Hula Retreat

Kiwala`o Photo 448_305

Instructor: Kiwala`o Taylor, Kumu Hula

Length: 3 days

Dates: To be arranged

Location: Halau Ulu Lehua I `Ola`a

  • A personal retreat center
  • On the slopes of Mauna Loa
  • 11-miles south of Hilo
  • 30-minute drive to the volcano

Cost: Please inquire about rates:


Join Kumu Hula Kiwala’o Taylor at her personal retreat, a serene locale and studio dedicated to the spirit of her first Kumu Hula, Edith Kanaka’ole.

The studio is an intimate setting where students will benefit from personalized instruction and support. Kiwala`o will share the many rich traditions learned during her 25-year study with world renowned Halau o Kekuhi. This Hilo halau is known internationally for its distinct style and dedication to the perpetuation of traditional Hawaiian culture and dance.

You will be welcomed into Kumu Kiwala’o’s halau to share the lifestyle of hula which extends beyond dance to daily connections with all life. Due to the intimate group size, (Maximum of 4), workshops are geared to the interest of participants.


This hula intensive workshop is ideal for beginner, intermediate and advanced dancers who wish to increase their knowledge of Hawaiian culture, hula tradition and expand their hula and chant repertoire. Live and breathe hula and its associated arts. Immerse yourself in the learning process as you venture into the realm of ancient Hawaiian mele hula and oli.
Learn about:

  • hula implements, adornments
  • costuming
  • music
  • culture, traditions, history
  • language and protocol
  • chant techniques
  • lei making

The focus will be on hula kahiko, the ancient dances that have been passed down to be preserved for future generations. The chants (stories) which accompany each dance will be shared, as well as how to Pa’i Ka Ipu (rhythmic beats on the gourd drum).

Kiwala`o was fortunate to learn directly from Edith Kanaka’ole during her first 4 l/2 years of training with Halau O Kekuhi. When Auntie Edith passed away, in 1979, her daughters Pua Kanahele and Nalani Kanaka`ole took over the leadership of the Halau. After 25 years as `olapa (dancer) and ho`opa`a (chanter/drummer), Kiwala`o’s Kumu honored her with a “uniki” graduation ceremony which elevated her to the level of “Kumu Hula.”

Experience the “mana” (spiritual power) of our island by visiting the home of our fire goddess Pele, on a trip to Kilauea Volcano. It is there at Halema`uma`u where you may offer your lei, hula and oli as your ho’okupu (offering or gift).

Personal instruction and classes may be arranged directly with Kumu Kiwala`o at or Kurumi at (Japanese translator)

“A`ohe pau ka `ike I ka halau ho`okahi”
One can learn from many sources
~Mary Kawena Pukui from the book `Olelo No`eau ~

Mahalo Dietrich Varez for the use of your Hina blockprint in the header.

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