Hawaii Beach and Golf Properties Agent Helps Hula Halau Take Top Honors on Maui

At Hawaii Beach and Golf, we’re proud of the diverse and talented backgrounds of all our agents and brokers. Each successful in their own right, as a team the agents and brokers of Hawaii Beach and Golf work synergistically in a collaborative spirit not often found in luxury real estate brokerages.

This month we focus on Jana Kaholoa‘a as we continue our series highlighting the talents and community contributions of our Hawaii Beach and Golf team.

Hula has been an integral part of Jana’s life since she was a young child. These days Jana and several members of her family dance with a hula halau (dance group) in North Kohala called Kawehileimamoikawēkiu’oKohala, under the direction of kumu hula Lorna Kapualiko Lim, who is part of the award-winning musical Lim family.

Jana helping a student in her halau prepare for a performance.

Jana helping a student in her halau prepare for a performance.

In addition to her busy real estate career, Jana is an alaka’i within the halau, serving as the right hand of the kumu hula or halau director. Recently Jana helped several young members in the halau compete in a children’s hula competition on Maui where the keiki (children) hula dancers won first place in multiple divisions.

The Hula O’ Na Keiki competition held annually for nearly 30 years on Maui at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel is a prestigious event in the world of hula and we are so proud of the work Jana did with her halau and these youngsters!

The hula competition capped off four months of preparations and planning. As part of being an alaka’i for the halau, it’s Jana’s responsibility to help with the preparation of the dancers presentations, dances, lei, and costumes. The group also held fundraisers to cover travel expenses to the competition with Hawaii Beach and Golf Properties contributing to the fundraising efforts.

All the hard work was worth it! Young members in Jana’s halau took first place overall in both the male and female divisions. Fourteen year-old Brianna Lim-Ryder won the overall wahine (female) award and 15-year-old Hokani Maria won the overall kane (male) award. Both dancers also won in the categories for best Hawaiian chant and best costume and adornments in the couples performance division. Included among the prizes they each received was a $1,000 Akoni Akana scholarship to further their education in Hawaiian culture and hula. Jana’s nephew, Makanahiwahiwapomaikaienalani Thomas-Kaholoa’a, 11, won the top award for male child dancer. Alyssa Lim-Ryder,11 won the interview for her age category and placed in 2 other categories. What’s even more impressive is that this is the first year the halau entered the competition!

Keiki dancer winners at Hula O’ Na Keiki competition

“They did an amazing job, very proud of them” says Jana. “These children are our future to carry on these meles (stories) and our culture.”

Equally impressive is that this hula halau is only two years old! However, Jana’s love for hula goes much longer – nearly four decades. Jana has danced hula since she was five years old. Over the years she’s performed with various halau, including Na Huapala O’ Hawaii Halau O’ Ha’alelea, the Beamer Solomon Hula Halau, and even spent 10 years performing with the Mauna Kea Hula Maidens at the Mauna Kea Luau show.

Jana with members of her hula halau Kawehileimamoikawēkiu’oKohala

To be a member of a hula halau is to do more than dance. Each member must memorize chants describing events in Hawaiian history and the natural beauty of places across Hawaii. Being a hula dancer means leaning about native plants and flowers and travelling to forested areas where halau members sing permission chants before collecting flowers and greens to make lei for their outfits. Dancers also study the names and history of geographic areas and the Hawaiian stories surrounding those areas.

Jana says she is “very humbled and proud to have been part of this special event,” helping the kids in the hula halau not only compete, but win, this renown hula competition. We’re proud of Jana too! Congratulations to Jana and all the members of Kawehileimamoikawēkiu’oKohala hula halau!

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