Halau Hula O Na Mele 'Aina O Hawai'i first opened its doors in New York City in May 1968 under the guidance of Luana Haraguchi. Classes were first held in Haraguchi's Upper East Side studio apartment. The halau was given its name from her teacher, Iolani Luahine. From its small roots flourished a group that comprised of dedicated students who were interested in learning hula and Hawaiian traditions.
The halau practices the traditional style of hula and protocols. Haraguchi teaches both kahiko, the ancient style of hula, and auana, the modern style. Haraguchi also emphasizes the learning of the chant, or 'oli, of each dance that is learned.
In addition to teaching hula for over 50 years, Haraguchi also owns a professional Polynesian Dance company, Hawaiian Artists Shows, alongside running the halau. She often says, "I run my dance company to pay the bills, I run the halau out of love for hula."
All members are encouraged but not required to dance at performances. The group performs in various community events and locations throughout the city and world. Performing gives the students a chance to embrace what they have learned and share the Hawaiian culture with those who normally would not be exposed to it. Past performances include but are not limited to the following:
Whether you have recently taken a trip to Hawai'i, are a former kama'aina who recently relocated to New York and miss home, or simply just love to dance, we accommodate all levels of dance and experience.
Please reach out if you have any further questions about us or are interested in booking us for an event. To book a Polynesian show, please call the number to contact Luana Haraguchi directly.
"The hula is Hawai'i. The hula is the history of our country. The hula is a story itself if it's done right. And the hula, to me, is the foundation of life. It teaches us how to live, how to be, is the ability to create one's inner feelings and no one else's."
-Uncle George Na'ope