Hawaii Beach and Golf Properties Realtor Wins Prestigious Hula Competition
Many people are drawn to live in Hawaii because of its rich and vibrant culture. Hawaii Island is commonly nicknamed the Big Island, but its traditional name is ka Moku of Keawe, the island of Keawe. The great-grandfather of King Kamehameha I, Keawe—short for Keawe‘ikekahiali‘iokamoku—was a chief who ruled over Hawaii Island during a peaceful and prosperous time, resulting in the island being named after him.
King Kamehameha I is also called King Kamehameha the Great because he was the first king to unite all the Hawaiian islands. King Kamehameha I is especially revered in North Kohala, the region where he was born and raised.
Here at Hawaii Beach and Golf Properties, our team is like family. We support each other both in and out of the office and thus especially proud that one of our Realtors, Jana Kaholoa‘a, recently won the prestigious Moku O Keawe International Hula Competition that took place at the Queens’ Marketplace in Waikoloa Beach Resort earlier this year.
Started by the Kanakaole family, long-time pillars in the hula community, the Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival was created as a way to share Hawaiian culture through dance and related arts. More than just a dance competition, the festival features several workshops, attracting attendees from across Hawaii and Japan to learn about Hawaiian cultural customs, protocols, songs, chants, and hula.
The Moku o Keawe International Hula Competition is especially renowned in Japan where hula halau (dance groups) take part in competitions to win the opportunity to come to Hawaii Island and compete in the Moku o Keawe International Hula Festival.
Hula dancers compete in four different categories as part of the competition: Kupuna (age 55+) and Makua (age 45-55) in which individual dancers perform auna style hula; the Wahine (age 15-35) in which groups dance both kahiko and auna styles of hula; and Miss Waikoloa (Miss Pākahi), where individual contestants dance both kahiko and auna hula.
Jana herself has been dancing hula since the age of five and several members of her family dance in the same hula halau in North Kohala called Kawehileimamoikawēkiu’oKohala, under the direction of kumu hula (hula teacher) Lorna Kapualiko Lim. Indeed, several members of Jana’s hula halau can even trace their genealogy to King Kamehameha I!
Jana’s kumu selected different songs and dances about King Kamehameha and the island for members of the halau to perform. For instance, Jana performed a hula about Waipio Valley, where it is believed the king was raised as a young boy, because her family has roots in that community.
Competing against five other women in the Makua category, including dancers from Japan, Jana came in second place! Not only that, her halau placed in each of the four categories, coming in first place in the Wahine group category, second place in the Miss Waikoloa (Miss Pākahi) dance category, and third place in the Kupuna division.
Jana and her fellow dancers were amazed because it was their first time dancing in this competition and their halau itself is only three years old!
Her coworkers at Hawaii Beach and Golf Properties are thrilled for her, although we’re not shocked, as we know how hard and long Jana has practiced and perfected her hula dancing over the years. We are so proud of her!
You can read more about Jana and her efforts helping kids compete in hula competitions in this blog post: https://www.hawaiibeachgolf.com/hawaii-beach-golf-agent-helps-hula-halau-take-top-honors-maui/.