Hula isn‘t pancakes

and understanding isn‘t syrup.

We don't pour it on.

We believe in subtlety not bombast

in nuance not excess

in kuhi not lilo

in evoking not emoting

in kūlana hiehie me ka ha‘aha‘a

in beauty grounded in humility

in a splash of humor

and a heart of steel.

How sad to accept as the years go by

that we dance more and more

for an unseen audience

serving up our

Maiki, Sally, Nana

me ka miki poi.


Aloha e ‘Anakala Kīhei,

I really cannot thank you enough for all that you have done for us this year and every year before that. All of the time you spend researching and refining in order for us to present quality hula keeps us dancing with utter pride. It keeps our hearts rich with love for this place and for each other. We appreciate everything you do behind the scenes, and every talk you've ever given us. Thank you for our Kona trip. Thank you for sharing your "Aloha Hōnaunau." One of the last things I said to my father was that I was lucky to be his daughter. I didn't have to work for it or earn it in any way, I was merely blessed beyond words. I can see how you fill a similar role in our hālau. We have our Kumu, our hula sisters, and our hula aunties, but then we also have you. So yes, we are both lucky and blessed. And this year especially, I just wanted the chance to thank you.

Me ke aloha pumehana,

Pualani Steele

MM 2011: One judge writes

"They donʻt show much understanding of their mele"