TRACIE KA‘ŌNOHILANI (FARIAS) LOPES started hula in a familial setting, her maternal great-grand-parents Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Holokai lead the Holokai Troupe which included Tracie's grandmother Winona Holokai and her sisters. As a result, Tracie's very first hula teacher was her own Aunty Johnette Keawehawai‘i. Tracie also learned hula from Uncle Kalanikoa Ioane, Kumu Hula Ed Collier and Randie Fong at Kamehameha. At the age of 12 she joined Nā Wai ‘Ehā o Puna, and for 16 years she studied with Kumu Hula O'Brian Eselu and Thaddius Wilson. Tracie often credits the constant influence and teachings of Aunty Mapuana Yasue and Aunty Flo Koanui. Her advanced hula studies included the Hula ‘Ōlapa, Hula ‘Āla‘apapa and Hula Pahu courses of Kimo Alama Keaulana, from which she graduated in formal ‘ūniki ceremonies in 2000 and 2002. Tracie’s solo hula career is impressive, beginning with awards as both Miss Hula Pākahi and Miss E Ho‘i Mai I Ka Piko Hula in 1992. In 1993 and 1994, she earned the 1st Place Chant Award at the prestigious King Kamehameha Day Competition. She is best known for her excellent performance at the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival in Hilo in 1994, which earned her the coveted title of Miss Aloha Hula. Tracie is the daughter of famed Hawaiian singer, Karen Keawehawai‘i and John Farias, and the grand daughter of renowned composer of My Yellow Ginger Lei, John Keawehawai‘i. Tracie is a respected professional hula dancer, and has graced many of stages. She is most fond of the years she spent as a solo dancer with Jerry Santos and Olomana. Tracie has been teaching since 1995 and is currently an Instructor of Hawaiian Language at the Hawai‘i Pacific University. She has earned her BA in Education and an MA in Public Administration from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
R. KEAWE LOPES JR. is a product of one who has been reared in the hale pule where haipule, pule, hīmeni and ho‘okani pila continues to be a common practice for his ‘ohana. Keawe is a recording artist, bass, guitar, ukulele and piano player, show producer and Hawaiian language professor. His intimacy with the language is a foundation for the hula he teaches, and his knowledge of music and chant lend a depth to his language teaching. His hula teachers were Kahealani Sanborn, Patrick Choy, Nalani Kaehuaea Tenorio and Kimo Alama Keaulana, from whose advanced courses Keawe graduated in 2000, in a formal ‘ūniki for Hula ‘Ōlapa and ‘Āla‘apapa, and in 2002 for Hula Pahu. Keawe has been teaching at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa since 1997. In December of 2010, Keawe received his PhD and is presently an AssociateProfessor at Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language. There he finds joy in teaching not only the Hawaiian language, but mele courses that he has developed to encourage young talents to spend time with the compositions of our kūpuna. He credits, Uncle Kimo Alama Keaulana for this love he has for mele. In 2003, his debut recording, “He Aloha No,” garnered Nā Hōkū Hanohano nominations in the Hawaiian Language Album and Haku Mele Song Composer categories and in 2016 Keawe won a Hōkū Hanohano Award with Chad Takatsugi for Liner Notes. Keawe is also the Director of Ka Waihona A Ke Aloha, Ka Papahana Ho‘oheno Mele, an interactive resource center for the promotion, preservation and perpetuation of mele and mele practitioners. Since 2003, Ka Waihona A Ke Aloha has engaged both the university and community at large with mele projects and events including: Nā Mele o Hawai‘i Nei, Ka Papa Mele Kauwela, Ho‘okani Mānoa, Ke Welo Mau Nei, Lā Mele & E Kau A Hua ‘o Kauhua. Today, Keawe's parents, Robert and Berta Lopes, along with his extended ‘ohana, continue to support the hālau as members of the hālau, with their time, and most of all in prayer.