Ha'amana | to empower
Huraiti Mana is a Polynesian dance troupe based in Seattle, Washington comprised of family and friends and led by award-winning dancer Kalei'okalani Onzuka. We seek to empower our students of all ages to become huraiti or skilled dancers through lessons in Tahitian, Hawaiian, Samoan, and Maori-style cultural dances. Huraiti Mana is dedicated to producing a celebratory performance with a talented and passionate cast while embracing and perpetuating deeply rooted values of leadership, family, and pride. Culture is about encouragement and empowerment, and that is what we hope to share with you at Huraiti Mana.
Ha'aputu | to gather
Culture is more than the performance of song and dance. It is about the relationships you build leading up to that moment. It's about how we as people interact. How we teach each other, how we listen to each other, and how we learn from each other. Huraiti Mana strives to develop relationships with nonprofits and organizations dedicated to showcasing, featuring, and supporting our Pacific Islander, Asian-American, and various communities of color. Our dancers find opportunities to grow not only individually but professionally as well, earning experiences in show performances across Seattle. We strive to provide professional opportunities by developing relationships with individuals and organizations throughout Washington who value our work.
Ha'api'i | to teach, to learn
Kalei'okalani was born and raised in Wai'anae, O'ahu and began dancing at six years old with Lokelani Polynesian Revue in Nānākuli. Beginning at 13 with Polynesian Dance Troupe Ma'ohi Nui, Kalei performed professionally in shows across O'ahu and on tour in Japan as well as competed in island-wide Heiva. She also trained with the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Campus Hawaiian Ensemble and performed in the 2008 Rosebowl parade and Disneyland parades. From her move to Washington in 2009 until 2016, Kalei taught originally choreographed Tahitian, hula, and Samoan dances at Seattle University for the Hui 'O Nani Hawai'i club. In 2016, she began teaching hula as a part of Arts Corps, an organization providing equal opportunity for creative programs in schools with children of predominantly low-income communities of color. Most recently, Kalei began teaching with Families of Color Seattle (FŌCS) as a part of the FOCSarts program, providing multi-cultural arts classes for youth ages 3-6 years and 7+, engaging them in conversations and practice of community, identity, and racial equality. With Huraiti Mana, she opens her independent teachings to students of all ages, learning from each and instilling in each significant values of the Polynesian cultures. Kalei aspires to continue teaching, studying, and sharing her passion for dance.
© HURA•ITI MANA
© HURA•ITI MANA
Photography by Kyle Kotani