Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

February 28, 2006 > Want to Hula?

Want to Hula?

by Lance Dwyer

Try saying this three times really fast: Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea. The phrase, which means "new blossoms of wide heavens" in Hawaiian, lends itself to the name of a Fremont Hawaiian dance studio. Katua Dalire-Moe, who is known as the "Kumu Hula" or hula master, founded the first Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea studio in Hawaii in 2003. The following year, former students of hers living in the Bay Area founded the Fremont studio. To date, there are a total of three studios representing the company with a third in Japan.

Mary Anne Kawata, known as the "Alaka'I" or hula instructor, states that what makes her Hawaiian group unique is the fact that it is founded on a tradition of excellence, dating back four generations. Dalire-Moe is the 4th hula master in her family, with 31 years of hula dancing under her belt. She also owns the distinction of being named "Miss Aloha Hula" in 1991 during the Merri Monarch festival competition, a feat also achieved by her mother 20 years prior. The Merri Monarch festival is considered to be the Olympics of hula dance in Hawaii.

Another asset Dalire-Moe offers to the dance company is the fact that the hula style of

Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea is of a strong native influence. According to Kawata, other hula dance groups tend to teach a style of hula that has somewhat departed from the more traditional style, with stronger influences coming from the mainland. Maintaining that balance between mainland culture and the native Hawaiian tradition is perhaps the main purpose of hula, according to Dalire-Moe. "All aspects of the culture overlap," said Dalire-Moe. "All of the dances we teach talk about the Hawaiian plants, flowers, give reference to old endangered birds - stuff that were all original to our culture that are either nearly extinct or already extinct."

The true beauty of the dance is in the comprehensive education that hula offers from Hawaii's language to Hawaii's natural elements. "It's very important for the dancers to understand the choreography and the meaning of the dances so that the hula itself can be in its true form," said Dalire-Moe. The educational aspect of hula is especially beneficial to the non-Hawaiian learners, who Kawata said make up nearly three fourths of their hula group.

Hula is a universal art form that offers many benefits to serve a variety of needs, said Dalire-Moe. For older women who may have moved to the Bay Area from Hawaii, hula is an effective form of exercise and a connection to the homeland. For younger enthusiasts and non-Hawaiians, hula is an introduction to a culture of which they may not be aware.

Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea is in Fremont and offers classes divided by age, and experience level, with beginner and intermediate classes. The hula group is also available to perform at festivals and private events.

Anyone interested in joining Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea can contact:

Mary Anne Kawata

44633 South Grimmer Blvd.

Fremont, CA 94538

(510) 205-3411

In addition to Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea of Fremont, there are several other hula studios that offer many options of varying styles and locations all over the Tri-City area:

Hula Halau Ko ‘Olina
Director/Instructor: Leilani Fernandez
Union City, CA
(510) 489-3733

Hula Halau ‘O Nalua / ‘Ote‘a ‘Api
Kumu Hula: Ruth Nalua Manaois and Anthony Waipa Manaois
42307 Osgood Road, Suite G
Fremont, CA 94539
(510) 657-HULA (657-4852)

Hula ‘Ohana ‘O Puananikauikawekiu
Kumu Hula: Aileen Gaspar
Fremont, CA 94536
(510) 713-1074

Island Praise Hula Ministry
Kumu Hula: Sylvia Cajina
24362 Thomas Avenue
Hayward, CA 94544
(510) 886-1644

Kaulana Na Pua ‘O Hawai‘i
Kumu Hula: Deanie Wailani Lum-Villiados
340 Harder Road
Hayward, CA 94544
(510) 786-2890

Kawailehua Hula Ohana
Kumu: Lorie "Kawailehua" Roldan-Almogela
Milpitas, CA
(408) 563-8668

Ke Ola Loa Polynesian Dance Studio
Kumu: Reynee Ipomoelana Tanaka
1018 B Street
Hayward, CA 94541
(510) 886-6532

Na Mamo O Ke Anuenue A Kamakani
Director: P. Kamakanika'ilialoha Santos
4673 Thornton Avenue, Suite N
Fremont, CA 94536
(510) 745-0141

Tamali‘i Polynesian Dancers
Kumu Hula: Yolanda Ku‘uipo Taufa‘asau-Vincent
796 Blaine Way
Hayward, CA 94544
(510) 887-6970

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