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Print by Shannon Weaver


Have you ever worked so hard for something just for it to be canceled the day of? This happened to me in my eighth grade year. When I got this news I felt so unlucky, but in the end it all worked out. 

  Last school year I had the opportunity to represent my parents Koka and Mahealani Gionson and my community of Waikoloa by dancing as my school’s 2023 Hoho’olaule’a Qqueen. I was very honored to be given this moment. The court and I had ve been putting so much work into our dance during our practices. The day before, everyone was hyping each other up,. Because we were all so excited!.

It was the morning of the performance and I woke up extra early so that I would be prepared. While I was getting ready, I looked out the window and saw that it was pouring rain and the air was heavy with that left a strong musky smell. I started to get worried because the Ho’olaule’a it was is an outdoor event,. bBut I continued to get ready, trying to keep positive thoughts.     

Then, as I was getting in the car, I had gotten multiple messages from a bunch of court members; such as my friends Addie and Caroline telling me that due to the heavy rain our May Day had to be rescheduled. I was absolutely devastated at the fact that I couldn’t show everyone how hard I’dI’ve been practicing. At that moment, I decided to see the positive side of things like the . Which was the fact that it gave me more time to practice. So I had to text all of my family members to let them know the news. I was extremely glad that everyone understood.

Finally, the day the Ho’olaule’a it was rescheduled, had come. I felt way more prepared than last time,. sSince I already went through the routine of getting ready before. When I arrived at school, many people came up to me to tell me good luck and admire my simple yet elegant white dress. It made me feel supported by my peers and the community. 

     I walked into the room where we where would meet everyone. All eyes turned to me. I was so amazed by the beautiful leis and spirited clothing that they were wearing. The teachers had started to instruct us to line up, meaning it was time for the performance. 

We started to walk up the stairs to the field and that’s where I saw all the people that had come to see the students. We walked to the center and picked up our uli ulis because we were the first group to perform. I was so scared and honored at the same time.

From the second the music started till the moment it stopped, I danced with passion and love. I could feel the wind blowing on my face while smelling the sweet leis that me and my family and I had made the night before. When the music stopped, it was my cue to walk separately to the front because it was time for my solo.

  At first I was scared but I just kept reminding myself that I worked for this and all these people in front of me had been waiting for this. I put a big smile on my face and danced with pride and grace to my song that talked about a beautiful woman’s connection with the native birds of the land called Kapilina. When the music ended, I felt relieved as the king Jason-Siosi, the court, and I walked to our seats. 

When all the dancers were done, my family got up and came straight to me. I could see how proud they were of me and it made me feel appreciative that I have so many people to support me. When I walked back to the room to get changed, my neck was full of intensely aromatic lei’s that were from my friends and family. This experience helped me to see the positive sides of events and hope for the best. I now know that hope is sometimes all you may have and that you should take advantage of it. 


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  • V

    VaiDec 12, 2023 at 2:01 pm

    Period Irie, you slayed that.

  • L

    Lili R SolomonNov 21, 2023 at 5:42 pm

    This is a beautiful and powerful story! Thank you for sharing this, Irie!