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Kumu Profiles L-Y



Joan S. Lindsey           
Joan S. Lindsey Hula Studio
Joan Nauoeemilikaaokalikookalanialoha Sniffen Lindsey`s roots reach back to Kohala on the island of Hawai`i where she lived with her Hawaiian grandparents during early childhood. They taught her of things Hawaiian and nurtured her desire to learn hula. When her grandfather died, she came to live with her Korean grandparents on O`ahu.  She began her hula training with her aunt Caroline Peters Tuck at the age of seventeen. She also studied under Lena Guerrero and Lokalia Montgomery. She was a performing dancer in the line with Hawaii`s famed "Songbird," Lena Machado.
The Joan S. Lindsey Hula Studio has entered countless hula competitions, always delighting the judges and audience with her beautiful traditional hula style, and winning many awards.  Ironically, as Aunty Joan explains, "The competition isn`t important. I will never pick just the best to perform or compete, because that`s not part of learning. That`s not the Hawaiian way. The Hawaiian way that I know is that the one who needs the most love and the most time, you need to give them that time -- you come from a Hawaiian family and that`s how it is."  While teaching hula primarily to keiki and kupuna, Joan also coaches young women for specific competitions, and teaches foreign groups who come to Hawai`i to learn or broaden their hula experience.  She is also part of the kupuna program, teaching Hawaiian culture in Hawai`i`s school system.
Aunty Joan has taught hula in the Pearl City area for decades and continues to inspire and teach new generations of children a love of hula and Hawaiian culture.  In fact, she has taught several generations in many of the same families, and is now teaching the great-grandchildren of original students.
Lilinoe Lindsey
Ka Pa Nani `O Lilinoe

Kumu Lilinoe is a long-time haumana and alaka`i of renowned kumu hula Joan S. Lindsey, her aunt.  In her long hula career, Lilinoe has also attended workshops conducted by George Naope, Pat Namaka Bacon, Edith McKinzie, John Ka`imikaua and Kimo Alama-Keaulana, as well as an Oli Workshop with Edith McKinzie.

Her award-winning halau, Ka Pa Nani `O Lilinoe, has participated in Queen Lili`uokalani Keiki Hula Competition, Hapa Haole Hula Competition, World International Hula Festival and King Kamehameha Hula Competition in Honolulu; Hula O Na Keiki in Maui; King Kalakaua Hula Competition and Ka Hula Le`a Hula Festival in Kona; Merrie Monarch Hula Festival in Hilo; Kau I Ka Hano in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The halau also takes part in the following non-competition venues: Prince Lot Hula Festival, Princess Ka`iulani Birthday Keiki Hula Festival and Moanikeala Hula Festival.They also regularly perform at various Waikiki hotels; Waikiki Sheraton Hotel, Princess Ka`iulani Hotel, Outrigger Reef Hotel and Kuhio Beach Hula Show.

In addition to her life-long study of hula, kumu Lilinoe has obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Hawaiian Studies, and is currently enrolled in their Graduate Program.

Lilinoe carries on the graceful, fluid style of Auntie Joan, adding to it her own depth of experience and creativity.  She also has a beautiful singing voice to accompany her dancers, and favors the traditional mele of hula.

Keawe Lopes
Ka La `Onohi Mai O Ha`eha`e
Keawe Lopes is a kumu hula, recording artist, bass, guitar and ukulele player, show producer and Hawaiian language instructor. His intimacy with the language is a foundation for the hula he teaches, and his knowledge of music and chant lend a depth to his language teaching.  At the halau, Ka La `Onohi Mai O Ha`eha`e, Keawe shares kumu hula honors with his wife and partner, Tracie Farias Lopes.
His hula teachers were Patrick Choy, Nalani Kaehuaea Tenorio and Kimo Alama Keaulana, from whose advanced courses Keawe graduated – in 2000, a formal `uniki for Hula `Olapa and `Ala`apapa, and in 2002 for Hula Pahu.
On the academic side, Keawe has earned degrees in Hawaiian Language and Education.  He has been an Assistant Professor from 2008 for Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he has worked the past 17 years (1996 - 1997 as Lecturer; 1998 - 2007 as Instructor & 2008 - Present as Assistant Professor)  Kumu Keawe received his PhD in December of 2010.
A show producer and performer, Keawe has played and sung with the best, and continues to share his talents as a recording artist.  In 2003, his debut recording, “He Aloha No,” garnered Na Hoku Hanohano nominations in the Hawaiian Language Album and Haku Mele Song Composer categories.
Keawe is often called on, for his Hawaiian language proficiency and knowledge of Hawaiian music and chant, to judge language in hula competitions, and he has been a Hawaiian Language Judge for the Hawai`i Academy of Recording Arts for two years.

