Founder and Director, Kumu Lani Isaacs, a lifelong dancer, teacher and choreographer opened the ‘Alohi Polynesian Dance Academy in Kamuela, HI in 2011. With the spirit of po’okela, or excellence as her focus, quality and integrity is the basis of her work.
Since 1978, her professional careers ran hand-in-hand as a Cultural Resource Director, Certified Corporate Trainer and Concierge Manager in the Hospitality Industry, and a professional entertainer. Under the direction of Kumu Hula Ke’ala Kukona, Lani owes her success as a seasoned dancer to her formal training. Hands-on experiences, accumulated over many years, has awarded her a fluency that is essential to not only the hospitality industry, but to that of the performing arts as well. Over the years she has warranted a respect by companies and businesses that rely on her expertise. She has traveled extensively with the Hawai’i Visitor’s Bureau and various airlines and resorts to promote Hawai’i destinations.
In the year 2000, Lani established Hālau Hula Nā Lehua E Liko No Ka Wailani, a prestigious and award-winning school of Hawaiian dance. The hālau’s foundation is based on cultural learning and practice, grounded by the dedication and commitment of thehaumāna (students) and Kumu (teacher), and the strong support of their ‘ohana (family). Together the hālau utilizes hana no’eau and ‘ōlelo Hawai’i to support and expand the practices of nā mea Hawai’i and has contributed numerous times to the community – supporting events and fundraisers, workshops and performances. With a compassionate heart and a firm hand, Kumu Lani continues to nurture her haumāna – striving to develop their skills and talents in order to provide them opportunities for their future. Her goal is to keep tradition alive by artistically presenting the stories of our ancestors on a stage setting where it rightfully belongs amongst other performing disciplines.
When asked about any endearing moments she’s had with her haumāna, Lani replies, “We count our blessings often. I watch as my haumāna work hard, strive and endure training. They are dedicated and committed. The unity within our hālau is an achievement in itself. To be humble is to be appreciative.”
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