The hula sisters of Kumu Hula O Lei Kukui O Moloka’i, a school for hula and music, will perform their way to Seattle in a fundraiser show June 22.“People in Seattle keep asking my hula sister, ‘Are the girls from Idaho coming this year?’ ” said instructor Bill Ka’aihue, who plans on bringing two of his top students to a Seattle performance in July.
Dubbed “Uncle Bill’s angels,” Kelani, 12, and Kiara or “Hokulani,” 14, have been practicing hula since the school opened.
“They are naturals,” Ka’aihue said. “They pick it up fast.”
Ka’aihue began the hula school in Clarkston four years ago, but has been teaching since 1969 in Kaua’i and Moloka’i, Hawai’i. Moving to Seattle in 1989, he made friends with resident dancers and finally moved to Clarkston in 2009.
Kumu Hula O Lei Kukui O Moloka’i dance includes hula, Māori — from New Zealand — and Tahitian dance.
No matter the dance, Kelani said it’s all in the hips.
Kelani, Kiara and Sajsteen or “Kaleolani,” 10, performed together at a mini-show on June 8 at Colortyme in Clarkston, while another dancer made her premier. Ka’aihue said the purpose of the event was to give Clarkston a taste of their Kamehameha Day celebration, a Polynesian dinner and show, which will feature all of Ka’aihue’s students, ages 6 to 80. Ka’aihue sang and played ukulele, too.
Ka’aihue also hosts a catering business, which teams well with dancing for events, such as birthday parties, weddings and store sales.
Kelani said they once danced at a produce sale for Rick’s Family Foods.
Whether it’s food service, dancing, music or decor, Kiara said everybody has a part at their events and celebrations.
“Your hula sister is almost blood related,” said Sajsteen, who wants to start her own hula school with Kelani and Kiara when they are older.
The fundraiser with a Polynesian dinner and show will take place at 5:30 p.m. June 22 at the Hells Canyon Yacht Club with a 6:30 p.m. dinner and 7:30 p.m. show. Dinner includes kahlua pork roast, chicken long rice, lomi salmon, macaroni salad and coconut and guava cakes.
“This is the best cake in the valley,” Ka’aihue said.
Admission is $9 for children, ages 6-12, and adult admission is $12.
“People can tell when you dance that you really love hula,” said Kelani, who admits that hula is her passion.
For more information, contact Ka’aihue at email@example.com.
Treffry can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 883-4640.
-> if you go:
WHAT: Kamehameha Day celebration, a Polynesian dinner and show
WHEN: 5:30 pm. June 22
WHERE: Hells Canyon Yacht Club
COST: $9 for children, ages 6-12, $12 adults