Classes at the Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hāmākua feature some of the area’s finest instructors, and guest presenters with various backgrounds.
|Joshua Lanakilaoka`āinaikapono Mangauil is a Kanaka Maoli born and raised in Hāmākua, Honoka`a, of Hawai`i Island. Growing up in the forests of Ahualoa and down in Waipi`o Valley, Lanakila was raised and able to learn from a wide range of different Hawaiian practitioners.
Lanakila graduated from Kanu O Ka `Āina NCPCS in 2004 and became a Hawaiian studies teacher with the DOE Kupuna/Mākua program providing local cultural education to Hawai`i Public Schools. For nearly ten years he taught in public education and expanded to after school programs, community classes, college classes, international groups, as well as launching the effort to create The Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hāmākua in 2014.
A student of Hālau Hula `o WaikāUNU under Kumu hula Kuwalu Anakalea, coming from the UNUKupukupu program under Kumu Hula Taupori Tangaro, Lanakila is greatly influenced and guided by the same drive of revitalizing traditional knowledge in higher education encouraging community engagement and enlightenment.
Lanakila is grounded here in his home town, and his steadfast devotion to his community and mission of protecting and reviving the health of `Āina is embedded in all teachings he shares, his principal stance in all things Hawaiian.
“Na Akua (the gods) dwell in all that brings life, I let them shape me. I am who I am because the earth is my chief, I heed its command. He ali’i ka ‘āina, he kauwa ke kanaka. (the land is chief, the people are the servants)”
|Jani K Puakea Fisher brings nearly two decades of enrichment and cultural arts education for social change, both in and out of schools, with students from ages two to 100 years old. She maintains several wauke groves that she sings to regularly. Jani is dedicated to cultivating and sharing the wisdom and skills left by our mother ancestors to strengthen the tribal bonds of sisterhood and community.
"To make Hawaiian Kapa is to create something out of love for our nation." - Jani K Puakea Fisher
|Ashley Mai Love found yoga at the age of thirteen. Since then, yoga has been a staple in her life. She received her 200-hour yoga certification in Seattle in 2015 and is pursuing further training as a Yoga Therapist. As a nurse practitioner and yoga teacher, her passion is to blend yoga and medicine to guide the healing process. As a yoga teacher, her primary training was in vinyasa yoga, and she has been blessed to take additional courses from many other excellent teachers. She offers both individual sessions and group classes. Her teaching styles include vinyasa, hatha, and yin yoga. Every level of experience is welcome!|
|D’Arcie Beytebiere moved to Hawai‘i Island more than four and a half years ago, and ever since she has been drawn to the art of lei hulu (feather lei). She met Auhea Kekauluohi Puhi at the Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival in 2014 and started her journey of feather lei making. Since then, she has been a student of Auntie Doreen Henderson from Kea'au. She continues to learn from her teachers and her fellow students. Her love of feather lei making has been challenging, gratifying, and fun!|
|Suelang Watson has been teaching Zumba since 2009. It has been life changing for her. Since then she has found the strength and courage to make many much needed positive changes in all areas of her life. She finds it extremely rewarding to see that positivity spread and pass on to her students. One of her primary goals as an instructor is to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves while getting a fabulous all over body toning and cardio workout, with easy-to-follow moves to a contagious blend of Latin and international rhythms. All ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels welcome. Classes are high energy but low pressure. First class FREE!
Suelang and her husband own Sea DandeLion Cafe and 'Awa Bar just down the road. Her Zumba students enjoy a 10% discount off their food and drinks bill.
|Shaftton Kuakahi Kaʻupu-Cabuag is a native of Miloliʻi Village. His inspirations and foundation are his grandmother Julia “Sweetie” Kainoa Kaʻupu, his ʻohana, and God. He received his BA in Hawaiian Studies with a concentration in linguistics from Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani at the University of Hawai`i, Hilo in 2009. He continued his educational path and received his Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Education from UH Hilo in attending Kahuawaiola Indigenous Teaching Cohort. Shaftton is currently enrolled in one of UHʻs Master program in Education and plans to complete it within the next two semesters. He believes that without the foundation of anything, one cannot build with stability. He is dedicating his time and efforts to help enhance the quality of life through Hawaiian culture and language to give back to his place of birth.
“ʻO ke kahua ma mua, ma hope ke kūkulu.” – The foundation must be set before we can build.
|Kumu Hula Haleakala Sakata began hula training more than 45 years ago with Kumu Hula Ellen Pukaikapuaokalani Castillo of Waimanalo, whose hula lineage comes from Aunty Bella Richards, whose lineage descends from Hilo and Kekauilani “Aunty Lani” Kalama, whose hula descends from Lokalia Montgomery.
In 1991, Haleakala received the title of Kumu Hula and established Halau Hula Helele’i Pua ‘O Waipi’o in Honoka’a, Hawai’i. She has been blessed with opportunities to share hula teachings throughout Hawai’i, Tahiti, Samoa, and the United States. She continues to participate in and has received awards in various hula competitions in Hawai’i, and abroad.
Haleakala sits as Judge with the City and County, Parks and Recreation and the George Na’ope Annual Kupuna Hula Competition in Keauhou, Hawai’i.