About Pa Hula Maikikalikolaua'eokalani
Our traditional Halau Hula program is organized for the explicit purpose of transmitting the knowledge acquired by our kumu in his formal training. It is not for everybody and requires sweat, dedication and perseverance.
Traditionally trained Kumu Hula come from a specific Hula tradition and hula genealogy. The knowledge that these kumu received comes from an unbroken line of other Kumu Hula extending back in time to antiquity. In this tradition, the Kumu Hula is the textbook for the students, and has a responsibility to transmit the knowledge received accurately to the next generation in an anciently structured way.
Please understand that if you are interested in this program, there is a specific body of material which the haumana (student) is expected to MASTER at each level of study. The training perpetuates the ancient ways of learning, which is: dancing the number until is imprinted in your body's memory. This is the basis for traditional learning.
Hula Student Guidelines - What We Teach
The intention of Pa Hula Maikikalikolaua’eokalani’s hula program is to maintain and perpetuate the hula tradition as passed to our kumu from his kumu. As a beginning student, you will learn how to perform the basic steps as well as the hula terminology that goes with it. As an intermediate and advanced student, you will learn hula choreography in concert with Hawaiian mele, or songs. Knowledge of the Hawaiian language is not mandatory; however, during the course of your studies, it will be necessary for you to learn to sing or chant (kahea) the words to many of the songs.
There is never any guarantee that as a hula student you will be invited to progress to the next level. Progression is based upon skills as determined by the Kumu only.
Each class has at least one representative who will provide students with information regarding upcoming events and class work. Be sure that you introduce yourself to your class rep, and that they have a way in which to get in contact with you (e-mail and telephone, as well as address). It is your responsibility to regularly check your e-mail or the Pa Hula Maikikalikolaua’eokalani website () for updated class and event information.
How We Behave
The origins of hula are lost in the distant past. The ways in which hula was taught and lived have changed dramatically over the years; the ways in which hula is taught today differs radically from the days before outsiders came to populate the Hawaiian Islands. Despite those changes, there are still rules of behavior that govern how we are to behave in the halau, in our classes, and towards our kumu hula and their kokua (assistants).
Following are the formal Policies and Procedures of Pa Hula Maikikalikolaua’eokalani:
Pa Hula Maikikalikolaua’eokalani admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students of the halau. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, employment, and other halau administered programs.
Personal Behavior Policies
Personal hygiene and grooming are very important in hula. All garments should be clean and pressed.
Attire for attendance in all classes is the halau uniform: black or grey t-shirts or tank tops or for both kane (male) and wahine (female).
It is recommended that Kane dancers wear loose-fitting shorts.
Wahine dancers are required to wear hula pa‘u with shorts or bloomers underneath.
Beginning and Keiki (children) wahine dancers are required to wear their tan hula pa‘u (tied on the right).
Intermediate wahine dancers are required to wear their tan hula pa‘u (tied on the right) with color overlay (tied on the left).
Advanced wahine dancers are required to wear their black hula pa‘u.
Kane and wahine with long hair should have their hair up neatly in a bun, pulled back or braided.
Please be courteous to the class. If you are running late, are ill, or intend to not attend class, please inform your class representative before class starts. If you do not inform your class representative or your instructor, you may be fined $1 for every minute you make your instructor wait for you.
If you have plans and know in advance that you are going to miss a class, it is your responsibility to find out what was taught when you come to the next class, and to then learn it.
You may ask questions, but please do not disrupt the class. Ask at an appropriate moment, preferably during a break.
If you visit with an interest to join any of our programs, we welcome you to observe or participate in one class. If you return to observe or participate again, you will be considered a walk-in, and will be required to pay the $25.00 walk-in session fee.
Parents of students are welcome to stay and watch from the designated area. If young siblings or other family members are brought to class, we do ask that they sit quietly and watch without disrupting the class.
In addition to the formal Policies above, there are also important traditional Hawaiian healing arts protocol which every participant should know of and observe:
Always show respect to your instructors and kokua (assistants). Kumu should be referred to by his title, “Kumu,” kokua, by the acceptable honorific or title of “Uncle” or “Auntie.” (Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett should be addressed as “Loea”).