He and wife Tracie opened their hula halau in 2005, and the halau has already garnered awards in competition, including Merrie Monarch Hula Festival.
Tracie Farias Lopes
Ka La `Onohi Mai O Ha`eha`e
Tracie Lopes is a respected professional hula dancer, Hawaiian language teacher and co-kumu hula with husband Keawe Lopes to the award-winning halau Ka La 'Onohi Mai O Ha`eha`e.  Tracie`s early hula roots are with her own Aunty Johnette Keawehawai`i, Uncle Kalanikoa Ioane, and Ed Collier.  She studied with and danced for O`Brian Eselu and Thaddius Wilson for 16 years.  Her advanced hula studies included the demanding Hula `Olapa and `Ala`apapa and Hula Pahu courses of hula master Kimo Alama Keaulana, from which she graduated in formal `Uniki ceremonies in 2000 and 2002.
Fluent in the Hawaiian language, with a BA in Education and MA in Public Administration, Tracie has been a Hawaiian Language teacher and lecturer at St. Louis High School and the University of Hawai`i.  She is currently a lecturer in Hawaiian Language at Hawaii Pacific University.
Tracie`s solo hula career has been impressive, beginning with awards as both Miss Hula Päkahi on Maui and Miss E Hoi Mai I Ka Piko Hula on O`ahu in 1992.  In 1993 and 1994, she earned the 1st Place Chant Award at the prestigious King Kamehameha Day Competition.  Her excellent performances at the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival in Hilo, in 1994, which earned her the coveted title of Miss Aloha Hula. She has been a professional dancer, including a long stint as featured soloist with Jerry Santos and Olomana.
Daughter of famed singer, Karen Keawehawai`i, Tracie has inherited her mother`s gift for singing, and often performs with husband and co-kumu hula, Keawe Lopes.  They opened their hula halau in 2005, and the young halau has already garnered awards in competition, including Merrie Monarch Hula Festival.
Noelani Mahoe
Singer, Musician, Hula Teacher
Author, historian, musician, singer, recording artist, teacher of hula and music, and show producer, Edwina Noelani Kanoho Mahoe is a master of Hawaiian music, a pioneer who has contributed greatly to its perpetuation. In the early 1960’s, Noelani formed the Leo Nahenahe Singers with Ethelynne and Mona Teves and Lynette Kaopuiki. In 1964, along with Kaupena Wong, they were the first Hawaiian performers invited to perform at the world-renowned Newport Folk Festival, at the request of American icon Pete Seeger. In 1996, Noelani was a finalist for Best Female Vocalist in the Na Hoku Hanohano music awards. She has received many Hawaii Music Awards and the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hawai`i Academy of Reording Arts.
Noelani taught music and hula in the influential Parks and Recreation programs of Honolulu in the 1960’s, and formed the Waimanalo Keiki chorus who performed widely, producing popular recordings.  In 1971, she joined her friend, late Hawaiian visionary Dr. George Kanahele, in forming the Hawaiian Music Foundation, and the first Hawaiian Music Conference. She coordinated slack key, falsetto and steel guitar concerts throughout Hawai`i. She coined the phrase “leo ki`eki`e” to describe the falsetto voice, and received approval from the Hawaiian Dictionary author Mary Kawena Pukui -- the term was added to the dictionary in1985.
She has been a music judge for many Kamehameha Schools Song Contests, has worked for years with the visitor industry as a cultural consultant. She has developed many educational curricula centered on Hawaiian music. 
In 1974, Noelani produced the TV series “Na Mele Hawai`i” capturing many masters on film -- its archives are valued sources. She currently coordinates the music and hula shows at the International Market Place in Waikiki.
Noelani is well-known for Na Mele O Hawai`i Nei, A Hundred and One Hawaiian Songs, co-authored with Dr. Samuel H.Elbert. This book is on the shelf of nearly every hula dancer and singer of Hawaiian music.
Her hula background is a unique as Noelani’s life, having studied privately with hula master Tom Hiona from 1953 to 1961, when he gave her permission to teach. She also learned specific hula from Alice Keawekane, Lena Machado and others.
Hi`ilei Maxwell-Juan
Pukalani Hula Hale
Hi`ilei Maxwell-Juan is the third child born to the late Kumu Hula Nina Boyd Maxwell and Kahu Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell, Sr. of Maka`eha, Pukalani, Maui. After growing up in Pukalani Hula Hale, the Maui-based halau founded by Aunty Nina in the early 1960s, Hi`ilei was chosen to `uniki and be her mother`s partner in teaching and expanding the halau. Nina Boyd Maxwell was a privileged apprentice of Kumu Hula Emma Sharpe of renowned Farden family of Lahaina, Maui. Aunty Emma`s hula lineage comes from a Kalakaua Court dancer, Kauhai Likua also of Lahaina, Maui. Keeping in the Kalakaua tradition, much of the halau`s movements continue to represent the `ike or knowledge passed on from Kauhai Likua to Aunty Emma, Aunty Nina and now entrusted with Hi`ilei.
Pukalani Hula Hale has traveled world-over, performed for many heads of state and featured in various forms.  In 2006 after Aunty Nina`s untimely passing and after 20 years by her mother`s side, Hi`ilei is now the only Kumu Hula of Pukalani Hula Hale. Pukalani Hula Hale holds classes for a range of students in Pukalani and Kihei, Maui.
