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 🙂
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
Joy has attended the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Campus since kindergarten and is currently an 11th grader.
Her favorite hobbies includes playing the vibes in the “pit” for her high school band, singing, and hanging out with her sister and brother.
Joy will be traveling to Australia in Spring 2020 with the Kamehameha Schools Hawaiian Ensemble under the direction of Kumu Hula Kaleo Trinidad. She is looking forward to sharing her love for Hula and Hawaiian culture with all those she meets.
Joy is a member of the ‘Ōpio 2 class.
Fay Pualehuaokaipoleimanu Nu’uhiwa
Also a “lifer”, Fay is currently a 7th 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 was selected as our Kaikamahine Soloist entry for the 2019 Hula ‘Oni E Competition where she performed a mele honoring Princess Pauahi entitled “He Inoa No Pauahi”. Fay was blessed to receive 4th place among a large field of very talented young ladies.
Fay is a member of the ‘Ōpio 2 class as well.
Noah Kia’āina Nu’uhiwa
Like his sisters, Noah is also a “lifer” at Kamehameha Kula ma Kapālama and is currently a 5th grader.
Noah is a strapping young lad who is known to charm the women with his infamous “no-eye” smile.
His hobbies include playing ukulele, playing any sport, and especially playing Fortnite on his iPhone with his school budz 🙂
Noah is a proud member of the ‘Ōpio 1 class.