No nā hālau e eo ana ka lanakila nui iā lākou ma ka Mele Manaka, mai ka mea lanakila ma ka 2012, a i ka mea mua loa i ka 1971, kahua ana kēia ʻoi kelakela i ka paʻu a hoʻoikaika mau.
Wahi a Florence Koanui, heHauʻoli Hula Maiden, “ua pīhoihoi nō a ua pono e kia ka noʻonoʻo ma ka hoʻomākaukau kūpono.”
“Ua pūʻiwa hauʻoli i ka lanakila ʻana!” wahi a Jade Hind, kekahi Hauʻoli Hula Maiden.
Eia nō naʻe, ma ʻō aku o ka hoʻomākaukau a hoʻomaʻamaʻa nui, ahuwale ke koʻikoʻi o ka pilina ma waena o lākou i ka puka lanakila.
Wahi a Jade Hind, “ʻo ka hula, he pōʻaiapili nui o ke ola me ke aloha. Nui pū ka leʻaleʻa. Pili loa mākou ma nā ʻano hana a pau no laila, he ʻohana maoli nō ke ʻano.”
A holo loa mai i kēia wā, i nā mea lanakila o ka mh 2012, ʻo ia hoʻi ʻo Hālau i ka Wēkiu me nā kumu ʻo Karl Veto Baker lāua me Michael Casupang. He mau haumāna kēia mau kumu i puka mai ka hālau a Kumu Robert Uluwehi Cazimero, a no laila, mai loko mai lāua ʻo kēia ʻano hālau pili a paʻa kohu ʻohana maoli nō.
ʻŌlelo mai ʻo Kumu Hula, Veto Baker, no Hālau I Ka Wēkiu, “piha hauʻoli ka naʻau ke launa me nā hoa hula. He pilina e hemo ʻole ai.”
Ke hoʻoili nei lāua i kēia aloha pau ʻole no ka hula a me ia ʻano ʻimi ʻoi kelakela ʻana ma luna o kā lāua mau haumāna i kēia manawa.
“Mea nui nā mea kikoʻī ʻo ka keʻehina lima a wāwae nō hoʻi akā, ma ʻō aku o kēlā, he ʻaoʻao pili ʻuhane.” i ʻōlelo ai ʻo Veto.
Wahi a Emily Lono, kekahi Hauʻoli Hula Maiden hou aku, “he pīhoihoi a hauʻoli, a he hana nui.
Mea ʻole inā ʻaʻohe ʻuhane me ke aloha.”
“ʻAʻole mākou hele mai i ka Mele Manaka no ka lanakila wale nō akā, no ka ʻimi ʻoi kelakela mau. ʻO ia ka mea nui.” i pani ai ʻo Veto.
Merrie Monarch winning hālau, from the 2012 overall winner to the very first back in 1971, their secret to success starts with hard work.
Florence Koanui of the Hauʻoli Hula Maidens says, “we prepared very well for the Merrie Monarch Festival. We were excited, and we had to put that first, in it’s place.”
“I was shocked. I mean I was happy and delightfully shocked that we actually did win.” says another Hauʻoli Hula Maiden, Jade Hind.
Beyond being prepared, it’s the bonds created that propel them to the top.
“It’s really wonderful and overwhelming. Hula is like life, love and laughter.We have so much fun together too, you know.You practically live together; it becomes your life, so,you can’t help but feel and really love the ʻohana and everything.” says Jade Hind.
Forward to the 2012 winners, Hālau i ka Wēkiu and their kumu Karl Veto Baker and Michael Casupang. As graduates of Kumu Robert Cazimero, they themselves come from a tight hula ʻohana.
“It is such a high for me to be with my hula brothers because, because you know, we haven’t be together for 30 years. But, when you have that bond, you never lose it.” says Kumu Hula, Veto Baker.
They are instilling their aloha for hula and striving for excellence in their own hālau.
Veto says that, “there’s the mechanics part of the dance, where your hands have to be the same, your feet. But after that, it becomes spiritual.”
“It’s a lot of excitement, but it’s also a commitment on the side of the dancer. Without the spirit, without the love, we don’t get it.” says another Hauʻoli Hula Maiden, Emily Lono.
“So as a teacher, I decided not to come to Merrie Monarch for that trophy but, for our students to come here for the excellence of hula itself. That, to me, is the most important thing, for all hālau.”