Hi`ilei is married to Rodney Juan and mother to two sons, Kahikinamaikalani (13) and Kalanikini (10). Hi`ilei and her family reside in Wailuku, Maui.
Twyla Ululani Mendez
Halau Na Pua A Lei
As the daughter of one of Hawaii’s great hula masters and entertainers, Twyla has been nurtured and groomed throughout her life as a dancer, ho`opa`a, & alaka`i.  Her mother, the beloved, late Leilani Sharpe Mendez, lovingly guided her daughter, with the intention of passing on her legacy.  Since the day she was born, hula has been Twyla’s way of life.
Throughout their hula history, they have entered numerous competitions and placed with top honors. Twyla  had the honor of being named Miss Aloha Hula 1984 at the esteemed Merrie Monarch Hula Festivals.  With over 30 years of hula experience, she continues to pass on the style and beliefs of her mother’s hula to new haumana (students).  Twyla currently teaches on the Leeward side of O’ahu and has chosen the halau name “Halau Na Pua A Lei” in honor of her mother.  It means: “The many blossoms of Lei.”  As Twyla says, “It is with pride and dedication, that I carry on my mother’s labor of love.”  
Twyla’s philosophy is to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture, by passing on the knowledge instilled in her by her mother, while keeping the proper protocols and traditions.  “Being given the task of teaching such an important aspect of our culture holds a deep responsibility,” says Twyla.  “Respect for our culture comes with the God-given gift of being born to carry on a legacy.  As my mother would say, ‘Kumu hulas are born, not made.’” 
Derek Kia’aina Nu`uhiwa
Ke Ali`i O Ka Malu, Wai'anae and Japan
From the age of 14 years in 1979, through 1987, Derek Kia`aina Nu`uhiwa studied hula under the direction of the late Darrell ‘Ihi’ihilauakea Lupenui, kumu hula of the world-renowned Men of Waimapuna.
After Darrell’s passing in 1987, Derek continued dancing, but this time professionally, for almost a decade. He performed locally with the Tavana’s Polynesian Show and Germaine’s Lu’au, and then traveled abroad, to the U.S. Mainland and over 16 foreign countries.
Derek opened a Christian hula ministry, Ke Ali’i O Ka Malu, in the early 1990’s. He has expanded his hula outside the church to include secular traditional hula. In 1996, two promoters from Japan came to Hawai’i to invite Darrell to teach in Tokyo. After learning of Darrell's passing, they sought out many of Darrell’s students, Derek included, to continue teaching Darrell's legacy of hula in Japan. To date, Derek has been teaching in Tokyo for over 10 years, and of course continues to teach here in his homeland, on O`ahu.
Derek has entered his Ke Ali’i O Ka Malu dancers in competitions such as Ia `Oe E Ka La Hula Festival and the King Kamehameha Hula Festival, where they have won many awards.
Derek is married to a former Japanese hula student of his. Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Yoko began studying hula in 1995, along with her mother, under the tutelage of Kaleinani Hayakawa.  Later, Yoko met Derek in Tokyo and began taking private classes from him whenever he visited. Eventually, they married and now live in Wai`anae, where they are raising two daughters. Derek is a full-time police officer with the Honolulu Police Department.
Kale Pawai      
Halau Na Pua Mai Ka Lani
Founded in June of 2002, Halau Na Pua Mai Ka Lani is located in Kalihi on O`ahu, Hawai`i. Kumu Kale has danced with many talented kumu hula of Hawai`i, such as Pua Mendiola, Michael and Jamed Dela Cruz, Sonny Ching and Kamalei Sataraka. After over two years of study, he was honored to uniki as an `olapa under Master Kumu Hula Kimo Alama Keaulana.
As a kumu hula, Kale has led his halau to many accomplishments, winning hula awards in competitions such as King Kamehameha Hula Competition and Hula Oni E on O`ahu, as well as Kau I Ka Hano Hula Competition in Las Vegas. In 2006, the halau won the overall division at the Mokihana Festival on Kaua`i. Although the halau focuses mainly on Hawaiian hula, they also honor their Polynesian cousins with dances of New Zealand, Samoa and Tahiti.
Their Hawaiian performances are a weekly feature at the Kuhio Beach Torch Lighting & Hula Shows, as Kale specialized in staging dynamic, beautiful showcases of hula with his talented dancers. He is never afraid to challenge them to new heights. Every dancer in the halau is taught the saying, "No scared `em, go get `em!" It translates to "Let nothing hide your true feelings -- show how much you love what you do and give it all you got!" That philosophy continues to result in enthusiastic and expressive hula from this creative kumu hula.
Shirley Recca
Halau Hula O Namakahulali
Named for her sparkling eyes, Shirley Namakahulali Kanemura Recca has been a featured hula dancer for the past 35 years, dazzling audiences from Hawai`i to the continental U.S. and Japan. With her fluid classical hula style, as well as her deadpan comic dance, she demonstrates her talent and versatility in the hula.  She founded Halau Hula O Namakahulali to teach not only ancient and traditional hula, but also to share her skill in the style of Hawai`i`s showroom hula of the 1930`s and 40`s.
