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Hula Frond

About Hula O Kahawai

 












Hula O Kahawai ~ E hula mai, e pili kākou i ka pu‘uwai
"Hula of the Valley ~ Dance towards us, so we will be together in heart"

Hula O Kahawai is Hawaiian for Hula Of the Valley — and the perfect name for our hula hui, or dancing group. We are based in Southern Oregon's Rogue Valley, a land where the golden Cascade Mountains rise in the East and the lush green Siskiyou Range in the West. Pear orchards and small vineyards abound in our small yet artistic community. Ashland Oregon is world-renown for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Contact Us

Please contact Susan (541) 951-7968 or email us to inquire about bookings for your event. Most events call for a minimum of three dancers and our base rate is $50 per dancer for a 30 minute performance.  We are happy to discuss the needs of your event.  We invite you to peruse our website photos to get an idea of the hula we offer, including our costumes and implements (sorry, no grass skirts or coconut tops!).
Please join us on Facebook for our current schedule and photos.

Our Mission

Our mission is to embrace the history, language and cultural aspects of hula so that we may perform, educate, enlighten, entertain and share our love of hula with knowledge, understanding and integrity.

Our Dancers

Kathy B ~ Hula Dancer

Kathy ~ Hula Dancer
Hula Hibiscus

Roots I was born in Budapest, Hungary and have Hungarian ancestry on both parents' sides. We escaped in 1956 and emigrated to the U.S. when I was a year and a half old. I grew up in Oakland, California. I took up African dance in my twenties and continued up until a few years ago.

Hula Experience What lead me initially to hula was a combination of my love for all forms of dance, particularly multi-ethnic dance; my many years of doing African dance that was getting a little hard on my body yet wanting to keep dancing; a growing familiarity with Hawaiian music and culture through my sweetheart, Pili, and wanting to share more in that realm with him; and my enchantment with Hawai‘i since I first visited there over 20 years ago.

What I came to love in hula was the grace & beauty of the dance and the music; the deep connection with and the celebration of the natural world; the Hawaiian culture & spirituality that I was beginning to learn about; and the joy that is shared with other dancers and with audiences.

Favorite Dances My favorite dances so far: Hard to pick really but I guess Nani Hanalei (the slow version), Ke Ao Nani, Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai.

Most Magical Hawaiian Moment Hard to pick — there have been many. OK, how about the two most recent magical moments:

The sea turtle that swam right under me as I just got in the water and was snorkeling on the Big Island two years ago. I was rather nervous because I hadn't snorkeled much in my life and seeing that calm, beautiful presence totally distracted and enchanted me so I forgot to be nervous and just watched the turtle slowly float along, feeding along the sea floor, just a few inches below me.

The rainbows that formed a doorway during a walk with Pili and the accompanying misty rain showers that came and went at the petroglyphs on the Big Island.

Passions Other passions: hiking and being out in nature, reading, all forms of performing arts, travel, spending time with friends & family and of course, my sweetie! Tasting lots of different kinds of ethnic cuisine and learning about other languages & cultures.

Occupation I am the Event Manager at the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater, a live performance theater in Medford, Oregon.

Nani ~ Hula Dancer

Nani ~ Hula Dancer
Hula Hibiscus

Roots My parents met during college in Moscow, Idaho. My mother stayed with my grandparents, in Hilo, Hawai‘i, while she was pregnant, until I was 3 months old. My dad was on a navy ship when I was born.

Hula Experience I started dancing about 4 years ago with my mom.

Favorite Dances I enjoy learning new dances.

Most Magical Hawaiian Moment Arriving there every summer. I was always had a list of things that I wanted to do and eat as soon as I got off the plane. I still do.

Passions I love to dance, read, and visit the ocean.

Occupation I am a sub. teacher.

Susan ~ Hula Dancer

Susan ~ Hula Dancer
Hula Hibiscus

Hula Experience My reasons for hula are many, Nani's father, my first love, was from Hawai‘i, thus she has Hawaiian ancestry. I have always felt an affinity for the ocean, flowers, and Aloha spirit of Hawai‘i. Nani was interested in hula, and said Mom come with me, you love to dance. We were hooked. The opportunity to share this with many people through performance is wonderful.

