VIDEO: 19th Annual Hula O Nā Keiki 2009

November 19, 2009, 3:35 PM HST · Updated April 9, 3:11 PM
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By Jade Moss

Keiki hula students showcased their style and grace in the 19th Annual Hula O Nā Keiki competition on Nov. 13-15 at the Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel. Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi under the direction of nā kumu hula ʻIliahi & Haunani Joy Paredes was honored with Master and Miss Overall Hula O Nā Keiki titles.

In an emotional awards ceremony, it was announced Miss Overall Hula O Nā Keiki winner Kelsey Kuʻulei Miliama Haina Galago, 17, from Kamehameha Schools Maui, dedicated the award to her grandmother who recently passed.

Wade Kuʻumomimakamae Choda-Kowalski, Jr., 13, from Samuel Enoka Kalama Intermediate became Master Hula O Nā Keiki 2009. Wade said he dances hula because it’s his connection to his ancestors and culture.

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More than 20 awards were presented in front of a cheering crowd. Over $15,000 in cash and prizes were given away to the award winning keiki. Awards were also given to kumu who exercised excellent leadership throughout the competition process, new to the competition this year.

Halau throughout the Hawaiian Islands, and one from Japan, prepared the 22 boys and girls for judging in costume and adornment, interview, traditional hula kahiko, ‘oli or chant and the modern hula ‘auana.

Hapa Haole songs written between 1939 – 1959 was the theme for this years ʻauana. Live music and the comedic banter of the Mistress of Ceremonies Ekela Kaniaupio Crozier entertained the packed house.

Points awarded from the nine judges, all prominent in the hula community, determined the winners in each division. Divisions include Keiki Kane and Wahine ages 5-12, ʻŌpio Kane and Wahine ages 13-17 and Palau Keiki and ʻŌpio.

Congratulations to the Hula O Nā Keiki 2009 winners.

Keiki Wahine ʻOli: Erin Ellyse Ruri Murashige, Hālau Kauluokala

Keiki Kane ʻOli: TJ Makoa Kanichi Idemoto, Hālau Hula O Keola Aliʻi O Kekai

ʻŌpio Wahine ʻOli: Emily Guerrero, Hālau O Kaululauae

ʻŌpio Kane ʻOli: Alexander Kawika Guerrero, Hālau Kauluokala

Keiki Wahine ʻAuana: Kalaiakea Kahulumealani Reiko Greig, Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka

Keiki Kane ʻAuana: TJ Makoa Kanichi Idemoto, Hālau Hula O Keola Aliʻi O Kekai

ʻŌpio Wahine ʻAuana: Kelsey Marie Kuʻulei Miliama Haina Galago, Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi

ʻŌpio Kane ʻAuana: Wade Kuʻumomimakamae Choda-Kowalski, Jr., Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi

Overall Music Award: Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi

Keiki Palua: Karlee Pohaikealoha Rita Chong Kee & Keanu Hookena Cockett, Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi

ʻŌpio Palua: Anela Uilani Ruth Fusano Tanigawa & Preston Kekoa Kaimana Tavares, Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka

Keiki Interview Award: Kalaiakea Kahulumealani Reiko Greig, Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka

ʻŌpio Interview Award: Kelsey Marie Kuʻulei Miliama Haina Galago, Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi

Kahiko Costume & Adornment Award

Keiki: TJ Makoa Kanichi Idemoto, Hālau Hula O Keola Aliʻi O Kekai

ʻŌpio: Wade Kuʻumomimakamae Choda-Kowalski, Jr., Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi

ʻAuana Costume & Adornment Award

Keiki: Kalaiakea Kahulumealani Reiko Greig, Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka

ʻŌpio: Wade Kuʻumomimakamae Choda-Kowalski, Jr., Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi

Palua Costume & Adornment Award

Keiki: Karlee Pohaikealoha Rita Chong Kee & Keanu Hoʻokena Cockett, Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi

ʻŌpio: Anela Uilani Ruth Fusano Tanigawa & Preston Kekoa Kaimana Tavares, Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka

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