She began her hula studies with Puanani Alama as a child, performing her first ho`ike with Aunty Genoa Keawe.  She studied theatre and musical comedy.  Her hula performance history is long and varied, encompassing almost every major show and showroom in Hawai`i, as well as those on the U.S. mainland, as a featured soloist in grand Hawaiian showcases.
Halau Hula O Namakahulali has carried on this flair for performance, taking part in many functions like Gov. Ben Cayetano`s inauguration, Aloha Tower`s grand opening, and the Aloha Bowl`s halftime, and conventions.
Shirley`s hula is taught with a serious foundation in the legacy of her teachers and culture.  She graduated in hula pahu and hula `olapa, and has studied with Kimo Alama Keaulana, Sam and Kala Bernard, and George Holokai.  When she teaches, she does not change the old dances she has learned.  She reserves her strong creativity for the hula `auana, or modern hula.  The halau has won awards at many festivals and competitions.
Shirley is married to singer Joe Recca, known for his beautiful bariton renditions of Hawaiian music.  Their daughters carry on the family tradition in performing, Elan as a singer, and Delys as a hula dancer.  The Reccas are a complete Hawaiian show all by themselves, with talent to spare.
Aukele Siangco
The Hula of Uncle George Holokai
Born and raised in Honolulu, Aukele started hula at age 3, with hula teacher Kuulei Clark, until her `uniki (graduation).  When she was 12, her mother enrolled her in Maiki Aiu`s hula studio, where she stayed through high school.  Then came marriage, and four children, so she was away from hula until about age 26, when she happened to pass a park in Ewa Beach – and heard familiar singing.  It was long-time family friend, George Holokai, and the chance encounter changed her life.  As she greeted him, Uncle George said, “Come dance with me.”  That was 1976, and she stayed with him until he died last year.
Aukele developed as a professional dancer, also working with Kealoha Kalama and Aunty Leilani Sharp Mendez.  Beginning in 1978, Aukele worked at the Bishop Museum in King`s Alley, Waikiki, under Pele Suganuma, a renowned hula chanter and kumu hula.  Aukele became a dancer in the famous Heritage Theatre Hawaiian shows, choreographed by George Holokai, until early 1980`s.  Dancing for Uncle George, she grew into the role of alaka`i, or chief assistant, teaching Uncle George`s dancers the hulas he created.  Uncle George staged hula shows and gave hula workshops around the world, with Aukele by his side, as alaka`i and dancer.   In his final four years of life, he conducted a special hula class for kumu hula, with Aukele as his alaka`i.
Outside of family, Aukele Siangco was with Uncle George Holokai longer than any other dancer.  She knows the heart of his hula, his style, his choreographies and his traditional values.  After his death in 2006, Aukele continues to carry on Uncle George`s hula, a very special gift to the world.
Pohai Souza
Halau Hula Kamamolikolehua
Pohai’s study and love for the hula began at the age of four, when she danced her first steps under the instruction of George Holokai and his mother, Alice Holokai. At eight, she began dancing for her aunt, Maiki Aiu, at her Ke`eaumoku Street halau until her college years. After raising her family, she later completed her studies, graduating as Kumu hula in 1991 from Mae Kamamalu Klein in the Papa Maile Kaluhea class.
Pohai perpetuates the hula legacy and style of Aunty Maiki and Kamamalu Klein at her Kaka`ako school, Halau Hula Kamamolikolehua. It is a non-competitive halau that focuses on the educational aspects of hula through the dance, research and personal experience. As Pohai explains, “If you come from our hula genealogy, you know the quotation, ‘Hula is life.’ Our elders taught us that hula is not just a dance. The words of the mele were written by people to express their emotions. They teach us everything we need to know about life, relationships, natural history, philosophy, physiology, and the  emotional well-being of mind, spirit and body. It is our job as a dancer to convey these emotions to the best of our ability.”      
Kumu Pohai has been a guest speaker and teacher at several hula workshops in Hawaii, Japan and across the continental United States. She has judged at the World Hula Competition for the past 5 years.   Pohai also teaches Hawaiian Chant and Dance at Sacred Hearts Academy, a local all girl Catholic School.
Earl Pamai Tenn
Ka Pa Hula Manu / Halau Ho'okipa Aloha
Pamai Tenn formed Halau Ho`okipa Aloha for Honolulu International Airport, performing at various airport events. The goal of the program is to promote aloha through hula. He and his dancers have performed at various Windward Community College events. He has been to Mexico City on 20 different occasions, as co-founder and advisor to Ka Leo O Na Hula, A.C., a hula teachers association which has just completed their 18th annual Ka Leo O Na Hula Seminario / Festival in Mexico in October 2008.  In addition, he acts as advisor to Ka Leo O Na Hula Puebla, sponsored by Universidad Madero and Ka Leo O Na Hula Guadalajara, both entering their 3rd Annual Seminario / Festival in October 2009.

