In a one-of-a-kind experience, the Four Seasons Resort Maui is enabling guests, visitors and residents watch one of Hawaii's top competitive hula schools practice. Unlike hula lessons where guests learn how to dance, this is a behind-the-scenes peek of an authentic school, Halau o Ka Hanu Lehua. An experience such as this is generally not accessible to the public.
Led by kumu hula (hula teacher) Kamaka Kukona, Halau o Ka Hanu Lehua makes regular appearances, including at the annual Merrie Monarch Festival, where its 18 haumana (hula students) competed in the prestigious competition.
"As the director of Hawaiian programs, I follow a protocol that allows me to be as authentic as possible," said "Auntie Wendy" Tuivaioge, director of Hawaiian programs for Four Seasons Resort Maui. "Being a haumana, I must get permission from my kumu hula to bring this part of the culture forward to guests -- whether through Behind the Scenes of Hula or teaching lessons. To me, hula is as much about telling a story as it is about providing a beautiful glimpse into Hawaiian culture."