Most of the fears are based on how hula has been portrayed by tourism. Also, Lynn called the Merrie Monarch Festival the Olympics of hula, stating you can’t just get in the face of an athlete and snap photos as they prepare for competition. Halaus from all the Hawaiian Islands prepare all year for the event. It’s an intense process. Every dress and lei must be identical so a group moves as one. A single lei leaf falling on the dance floor deducts points. So everything is crafted with staggering detail, and culminates with a final dress check from Mapu just before going onstage. If a dancer meets her approval, Mapu ties a lei around her neck, and whispers a personal message. It feels a bit like a coronation, and while I couldn’t hear what Mapu whispered, I could tell this was a deeply personal moment between a student and teacher.