Kanani Asuega is of Hawaiian and Samoan descent, and was born into a family of world-renowned Polynesian entertainers. She grew up dancing in her family’s group, Lokelani’s Rhythm of the Islands, as the Lead Instructor & Co-Creative Director where she helped lead the group to create numerous award-winning dancers & performances. Aside from performing, Kanani is a 13-time Overall winning tahitian soloist at various competitions around the world, including titles Heiva I Paris Top Vahine 2018 and ‘Ori Tahiti Nui World Championship 2019 Vahine Champion. She now serves as an international dance teacher, sharing her mana’o and love with everyone she can. Kanani has taught workshops in places such as London, Spain, Mexico, and all around the U.S.A. Today, Kanani has taken her teachings online, where she offers a plethora of class via Zoom. In just 3 years, Kanani has reached over 500 students. She has been inspired by her parents, Kathy & Roy Asuega. Growing up in a studio, watching her parents take care and motivate so many people, gave Kanani the desire to do the same for following generations. Kanani’s dream is to create space and time for dancers of all walks of life and to share her passion of ‘Ori Tahiti and the Polynesian Culture.
Healani Kimitete-Ah Mow
Healani Kimitete-Ah Mow, grew up on Hawai’i Island in the ahupua’a and/or land district of Ka’upulehu, Kohala Coast on the bottom slopes of Hualalai mountain, known today as the Luxury Kona Village Resort. At a very young age, her and her siblings were always surrounded with family and friends that were very hard-working people, there was a special talent that her family was known for, which was teaching, learning music, drumming, and dancing Ori Tahiti. This became a daily life style. She started dancing professionally at age 6 from watching/mimicking her mom and dad on stage, interacting with visitors while teaching the culture, they were my first teachers. Eventually, I would spend all my summer vacations in Pape’ete, Tahiti just learning, listening, watching, studying the beats and perfecting my native language in training with the best teachers during the early 70’s & 80’s, which were: Mamie Louise Kimitete, Tahia Kimitete-Smith, Yesmina Lepean and Coco Hotahota. As time went on, she also loved canoe paddling and Hula. My parents Pierre & Augustine Kimitete moved our family here to Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i to start a new life for us. Eventually through the years we have formed a non-profit 501-©3 Organization canoe club called Kai’ Ehitu Outrigger Team right in the heart of Kailua-Kona. We have been active since 1980. Today, we are one of the best well known family-owned canoe clubs in the State of Hawai’I and abroad and we give all respect and honor to our ‘Ohana and community of Hawai’I Island. We as their (5) children oversee the canoe club today. This is to keep our parents Legacy Alive for our future generations. I’ve competed and WON in several Merrie Monarch Hula Competitions, under the direction of Na Kumu Hula Nani Lim-Yap and Leialoha Lim-Amina (Halau Na Lei o Kaholoku). I’ve dedicated 24 years as an Alaka’i since 1988 and eventually ‘Uniki graduated in 2012. I have been a Kumu Hula for 12 years never stop learning, teaching, educating, sharing knowledge, and being a voice for our Na Tupuna and Tamari’i.
Camelia Temanaha was born and raised in Tahiti and began dancing Ori Tahiti at a very young age, in 1982 she moved to Hawaii along side her husband Tyrone Temanaha she began dancing, singing and mastering Pahu Drum with Te Vai Ura Nui. Today, Aunty Camelia has choreographed songs and dances in Polynesia, Japan and the U.S Mainland. Passionate about her Tahitian heritage, and culture, Aunty Camelia believes that tradition tells a colorful story about life, love, and their enduring relationship with nature.