We stopped for the night at WAHMA, Wausau
Area Hmong Mutual Assistance. WAHMA has a dance group. We
saw about six or seven of the dancers, mostly girls about
10 to 12 years old. (All were related, except for the girl
in the green dress.) They all wore traditional Hmong clothing.
The skirts they wore had very small pleats and looked too
heavy to dance in, but they did fine. Most of the dance was
girls walking into formations, turning around, and stepping
side-to-side with their hands and arms in different positions.
The song they danced to was about a girl saying to her ex-boyfriend
that she wished time could turn around, and at this point
in the song the girls started turning around and walking away
from each other...
After a little dancing, they invited us to come up for a dance
lesson. First, they taught us to step side-to-side. Next they
taught us the peacock movement, here you put your pointer
finger and your thumb [in the air] and twist your wrists...The
dancing was great.
On our trip we got to learn a Hmong
dance. The people who taught us were children! The girls wore
traditional Hmong clothes. It is rather hard to explain the
dance, but it was basically side-stepping and turning with
the feet and legs and LOTS of graceful movements with the
arms and hands. That dance was so beautiful when the Hmong
girls did it, but I felt clumsy. Now that I know a couple
of Hmong dance moves I could probably make up my own Hmong
dance. What I learned from this besides the dance was that
all cultures have dances and all of the cultures’ dances
are different. I never really liked to dance until I learned
that Hmong dance.
We were learning the same song they
danced and it was really hard! You have to be REALLY coordinated.
A lot of us could do the stuff with our hands but not with
our feet.... Their teachers, Mai Choua Mova and Pam Vue, are
really good. They’ve made movies. They danced for us
and they really know what they are doing.
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