Passions FAMILY, dance, art, photography, travel. The joy and the gratitude I feel being able to experience all of these now, is incredible.

Occupation Jr. High teacher, art and language arts for many years.

Lin ~ Hula Dancer

Hula Hibiscus

Roots My biological mother is Chinese so I've always had and affinity to Asian/Island cultures. My only involvement with hula was that my best friend in elementary school was involved in Tahitian and hula classes, and I loved watching her, but was never invited to join. Sad, huh.

Lin ~ Hula Dancer

Hula Experience Three women from Ashland Christian Fellowship, Uilani, Lisa, and Malia would dance hula for special services. I would cry watching them. They are so graceful. When I found out that Malia taught classes, I immediately signed up. I was heartbroken when I found out that Malia moved back to Hawai‘i.

Favorite Dances I've just come back from living in Australia for a year. I've learned some New Zealand Maori songs/dances that I love.

Most Magical Hawaiian Moment For Christmas a couple years ago, we went to visit friends who started a church on the Big Island. Candie is a wonderful singer/musician and told me that she'd be singing "O Holy Night". I mentioned that I could dance hula to that song. She invited me to dance for the church. I borrowed one of her dresses, but it wasn't quite right. Literally five minutes before church starts, on a Sunday afternoon, a second hand store right across the church opens up and brings out a rack of clothes. There's a beautiful long, red, traditional Hawaiian dress that's only $5, and guess what, it fits me! How‘s that for a Magical moment. It was funny too when Candie announced in church that they had to import their hula dancers from Oregon!

Passions I love going to hula class, and I love meeting with other hand spinners and weavers. At the moment, I'm also obsessed with planning a Disneyworld vacation...I'm blessed with a tolerant husband.

Occupation I'm a medical researcher, but not much of that in Southern Oregon. So I get to stay home with my girls and part-time teach Biology at SOU.

Holly ~ Hula Dancer

Holly ~ Hula Dancer
Hula Hibiscus

Roots Born in Alabama, I spent most of my early life living and traveling in the United States and Europe. Upon arriving in Ashland for an acting job at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, I knew I had found “my home.”

Hula Experience I have been dancing all my life—ballet, tap, jazz, modern. Wherever I traveled I always enjoyed learning the dances of that particular culture. I spent many years dancing and acting in musicals. But no dance has touched my soul the way hula has. Dancing hula I feel a deep, spiritual connection with the earth, and my heart sings with happiness. I have been a serious student of hula since 2003.

Favorite Dances If I have to name one (a difficult choice among so many), it is Hei Iti Vaihi, because the music is incredibly beautiful and it is a song about friendship.

Most Magical Hawaiian Moment Standing on Punalu‘u Beach on the Big Island, 28 weeks pregnant with my twin boys, enjoying the wind on my face, the ocean pounding in front of me and feeling the power of Pele in the black sand beneath my feet.

Passions My family and the many fun things we do together: traveling, camping, hiking, snorkeling, reading, climbing trees, bicycling, munching popcorn and watching movies…and of course, hula.

Occupation Mother of twin boys, Equity Stage Manager and Performing Artist

Pili ~ Hawaiian Musician

Pili ~ Hawaiian Musician
Hula Frond

A special mahalo to vocalist and slack key guitarist, Pili Moreno for accompanying Hula O Kahawai at many of our performances. His expertise on the guitar, beautiful voice, and knowledge of the Hawaiian language and culture add another level to our dance experience.

Pili has performed solo, with Hawaiian bands, and with a number of award-winning hula troupes at concerts, hula competitions, and festivals on the West Coast and in Hawai‘i.

Pili lives in the Bay area and and when he can play for us, makes the journey to Southen Oregon. So for that and more, we are grateful to Pili for being a part of Hula O Kahawai.

To learn more about Pili, please visit his website ‘Ōkupu Healing Arts.

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