Pamai is also a hula judge, having evaluated the Ia `Oe E Ka La Hula Festival and Ka Leo O Na Hula Festival.
Pamai`s hula foundation is broad. He credits the following teachers: Nathan Napoka, Henry Moikehaokahiki Pa, Maddy Kaululehuaohaili Lam, Rose Kapulani Joshua, Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, Ruby Kawena Johnson.  He continues teaching hula in Hawai`i as kumu hula of Ka Pa Hula Manu, carrying on the traditions of his kumu, Henry Pa.
Pamai says, "My life`s journey has been evolving. With reference to hula, my teachers have taught me with aloha (love); they never charged me a fee. Napoka taught me the physical aspects of fundamentals, Uncle Henry the various choreography of na hula both older and new, verifying the fundamentals. Maddy taught me to be creative, understanding the senses. Aunty Rose`s gift was the hula auana, and Morrnah`s was the spritual aspect. Ruby Kawena Johnson`s expertise is the Hawaiian culture, and she taught me about this." Pamai concludes, "Hula master Uncle Henry Pa would say he had just scratched the surface -- and so have I."
Pamai`s teaching emphasizes the basics first. The stronger your foundation, the higher you can build. Pamai advises, "Know yourself through hula; hula can be a tool to self discovery. And always remember that one must do the dance with aloha."

