Meet the Kumu…

Derek Kia’āina Nu’uhiwa

Kumu a.k.a. “Hula Daddy” (also answers to “Handsome Stud”)

From 1979 through 1987, Derek studied hula at a young age under the direction of the late Darrell ‘Ihi’ihilauakea Lupenui, Kumu Hula of the world-renowned Men of Waimāpuna.

After Darrell’s passing in 1987, Derek continued dancing, but this time professionally, for almost a decade. He performed locally with the Tavana’s Polynesian Show and Germaine’s Lu’au, and then traveled abroad to over 16 countries.

In 1991, Derek received Jesus as his Lord and Savior, and was blessed to participate in the Hula Ministry at the Word of Life Christian Center before opening his own hula ministry, Ke Ali’i O Ka Malu, on April 19, 1994.

In 1996, two promoters from Japan came to Hawai’i to invite Darrell to teach in Tokyo. After learning of Darrell’s passing, they sought out many of Darrell’s students, Derek included, to continue the teaching of Darrell’s Hula legacy in Japan. To date, Derek has been teaching in Tokyo for 19 years.

It is important to note that Derek does NOT call himself a “Kumu Hula” since he did not formally ‘uniki or graduate from a Hula school; instead, his title is simply a Hula instructor and choreographer.

Kumu Dancing Back in “The Day”…

HINT:  He’s the one dancing by his “lonely” self 🙂

Meet the ‘Ohana…

There is much that I unceasingly praise God for but by far my ‘ohana is one of the most precious blessings ever.

Yoko Ku’umakanahiwahiwa Nu’uhiwa

Kōkua / Supportive Wife / Awesome Mommy

Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Yoko began studying hula in 1995, along with her mother, under the tutelage of Kaleinani Hayakawa. Later, Yoko met Derek in Tokyo at which time she began taking private classes from him whenever he visited.

For the next three years, Derek and Yoko’s relationship grew from that of a teacher-student to that of love — not just for each other, but for the Lord and hula as well.

Derek & Yoko got married in September 2000 and are raising their three children in Wai’anae (Joy, Fay and Noah).

Joy Leikamaha’o Nu’uhiwa

a.k.a. “Joyjoy”

Joy has attended the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Campus since kindergarten and is currently a 8th grader.

Her favorite hobbies include reading, photography, singing, band, and hanging out with her sister and brother.

Joy represented Ke Ali’i O Ka Malu as the soloist entry for the Hula ‘Oni E Competition in September 2016 and made her ‘ohana and hālau very proud!

Joy is a member of the ‘Ōpio class.

Fay Pualehuaokaipoleimanu Nu’uhiwa

a.k.a. “Fayfay”

Fay is currently a fourth grader at the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama campus and thoroughly enjoys school.

She is a member of the Kamehameha Schools Children’s Choir and participates in EVERYTHING she possibly can at school.

Fay is an absolute handful who has her father’s spirit of kolohe (rascalness). Needless to say, we’ll have to keep an eye on this one! (hee).

Fay is a member of the ‘Ōpio class.

Noah Kia’āina Nu’uhiwa

a.k.a “NoaBoa”

Noah has followed in his two sisters’ footsteps and is currently a second grader at Kamehameha Kula ma Kapālama.

Noah is a strapping young lad who is known to charm the women with his infamous “no-eyed” smile.

His hobbies include being a Cub Scout and hunting for Pokemon whenever possible.

Noah is a proud member of the Keiki class.

Meet the Kōkua…

Truthfully, Kumu just imagineers and envisions the projects.  All of the credit goes to my amaaaazzzzing Kōkua who work tirelessly and unselfishly to transform my dreams into reality.

Aunty Davelyn


Aunty Tuesday


Aunty Kimmie