Aloha ‘O Ka Hula Dance Troupe exudes sacred ambience of special Christmas song

Violet Ray has danced to “Silent Night” many times in The Villages with the Aloha ‘O Ka Hula Dance Troupe. But there was a unique, sacred ambience Monday in the North Lake Presbyterian Church.

Ray, who choreographed the dance nearly a decade ago, took the stage with a dozen dancers in front of a wall-sized mural of the manger scene in Bethlehem from the first Christmas.

“I looked at that picture of Mary, Joseph and Jesus – and I thought of the story behind it – and it was so moving, and so beautiful,” Ray said after the dancers performed with The Villages Pop Chorus and Band.

Ray and the Aloha ‘O Ka Hula Dance Troupe has performed “Silent Night” at Town Squares and venues throughout The Villages. She first started doing it as a solo number at the old Church on the Square – now the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center.

Violet Ray, second row from left, and the Aloha ‘O Ka Hula Dance Troupe perform to ‘Silent Night’ during a show at North Lake Presbyterian Church on Monday.

“We’ve done it a lot and I’ve done it a lot, but today, in a church, it felt different,” Ray said. “This is not an easy number. I tell the dancers, they have to move really slow, and be careful with all the movements.

“We’re telling a story with movements. It’s the song that inspires the movements. The music moves the dancers, and today, on this stage, the music moved me. It was just so beautiful.”

For those who missed it, Ray will offer a solo dance performance of “Silent Night” during

“Carols By Candlelight,” Dec. 13-16, in Savannah Center. Singers Alex Santoriello, Mary Jo Vitale, Dawn DiNome, Clark Barrios and Kathleen Kane will sing Christmas songs.

Tony Violanti is a veteran journalist and writes for