Kaleo Trinidad
Kamehameha Schools Hawaiian Ensemble
Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka La

Kaleo is the Kumu Hula for the esteemed Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Performing Arts department.  He is one of the directors of Kamehameha`s Ho`ike (recital and pageant) programs, which are always much anticipated.  He trains the school`s oli (chant) students, and is responsible for much of the ceremony and protocol at Kapalama.  Kaleo has traveled extensivly through Polynesia, and the broader world, as a cultural ambassador for Hawai`i.

In 2004, Kaleo decided to expand his teaching, and formed Halau Hula Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka La, taking them to Hilo`s prestgious Merrie Monarch Festival in his first year.  In its short career, the halau has already won many awards in the kane, wahine, and Miss Aloha Hula Categories at the Merrie Monarch Festival.  His dancers are confident and strong, dancing with pride and seeming to move effortlessly through the challenging choreography of this creative kumu hula. 

He began his halau as a means of honoring his kupuna (elders), ancestors, and lahui (people), and continuing the knowledge instilled in him by his own kumu.  Among those that Kaleo credits as his teachers are Holoua Stender, Randie Fong, Wayne Keahi Chang and Chinky Mahoe. Kaleo is a noted resource for hula and Hawaiian culture, continuing to learn and share what he knows.  He hopes to instill a reverance, love, and appreciation for Hawaiian culture and hula to all of his haumana (students).

  Kailihiwa “Hiwa” Vaughan-Darval
Halau Hula Ka Lehua Tuahine

“He aha kāu pahu hopu?”  What is your goal?...  Is the motto for Halau Hula Ka Lehua Tuahine and Kumu Hula Hiwa Vaughan, whose love for the hula began at age 3. This love has led her to study under the traditions of na Kumu Hula Kimo Alama Keaulana, Kealoha Kalama, Leimomi Ho, Chinky Mahoe and Aunty Mae Loebenstein, culminating in the formal rite of ‘Uniki (graduation) under the auspices of Master Kumu Hula Mae Kamamalu Klein who hails from the Ma`iki Aiu lineage.  While studying under Kumu Hula Chinky Mahoe at age 10, Hiwa won the title of Miss Keiki Hula (1985) and under the tutelage of Master Kumu Hula Mae Ulalia Loebenstein, she won the Merrie Monarch title of Miss Aloha Hula 1995. Hiwa hails from a musical family and has traveled throughout Europe, China and Japan with her parents, Ipolani and Palani Vaughan, sharing hawaii’s rich cultural traditions through song and dance.  Her Hālau is known for it’s firm foundation in footwork and adherence to those hula traditions given to her by the masters under which she has been fortunate to study.

