From the early age of 3 years old, Hōkū developed a love and deep passion for hula. It is this love and passion that breaths life into her Hālau and business.
For as long as Hōkū could remember, she lived, breathed and walked hula. ImageShe has danced for numerous shows and headliners in Hawaiʻi. She has been able to share her talents both here and afar, by traveling throughout the world, expressing her talents and love for her culture.
Her first hula teacher was the late Aunty Bella Richards from Kailua, Oʻahu. Her strict ways of teaching and intimidating voice helped to focus Hōkū in what was expected from a hula dancer. After Aunty Bella’s passing, she moved from one Hālau to the next passing through Kumu such as Aunty Vickie Holt Takamine, Aunty Ellen Castillo and Aunty Mapuana deSilva. She finally rested her heart with Kūmū Hula Chinky Mahoe and Hālau Hula ‘O Kawailiʻula.
As time passed by, Hōkū’s Mother, Marlene Haili Kuraoka was also teaching hula in Kaneʻohe. In Hōkū’s mid-twenties, she left Kawailiʻula to assist her mother in her ever-growing Hālau Hula ‘O Nawahine. She assisted her mother as the Alakaʻi until 2005, where Hōkū had the desire to open her own Hālau. This became the beginning of Hālau ‘Ōlapakūikalaʻi ‘o Hōkūaulani. Her name was given to her by her friend and fellow kāne dancer, Kahōkūokekai Kamākeʻeāina.
With the knowledge that she has been given and gained over the years, she has been able to implement that in her hula shows from the traditional history. With years of experience and love for hula, implements the heart and soul of the Hālau and business. With this, she has taken her entertainers through Europe, Asia and the US mainland sharing her love for these beautiful islands we call home…Hawaiʻi.
With the support of her husband, Albert and daughter Tiana and mentors such as her mother and Kumu Hula Blaine Kamalani Kia, Hōkū Nihipali’s endeavor to succeed with her own Hālau is with great respect. She wants to be able to share her knowledge of what was passed down to her with her ‘Ōlapa, so that they in return can share it with the rest of the world….