At the beginning of class, if there is time, all students should help clean the classroom by moving the furniture; sweeping and mopping the floor, and making sure everything is clean and tidy. At the end of class, all students should help to close the classroom by clearing away leftover water bottles and trash, sweeping the floor, moving the furniture back to where we found it, cleaning the tables, and making sure everything is as clean as or cleaner than the room was found at the beginning of class.
When Kumu is speaking or showing an example, please keep quiet and pay attention. Listen and learn from what is being said or demonstrated. You will benefit from paying attention.
Think before asking questions. Use your own eyes and ears first; learn by observing.
Learn and practice what you are taught so that you can keep up with your class. You are expected to memorize the designated kahea by your next class.
Always take off your shoes before you enter the heart of the classroom (it’s OK to leave shoes just inside the doorway). When you go outside, put your shoes on so that you don’t bring dirt back into the classroom.
Pagers and cell phones should be turned off unless you are expecting an emergency call (if so, please explain to the kokua before class).
Handle your Pa Hula Maikikalikolaua’eokalani attire and implements with respect: hula pa‘u, kihei and implements are considered to be sacred items, and should not be treated casually or carelessly.
As you continue your training, you will often hear the phrase, “ai ha‘a,” which literally means, “bend down” or “go lower.” This low-to-the-ground style of working is a trademark of Pa Hula Maikikalikolaua’eokalani. However, “ai ha‘a” also means to “be humble,” which is a trademark of traditional hula and Hawaiian culture. Please remember to always respect your “elders,” which means not only your teachers and their assistants, but also your hula sisters and brothers who have more experience in this program than you do.
If you visit a class that is not your own (for example, to review your basics), remain in the back of the class. Keep in mind that you are a guest when you are not in your own class.
All students/haumana start as beginners and will be placed in an appropriate class based on skill level as determined by the Kumu. Please be aware that ongoing attendance is necessary to be successful in any class, as choreography is learned in progression.
And just a few final points to remember:
The classroom is not a playground; children should be discouraged from running, yelling, or playing inside the classroom.
Practice, practice, practice! Some people find it helpful to (audio and video) record the class so that they can practice at home; others make notes. Whatever you need to help you learn is recommended. Practice is fundamental. Keep in mind your reasons for wanting to learn hula, and apply those reasons as part of the discipline of learning.
Lastly, if you eventually decide that the Pa Hula Maikikalikolaua’eokalani is not for you, please continue to show your respect for the halau and the Kumu: (1) let Kumu know you have decided to leave and why; (2) let Kumu know where you intend to go; and if you choose to study with another school, (3) please let the new Kumu know where you've been studying and why you left.
Na Kumu Hula
Michael Kalikolaua'eokalani Ko is the Kumu Hula (Hula Teacher) of Pa Hula Maikikalikolaua'eokalani. He has been studying hula under Loea (Master) Frank Kawaikapuokalani K. Hewett since 2000 and has undergone the tradition of 'uniki in May, 2012.
Michael teaches hula in the traditional way and his students learn basic steps and ancient hula before they learn the more modern or hula 'auana style. This is considered unusual by today's standards.
Michael teaches classes in California and conducts workshops throughout the continental United States.
The Foundation of our Halau
Kawaikapuokalani K. Hewett
Pa Hula Maikikalolaua'eokalani follows the tradition of our Loea, Frank Kawaikapuokalani K. Hewett and Kuhai Halau O Kawaikapuokalani Pa Olapa Kahiko. Loea is from Kane'ohe, Hawaii and comes from a long family lineage of hula and healing arts practitioners.
In 1972, Loea became a student of Kahuna Emma deFries, undergoing the tradition of ‘uniki with her in November, 1980.
Loea has performed with and has been mentored by several hula and healing masters throughout his career including Genoa Keawe, Iolani Luahine, Mae Loebenstein, Lani Kalama, Edith Kanaka‘ole, Kaui Zuttermeister and George Naope, just to name a few.
Post Office Box 463
El Cerrito, California 94530-0463