Since she could walk, freshman Kawai Crisostomo lived and breathed hula from her family’s hula halau.

Knowing that Crisostomo had a lot of background in hula, she said the lū’au board of Pacific’s Hawai’i Club, Nā Haumāna O Hawai’i, heartily congratulated her by email in earning a spot as an instructor.

When the lū’au board members first sent out the email asking for freshmen instructors, Crisotomo said she was unsure about the opportunity because of the amount of work it takes to be an instructor.

“At first it was a little scary telling the older students what to do, but after the first practice they made me feel comfortable,” said Crisostomo. “I definitely received a tremendous amount of support from the seniors.”

Crisostomo taught both the freshman and instructor’s dances for this year’s 55th annual lū’au.

In coming up with both of the dances, Crisostomo mentioned that even with her advanced background with hula, she received help from her mom and aunties back at home.

Once she picked the songs, Crisostomo looked up the translation of the song, applied the motions she already knew to the verses and took her mom and auntie’s advice.

“The freshman dance is a straight upbeat hula auana,” said Crisostomo. “The instructor’s dance is also an auana, but we are dancing with three Hawaiian instruments, the ipu, ‘uli’uli and pu’ili.”

Along with instructing the freshman and instructor’s dances, she is also performing in four dances. Crisostomo is performing in hula class and wahine auana two (advanced women’s form of hula).

Being that this is her first lū’au, Crisostomo did not want to overwhelm herself with more than instructing and performing the maximum number of dances.

“Next year, I am definitely planning to instruct dances again,” said Crisostomo. “Instructing is a lot of fun and I love seeing the dances come together.”

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