Hula Halau Makanani

Halau Makanani is a non-competitive halau. Extra stress is not needed for the dancers. They come to class because they want to be there—to enjoy the dances, to relax, and to have friendships with fellow hula sisters and brothers.

Hula = dance
Halau = school
Maka = eyes = to see
Nani = beauty

To See the Beauty of the Dance

Lona Warner dancing at weddingHistory
Hula Halau Makanani started in Torrance, California in 1976 with 6 dancers (oddly, all were left handed, including Kumu.) All the lefties learned to use the right hand instead of the left.

The halau began in Kumu’s house and quickly changed to the Torrance Scout Center, where they continue to the present date. By 1979 there were 20 keiki, 10 teens, and 10-12 Adults. The same number of dancers is maintained and new ones are added only when there is an opening.

Classes were for keiki (children) 4 years and up. The teens and adults learned Polynesian dances—Hawaiian, Tahitian, Maori and Samoan.

When Kumu returned to Kailua Kona, she turned over the Torrance Halau to her daughter-Lona Guizar.

Hula Halau Makanani-Kona was started in 2004 at Kumu’s House. When the group became too large it moved to the Kona International Market. This Halau is for adults and Special Olympics athletes.

This was the first halau in Hawaii to welcome people with developmental disabilities into their halau ohana to dance with the non-handicapped dancers in classes and public shows.

Special Olympic dancers