The end of January this year saw Kumu Lei making a splash in San Diego, California at the second edition of Hula Kahanoa’s annual hula workshop series. Hula Kahanoa is the mainland USA extension of the hālau here on Kaua’i, and it is led by Aunty Kahanoa Floresca.
Similar to 2015’s debut, the workshops were planned around equipping all the participants with not only hula choreography for the year ahead, but also aloha, cultural and historical wisdom and guidance, and a sense of respect and honour for kupuna and Ke Akua.
Kumu Lei was formally welcomed to San Diego at a private ceremony at which event sponsors could meet her and where students presented her with ho’okupu to express their love, honour and blessings to her. It was obvious that a lot of thought, care and aloha went into the planning, preparation and presentation of the gifts.
The evening concluded with a special welcome dinner that was attended by various VIPs in the community.
Below are some snapshots from the workshops, and the ho’ike on January 31 which was a wonderful roundup of the entire three-day event.
We have a few highlights to share from Ka Pa Hula Ka Lei Maile Hi’ilani, our hālau extension in Singapore led by Alaka’i Namiko Chan. They have had a few small events and performances this year, and some notable additions – a few Muslim ladies have joined in the classes with a keen interest in pursuing hula, and they welcomed their youngest attendee yet, baby Leimalulani.
Leimalulani is the daughter of Annabelle, our website writer/editor; Leimalulani has been “attending” classes with Annabelle in a baby carrier since she was six months old, and she just turned one a few weeks ago. (Kumu says: “How cool is that! I love it. It’s ‘ohana.”) In fact, a few days ago she started attempting to imitate what she has been seeing in class on her own. She’s been dancing since she was in the womb!
From all of us in Singapore: We miss you, Kumu, and we wish we could join you and our hālau sisters on Kaua’i. Hopefully some of us will make it there soon!