A Hawaiian Cultural Awareness Program through Hula, their Indigenous dance and Ancient Storytelling

Learning Opportunities for Keiki (young ones) and adults to understand, honor and respect  the indigenous, original people of Hawai’i  and how it can help us in today's world to maintain harmony and balance in all our relationships - with our heart, mind and spirit, the sacred land and the human family

Students experience the warm sun of Hawai’i and its rich and beautiful culture as it has been passed down from ancient to modern times through their "talk story" and HulaHula is an ancient form of storytelling, unique to the Hawaiian Islands, that is all about community and caring for each other.  It is the living history of the Hawaiian people, telling their myths and legends, stories and values through songs, chants and music accompanied by movement.  It is called the "Language of the Heart" and the "Heartbeat of the Hawaiian people".

Topics covered in both classes and residential programs can include:

  • An understanding of the Hawaiian Islands, both geographically and historically, including as our 50th State 
  • The meaning of Aloha, (the foundation of their culture); ‘Ohana (family) and caring for each other, including the ‘Aina (the land and Nature)
  • Simple Hawaiian words and phrases and how they differ from English
  • Mele (songs) to sing and Hawaiian Mo'olelo  (stories) shared, based on their ancient legends
  • How to "talk story" (storytelling) through descriptive hand and arm gestures and rhythmic movements of your feet and legs 
  • Learning a simple Hula with students being encouraged to be creative in how they express themselves and the story of the Hula through the movements
  • a hands-on experience with the Hawaiian crafts - i.e., making a lei 
  • a show and tell with hands-on options for handling and playing some of the ancient rhythm instruments used to accompany the Hula

There can also be visual presentations through power point presentations. 

This Hawaiian Cultural Awareness Education Program is offered to both adults and keiki in presentations and workshops through summer camps, libraries, clubs, organizations and community centers.  Kaleo is also an Artist-in-Resident through the SC Arts Commission, offering these programs in schools around the State.

In the artist-in-resident program, there can be the opportunity to share the Hula and Mele they have learned and the Hawaiian craft they have made with their families at the end of the program in a Ho'ike (Sharing), if that works for the school.


"Auntie Kaleo, You are the best!  Thank you for the special memories.  We really appreciate you coming to our school and teaching us new things.  We loved the books, pictures, stories, dancing and playing the instruments too.  We had so much fun.  Come back again...."             -the Fairforest Elementary School 4K Kindergarten class

"Kaleo gave a presentation on the culture of Hawaii through teaching a hula to the students as part of our Diversity Day, and she did much more than that! She lead a child appropriate lesson on what the Hawaiian culture was all about. The students were engaged and could easily connect to her message. She then introduced the hula by reading part of a wonderful children's book. Kaleo mesmerized the students when she demonstrated a traditional hula, and then taught them some of the basic movements. The students loved having the opportunity to move around and dance along with Kaleo. Overall, the presentation was wonderful! I would highly recommend Kaleo and would love to have her come again."   - Amanda Stonesifer, The Woodruff Elementary School