Hula Hālau ‘Ohana Holo‘oko‘a started informally in 1998 after Lisa had received several requests to teach hula. After receiving Auntie Linda’s blessing to teach hula in Oregon, she began hula instruction in her home with one class of five beginning adult students. Since that time, the hālau has grown to over 100 students in 13 classes, and her students range in age from 3 years old to 75+ years old. Although most of her students have some connection to Hawai‘i, the hālau is open to anyone with aloha in their heart and a passion for hula.
Hula Hālau ‘Ohana Holo‘oko‘a means “School Of Hula Where Everyone Is Family,” and in keeping with this spirit Lisa shares her aloha with members of the hālau, who in turn share their aloha, with hugs and care, with all of their hula sisters and brothers. Through this bond with her students, Lisa helps to preserve the Hawaiian culture through language, song and dance.
The Assistants (Nā ‘Olapa):
Through our passion for hula and the aloha in our hearts, we strive to share our knowledge of the Hawaiian culture, history, language, chants, songs and stories to all who
Lisa Fujii Chang began her formal hula training in 1987 with Hula Hālau ‘O Pi’ilani in Santa Clara, California, under the instruction of Kumu Hula Linda Pi'ilani Danek. Auntie Linda, born and raised in 'Ele'ele, Kaua'i, was trained by Kumu Hula Helen Kekua Waia'u and taught hula for over 45 years.
After six months, Auntie Linda moved Lisa up to the advanced class. The highlight of Lisa’s dance career was taking first place in the Hula Kahiko and Hula 'Auana Group Division at the Ia 'Oe E Ka La Hula Competition in 1989. Lisa danced with Hula Hālau 'O Pi'ilani until she moved back to Oregon in 1994. She travels to San Jose several times a year to continue her hula study with Auntie Linda’s daughter, Kumu Hula Kanani Densing.
Hula & Tahitian:
Molly Kamomi Rios-Nogales: Kamomi comes to us with almost 10 years of formal Tahitian dance training from Hālau’s located on O‘ahu and in San Diego. She has 7 years of experience choreographing impromptu Tahitian dances and experience making Tahitian costumes. She has participated in 2 Tahitian competitions (qualified for finals in 1 and 3rd place in the other). She was in a Hālau that took 1st place in the Tahitian group competition.
Patty Pualē‘ī Sammis: While not Hawaiian, Pualē‘ī came to hula after several vacations to the Hawaiian islands. She was fascinated by the beauty of hula and always returned home with the desire to learn. In 2007, Pualē‘ī joined Hula Hālau ‘Ohana Holo‘oko‘a and under Kumu Lisa’s teaching began learning both hula and Tahitian style dance. In addition to developing and improving her dancing, she is also studying Hawaiian language, history and culture through songs, stories and crafts. As Kumu Lisa’a assistant, Pualē‘ī enjoys helping Lisa’s students in both Keiki and adult classes and appreciates the opportunity to strengthen her hula training. In addition, she enjoys performing and looks forward dancing at different events and lu’aus throughout the year.
Kisha Kaleialoha Iyo-Kanetani:Kaleialoha translates to “The Lei of Love” which was given to her by her aunty. She was born in Hilo, Hawai‘i which is on the big island and that’s where she started getting into hula. She danced for about a year and a half with Glenn Vasconcellos then moved to Oregon when she was 10. After getting settled she really wanted to do hula again and that’s when she found Rowena and danced with her for about a year and a half Rowena got me into dancing Tahitian, which Kaleialoha thought was super fun! Then she took a short break and wanted to do more in her hula experience and that is where she found Lisa Chang, and she’s been there ever since. Learning a dance and getting to the point where you can perform what you learned in front of others is so rewarding and makes you feel so good about yourself. Hula is the best part of my day, its hard work but Kaleialoha enjoys it. The Hālau (hula school) is like my other family - everyone is so close it’s unbelievable.