About Kumu Lei
Kumu Hula Leihi’ilani Kirkpatrick started dancing hula in the 1950s with her ohana. She has been taught by several wonderful hula teachers/masters but has been most impacted by Uncle Joe Kahaulelio, Aunty Puamohala Kaholokula, and Loea Kawaikapuokalani Hewett. She began dancing professionally in 1968 and has continued to grow in hula ever since, having graduated through traditional ‘uniki rites with Kawaikapuokalani Hewett. With hula gaining popularity worldwide, students from Singapore, Japan, Europe and the mainland USA have been and are regularly coming to study with Kumu Lei on Kaua’i.
Kumu Lei teaches Hawaiian Studies in schools on Kaua’i. She is also the Kumu Hula and Kumu Huaka’i of an association of skilled and respected cultural practitioners on Kaua’i who work together to provide workshops, seminars and programmes for people desiring to learn more about Hawaiian language, culture, history, hula and arts and crafts.
Kumu Lei is married to Dane Kirkpatrick; they have raised three children who are now married and who have blessed them with seven grandchildren.
To learn more about Kumu Lei and her hula tutorial videos, go to: http://hawaiianhulatutorial.com/
Kumu Lei shares her mana’o:
Hula has been a part of my life from a young age with my ohana and it is a natural extension of how I express what I believe in my heart, feel in my emotions, and experience in my life. Because of my inquisitive nature, my parents taught me that the best way to learn anything is to watch, listen, be quiet, and follow. By my parents’ example in their daily lives, I learned the values of aloha, malama, lokahi, kuleana, ha’aha’a, ho’omau, and ohana. The disciplines, values, ethics, traditions, and teachings of hula that I learned from my teachers reinforced what I learned from my family. When I became a Christian, I began to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word.
God’s Word, His love, the values I learned from my parents, and the knowledge I learned from my hula teachers shaped me as a person and as a teacher. My desire is to pass this on to my family and to my students.
Photos by Lori Leimakamae Dill. http://www.kauaifamilyphoto.com