Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2022

Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Health Science

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Shana Cerny


Hula, Hawaiian diaspora, Native Hawaiians, health and wellness, quality of life, culturally appropriate intervention

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


This research study investigated hula, the traditional dance of Native Hawaiians as an occupation that promotes health and wellness and improves quality of life. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to gain insight about reasons for dancing hula and if dancers’ viewpoints are a protective factor that promote quality of health for those living on the mainland (continental United States). This work was guided by the Native Hawaiian diaspora and culturally appropriate health and wellness interventions. Qualitative data regarding reasons for dancing hula and experiences with dancing hula revealed general themes: Developing a connection to the Hawaiian culture and continuing the tradition of dancing; hula as an occupation that improves oneʻs mental health/emotional well-being and physical fitness benefits. Future research should explore hula as a health intervention as well as a behavioral health intervention, especially for those who are living on the mainland. This article presents a summary of findings from the six interviews using grounded theory methods to explore hula.