Kahana Hula | Southbury
Tiare Kahana is committed to developing children’s programs that provide fun, interactive, kinesthetic, and sensory learning experiences through dance, movement, music, sing-along, and storytelling. Her programs emphasize Hawaiian morals imbedded in the true meaning of Aloha; which is love, kindness, compassion, caring and respect. She teaches the Hawaiian tradition of treating everybody as family, including those of different races. The state of Hawai’i has the highest racial minority population in the country. Diversity is the way of life in Hawai’i.
As part of her Hawaiian heritage, Tiare learned the ancient and sacred art of hula in early childhood. She continues to study hula under Kumu Hula (Hula Master) Kawika Alfiche of Halau ‘O Keiki’ali’I of San Francisco and was honored as a guest dancer in his New York Times critically acclaimed production of “The Sacred Hula: Ka Wa Hula – Hula Through Time” at Symphony Space. She is the founder of Kahana Hula, a Polynesian Dance Company, presenting Hawaiian culture and dance performances throughout the Northeast, in schools and universities, community, private and corporate events. Kahana Hula has made appearances on local and national television.
Students are drawn by Tiare’s gentle and energetic teaching style, inspired by her genuine passion and commitment to develop creative ways to make learning fun. As a professionally certified fitness instructor and yoga practitioner for over thirty years, Tiare is a Yoga Allliance certified yoga teacher. She is inspired to teach young students the many benefits of dance, meditation, and yoga, as these practices have helped her to recover from, and manage symptoms fibromyalgia, such as pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. This personal experience has connected her with understanding the challenges and struggles children may deal with in the classroom.
Kawika Santiago was trained in classic drumming since the age of 10. In addition, he is a recording artist, singer, composer and skilled in playing the guitar and ukulele. He has been with Kahana Hula since 2009, performing with Tiare, accompanying her by playing the Hawaiian ipu (gourd drum), pahu (Polynesian bass drum) and toere (Tahitian log drum). Kawika also sings and dances as “Maui’s cousin” (“Maui” the fictitious demi-god in the Disney movie, “Moana), performs the Haka (Maori warrior chant), hula and Tahitian dance. Kawika and Tiare provide a fun, unique and energetic show, performing as a duo.