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 10th 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 traveled to California during the 2018 Christmas Break to perform at the Rose Bowl with the Hawai’i All-State Band and had a blast.

Joy is a member of the ‘Ōpio class.

Fay Pualehuaokaipoleimanu Nu’uhiwa

a.k.a. “Fayfay”

Fay is currently a 6th grader at the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama campus and thoroughly enjoys school.

She is a member of the Kamehameha Schools Children’s Choir for the third year in a row (just like Joy did) and was elected by her peers as the choir’s student president.

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”

Like his sisters, Noah is also a “lifer” at Kamehameha Kula ma Kapālama and is currently a 4th 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 iPad with his school budz 🙂

Noah is a proud member of the ‘Ōpio class as well.

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 Regina


Aunty Tuesday


Aunty Kimmie


Aunty Davelyn