove yourself from the situation of the cameras, and I think that’s incredibly unfair.

  • kingsrings September 10, 2011, 6:20 pm

    Nice way to rain on EHell Dame’s parade, guys. This segment is called ‘Feel Good Friday’, and I feel party-pooper comments putting this down were unneccessary and uncalled for.

  • Harry September 10, 2011, 10:37 pm

    What a terrible idea. There are people that fly that are terrified of flying but must do it rarely. To have this sort of panic inducing element introduced for five minutes is ridiculous. It’s not cool. It’s not cute. I want people sitting in their seats, not wandering around disturbing others in a closed environment where there is no escape.

    • admin September 11, 2011, 6:34 am

      What a bunch of party pooping curmudgeons! It’s obvious in the video that the majority of passengers enjoyed the five minute performance as evidenced by how many clapped afterwards. Don’t like it? Close your eyes and put on your noise dampening ear phones. What do you panic stricken people do when the food service cart blocks the aisle and your exit to the bathroom?

      I bounced the comments to this video off a mixed group of people and every single one of them expressed the following opinions: That comments such as were posted to this video stifle creative fun for others; that it is intolerant to not set aside your personal preferences for the greater pleasure of many others; that is intolerant to reject the cultural diversity (Hawaiians consider dancing a hula to you to be a gift…it’s the ohana/aloha spirit of sharing) and they would have loved to have been on that plane. (And btw, I HATE flying but I would have loved to have been distracted from my anxiety with a pleasant performance because the airline staff allowing them to do it at that time means all is well with the plane and our flight.)

  • magicdomino September 11, 2011, 10:06 pm

    I’m surprised by so many negative comments too. Granted, my biggest problem on a long airplane flights is boredom.* This would be a heck of a lot more interesting than a movie, and at less than five minutes, the dancing is over before I can get bored with it too.

    (Despite two books, a magazine, a puzzle book, snacks, and my ipod)

  • TC September 12, 2011, 9:43 am

    I thought this was beautiful. Why can’t people be inspired by the happiness and loveliness of these people dancing? We live in a cynical world and this dance group is infusing some joy into life.

  • whiskeytangofoxtrot September 12, 2011, 1:34 pm

    I thought it was sweet. That would set the tone for my whole trip to Hawaii.

    And if I got to see a haka while I was there, even better!

  • kingsrings September 12, 2011, 2:27 pm

    Agree with EHell Dame, magicdomo, and TC. I would have loved to see this if I were on a flight to Hawaii. It’s perfectly in spirit with the destination! All you complainers – don’t be so joyless!

  • Leah September 16, 2011, 2:52 pm

    I have barely held my claustrophobia at bay in a plane the few times I have ever needed to fly; so although I might have been freaked at 35,00 feet, they hadn’t even closed the doors for takeoff yet.

    On the ground before takeoff, I would have enjoyed this.

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