Her father, Ned Lindsey sang in one of his compositions, dedicated to his daughter: When you see her, you will know her. He knew. Roselle Keli'ihonipua Bailey would often take different routes, carrying her not only across faraway lands, but also also let her turn her back on the world of competitions and instant gratification. Her teachers were, apart from her father and her mother Pua Lindsey, Aunty Emma Farden Sharpe, Aunty Edith Kanaka'ole and Aunty Kau'i Zuttermeister. Hula, for her, was never just a means for a different end. She practiced and taught hula as a way of life. Often she was way ahead of her peers. 40 years ago, she initiated the process to restore and revive one of the most important archeological sites of the hula: Keahualaka on Kauai. 30 years ago, she founded the annual "Eo e Emalani i Alaka'i" Festival at Kokee State Park. With both projects she established stages for halau hula (schools of hula) to connect and celebrate their knowledge and creativity with respect to individuality and difference: "Not all knowledge is found in one school" (Hawaiian proverb) The source of her courage, integrity and innovation is certainly rooted in her strong foundation of Aloha, which she learned from "the old folk", her parents and their generation, about the world that has no age and is still witnessing such profound and rapid change. From the direction towards the "old folk" still is flowing a subtle but strong counter-current against the forgetfulness of our time. Maybe it is not much, but it is something. And something can be done. And the end of the song from the father of old times, when hardly a car was frequenting the streets of Lahaina? – Roselle, don't raise hell !
Taking Hula Out of the Boxby Joana Varawa, published in: Art & Culture on Maui, May – October 2005, Volume 17 Issue 62
(Used with permission of Art & Culture on Maui & Full Circle Publishing, Inc)
by Roselle Keli'ihonipua Bailey, 1985