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Meet Kumu…

Derek 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 Japan for 25 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

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

Joy has attended the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Campus since kindergarten and will graduate in May 2021.

Her favorite hobbies includes playing the vibes in the “pit” for her high school band, dancing, singing, and hanging out with her sister and brother.

Joy is looking forward to attending college abroad. In a few months, she will decide which university she’d like to attend.

Joy is a proud member of Papa ‘Ōpio 3.

Fay

Also a “lifer”, Fay is currently an 8th grader at the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama campus and thoroughly enjoys school.

She loves to dance Hula, sing mele, and learn the Hawaiian language and culture from her many blessed Kumu at KS.

Fay is prepping for high school next year and is simultaneously excited and nervous about the transition. She has transitioned well from Distance Learning to Hybrid Learning, but longs for the day she can attend school daily so she can hang with her “Divas”.

Fay is a proud member of Papa ‘Ōpio 3.

Noah

Like his sisters, Noah is also a “lifer” at Kamehameha Kula ma Kapālama and is currently a 6th grader.

Noah is a strapping young lad who is known to charm the women with his infamous “no-eye” smile. He is so proud to have grown so much in the last year. He is now taller than all the women in the family and a few inches shorter than daddy.

His hobbies include playing ukulele, playing any sport, and especially playing electronic games on his iPhone and Nintendo Switch with his school budz 🙂

Noah is a proud member of Papa ‘Ōpio 2.

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 Yoko

Aunty Tuesday

Aunty Davelyn

Aunty Lahela

Aunty Ashley

Meet the Mōkua…

Mōkua is not a real Hawaiian word (I think). It is just the “cute” way we call our “Mini” Kōkua or youth helpers. These teens started dancing for us when they were in elementary and now as high schoolers they are our assistant instructors.

Joy

Papa Keiki Assistant

Fay

Papa Keiki Assistant

Jordhan

Foundations Class Assistant

Mehana

Papa ‘Ōpio 1 Assistant

Keoki

Papa ‘Ōpio 1 Assistant