Ku’ulei not only teaches you the precise motions and steps to those Hawaiian songs, but she also teaches what the meanings of those songs are. She helps you to know and teaches you how to portray the feelings and emote those emotions in those dances. I have danced with another halau a couple of years before joining Hula O’ Halau Ku’ulei but I have never learned as much and thrived as I did with Ku’ulei as my kumu (teacher). Not only did Ku’ulei teach my daughter and I to dance hula but she also shared and taught us the Hawaiian Culture. She helped us love the culture as our own.
Ku’ulei is patient, kind and creative. Her way of teaching involves breaking down each song individually and helping her students one by one become better, focusing on their specific needs. Patience is an important attribute in a kumu, or teacher, and Ku’ulei possesses it completely. No matter who you are, how old or how experienced, Ku’ulei will always help for as long as one needs help, all the way from the basic steps to the hardest numbers. Not only is Ku’ulei an amazing kumu, her Halau is full of wonderful people who are always welcoming and kind to each other. Those participating in the Halau do not judge because, simply, everyone has to start somewhere. They are constantly laughing and just loving hula!
At first, I really had no idea what to expect from starting a hula class. I thought it had to be more than what you see in Hollywood movies, and boy was it ever. It was so much more than I ever imagined it could be. Hula with Ku'ulei is not only learning the dance, but also learning the whole culture and history of hula and Hawaii itself along with it. Looking back being this 15 year old kid scared to say no to this lovely woman asking me to join her halau, 11 years later I am so glad I said yes! Not only hula, but Ku'ulei herself has changed my life for the better and I can't imagine a life without it or her.
I LOVE being part of Halau Hula O’ Ku’ulei! I started in her halau in 2008 and have been dancing on and off since then. She is a gifted dancer, who imparts not only the elements of Hula, but also teaches us the history, culture, and Hawaiian backstory to the dances. Ku’ulei is patient and skillful, and encourages all levels of ability and talent, creating a wonderful, inclusive group of which I am so happy to belong.
I've been studying hula with Kuulei for about 10 years and I really love it! I took hula lessons as a child and have learned much more from Kuulei. I hope I never have to stop!