MEET KUMU (TEACHER)
Gloria Napualani Kalamalamakailialoha Fujii Nahalea has shared over 40 years of teaching, performing, and choreographing the Pacific Dance Arts locally and globally. Her love for Hawaiian hula, Tahitian dance, and New Zealand Maori haka impacts those who see the many performance groups she has directed and produced in her lifetime. Among the groups are Ke Anuenue O Hawaii or Rainbow of Hawaii, Halau Hula O Napualani, Napualani Dance Troupe and Napua and Friends. She embraces ‘her aloha’ to the many different ethnicities, and respect of others’ cultures who represent her “Ohana” (family). Yet respectfully she is grateful to her many mentors & honors their knowledge passed on to her, such as Uncle George Naope, Lehua Persing, Uncle Joe Kahaulelio, Emma Sharpe, Kaili Francisco, John Kaimikaua, Kalani Kahala, Leilani Mendez, Ray Fonseca, Iwalani Kalima, and many more. She received her “palapala” (equivalent of a Master's degree) from Uncle George Naope in 1995. Well respected in the community for her leadership, she helped provide credibility by participating in many hula and Polynesian competitions, locally and abroad. Among them was the prestigious King Kalakaua Hula Festival in Hawaii, Pacific Northwest Polynesian Dance Competition, Surrey Arts Festival, Tahiti Fete in San Francisco and San Jose, Mai Kahiki Mai, and Ka Ohana Hula Festival. Many of her dancers were and still are recipients of awards and special invitations to perform at many prestigious events.
While attending the University of Washington, she mentored with Kumu Hula Master George Naope, the founder of the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, traveled with the Aloha Airlines-Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays Tour Company throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. And currently she continues to travel sharing her aloha and knowledge of the Hawaiian Culture.
In 1999 she was the recipient of the Washington State Governor’s Heritage Award for her outstanding contribution to the enrichment of the culture of Washington State. She continues to actively spread the Aloha Spirit through dance and song to everyone she meets.
She has been sought as a consultant in many other media such as radio and television programs, along with developing and designing educational curriculum for the Northwest Folklife – Folklife Education programs, University of Washington, and Western Washington University. Her works continue to expand in radio “Sounds of the Pacific Islands” and television, Hawaii Showcase Television Magazine and There in the Islands including documentaries, The Kanaka Project, The Kalama Story, and productions of cultural festivals including Kalama Heritage Festival, Taste of Paradise-Battle of the Bands, and Tastes and Sounds of the Pacific Islands.
And still she continues to perform for 100+ shows annually, producing workshops and classes all over the region.