Hiwa educates her haumāna in all aspescts of the hula: Oli, `Olapa, `Auana, `Olelo and hula implement making.  Each student is required to make their own hula implements so that this art, which is such an integral part of the hula, may continue to be practiced.

Hiwa stresses, “We each have a responsibility to continue those traditions passed on by those who have come before us, keeping them intact for the next generation. You do not choose hula; hula chooses you!”.

Ipolani Vaughan
Ipolani Vaughan studied under hula masters Mae Ulalia Loebenstein and George Holokai, and formally graduated under the auspices of Master Kumu Hula, Mae Kamamalu Klein.  She knows well that language is an integral part of the hula.  Former Director of Cultural Events for The Ko`olau Ballrooms and official translator for The Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, she believes that for language to live, it must thrive in the home and community. 
Her technique for teaching Hawaiian language intuitively, or “speaking with colors,”  is based on a new method which comes to us from our New Zealand cousins.  Having studied intensively for three years under the tutelage of one of the founders of “Te Aatarangi”, Ipolani is one of the first generation teachers of this “Silent Method”, where colored rods are used as language tools.
“We didn`t know learning language could be so much fun, and that we would be speaking from the very first class”, is always the statement of the students of all.   Many of them have now become teachers themselves and continue to train under Ipolani, whose students include Kumu Hula, their dancers (in Hawai`i, Japan and elsewhere abroad), Hawaiian Language teachers, musicians, linguists, lawyers, special education teachers, doctors, cultural practitioners, parents of immersion school students, our kupuna (elders) and keiki (children).
Ipolani has an extensive cultural background in Hawaiian protocol, oli (chant), costuming, lei-making and research.  She is a noted shell and seed-worker, fashioning beautiful lei in the Hawaiian way.  Former Lei Queen and Pa`u Queen for the Kamehameha and Aloha Week Parades, she is a dancer, model, costume designer, judge of many hula competitions, artisan, composer, translator and teacher and a proud proponent of her Hawaiian culture, the passion of her life.
Sallie Yoza
Halau O Napuala`ikauika`iu
Kumu hula Sallie Yoza credits Charmaine Macdonald, Hokulani Derego, Kimo Alama Keaulana and the late George Holokai with her training, and with instilling a love and respect for hula.  She opened her Halau `O Napuala`ikauika`iu (formally Halau `O Nalei`okamakani) in August1998.  The halau has been very active in sharing the knowledge of the hula and the culture across the islands, teaching students from age 2 up to gracious senior ladies.  The students learn important Hawaiian values, applicable in all areas of life, as they learn the language and culture through their hula.
The students from Halau `O Napuala`ikauika`iu share their knowledge of the hula by performing at the Hawaiiana Hotel, Waikiki Beach Marriott Hotel during Aloha Week, May Day and Christmas, Brunch on the Beach, Kuhio Torch Lighting, Princess Kaiulani`s Keiki hula show, Ihilani Marriott Hotel, Ko Olina Hotel, Mother`s Day Concert at the Pacific Beach Hotel, No Ke Ano Ahiahi concert and many more.  They also perform for community agencies such as Cerebral palsy Rubber Ducky Race, Child Abuse Coalition Teddy Bear Drive and Breakfast with Santa, Shriners Hospital, Children`s Cancer Society and Hugs.
They have entered several competitions and placed well.  In 2000, in their first competition, the girls placed in the Hawaiian Language and `Auana divisions of the Ka Hula Le`a Hula Competition.  The Halau has been participating in the Queen Lili`uokalani Keiki Hula Competition since 2004.
Sallie is an early educator for Kamehameha Schools and the head cheerleading coach for both Varsity and Junior Varsity squad for Ke Kula Kaiapuni `O Anuenue (Hawaiian Immersion School). In her free time, she also is a student of the martial arts of Kali.
Kupuna Kauahipaula gave this `Olelo Noeau (saying) to the Halau in the year 2000:
Ke kukui malamalama ana Kupuna (Carry the light of our Kupuna)

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