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High praise for hula halau

Updated: 
December 6, 2017 - 12:05am

Some of the youngest members of Hawaii Island’s newest hula halau took top honors at the 27th annual Hula O’ Na Keiki competition held Nov. 10-11 at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel on Maui.

Fourteen-year-old Brianna Lim-Ryder won the overall female award and 15-year-old Hokani Maria won the overall male award. Both teens are part of the Kawehileimamoikawekiu’o Kohala hula halau under the direction of Kumu Hula Lorna Kapualiko Lim, who is part of the award-winning musical Lim family.

In addition to the overall award, both young dancers won in the categories for best Hawaiian chant and best costume and adornments. Among the prizes they each received was a $1,000 Akoni Akana scholarship to further their education in Hawaiian culture and hula.

Another young member of the group, Makana Thomas-Kaholoa’a, 11, won the top award for male child dancer. Alyssa Lim-Ryder 11, won the interview part of the competition and placed in two other categories in her age group.

What makes these wins even more impressive is that this is the first year the halau entered the competition! The halau itself, which is based in North Kohala, was formed only two years ago.

“They did an amazing job, very proud of them” said Jana Kaholoa’a, who has a leadership role as an alakai, or second in command, of the dance group.

Makana Thomas- Kaholoa’a is Jana’s nephew.

The kids in Kawehileimamoikawekiu’o Kohala beat out dancers in six other hula halau to win top honors at this competition – the only one of its kind on Maui.

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