Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani ‘E was founded in 1986 to coordinate cultural education programs that benefit Hawai‘i communities. The Hālau is a membership organization whose mission is to keep the Hawaiian culture alive by fostering and encouraging a deep appreciation of Hawaiian cultural arts from generation to generation, encompassing many aspects of this cultural lifestyle but with a particular focus on music and hula. Students in the hālau range from keiki (children) to Kupuna (elders) and are taught all aspects of the hula tradition including the practice of traditional Hawaiian values.
The hālau enjoys a strong following and can pull together a large number of volunteers both from their own membership and supporters and from numerous other hālaus throughout the world who support and participate in a variety of activities and events organized by Hula Hālau o Kou Lima Nani E and Kumu Hula Iwalani Kalima.
In 2004 Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani ‘E incorporated as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. The Foundation’s mission is to build a foundation based on hula and mele traditions through which people of all ages will increase cultural knowledge, promote Native Hawaiian values, develop appreciation for the Hawaiian language and arts, and support a Hawaiian lifestyle.
Executive Director – Iwalani Kalima is the Kumu Hula of Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani ‘E. She studied under renowned hula master George Lanakilakeikiahiali’i Na’ope for over 36 years. She received her kumu palapala in 1982. Iwalani’s ambition is to perpetuate her life experiences with people that want to learn about hula, Hawaiian culture and its arts.
Board of Directors
President – Kim Leolani Kalama serves as a Director and President of Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani E, Inc. She lives with her husband in Keaʻau and has been a resident there since 2003. She began dancing with Hula Halau O Kou Lima Nani E in July 2004. Her earliest hula training was with John Piilani Watkins as a keiki in Kapahulu, Oahu. Professionally, she has over 15 years of administrative experience, most recently in the retail grocery business as Executive Assistant to the Senior Vice President of Operations.
Vice-President – Sheralyn K. Kalua serves as a Director and Vice-President of Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani E, Inc. She is a lifelong resident of the Keaukaha Community. Sheralyn’s decision to serve as a Director stems from her admiration for Kumu Hula Iwalani Kalima for whom Sheralynʻs daughter, Ka’ulaweo, has danced since the age of 5. Sheralyn enjoys being involved in her community, including serving as a Cub Scout Den Leader for the Wolves. She works for the DOE as a Custodian at Waiakea High School and is an active union member. Sheralynʻs philosophy is one of service to her family and community.
Secretary – Ami Leilani Wilson serves as a Director and Secretary of Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani E, Inc. Ami moved to Hilo, Hawaii in 2011. Her family originates from the island of Lanai and she has family on Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Amiʻs great grandmother was born in Hilo but moved to Lanai during her childhood where she met Amiʻs grandfather. Her mother , grandmother, and grandfather danced Hula for many years. Amiʻs commitment to Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani E came when her daughter showed interest and excitement in the education and performance of Hula. Ami fell in love with Hula at a very young age and now has the opportunity to dedicate her time and effort in supporting it’ s truth and significance to the culture of Hawaii. She is owner and operator of LUCA Films, a film production company in Hilo, Hawaii and she also produces a local show Kuʻu Puʻuwai that highlights the spirit and the people of Hawaii Island.
Treasurer – Pua McKeen Ehrhorn serves as a Director and Treasurer of Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani E, Inc. She was born and raised in Keaukaha, Hilo, Hawai’i and began dancing hula at the age of 4. She began dancing for Hula Halau O Kou Lima Nani E inOctober 1995 as a teenager. She has a BA in Hawaiian Studies, a Minor in Astronomy and a certificate in Elementary education from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. She currently works to perpetuate culture and language as an elementary Hawaiian Language Immersion teacher in Keaukaha. I Ola Mau Nā Pua!!