Under the direction of Iliahi & Haunani Paredes, 2009 Girls Overall Winner Kelsey Galago of Halau Kekuaokalaaualailiahi, performs on Kaanapali Beach after capturing her title.

Under the direction of Iliahi & Haunani Paredes, 2009 Girls Overall Winner Kelsey Galago of Halau Kekuaokalaaualailiahi, performs on Kaanapali Beach after capturing her title.

The 20th “Hula O Na Keiki”, Maui’s only children’s hula competition, is set for November 12-14, 2010 at Kaanapali Beach Hotel. The weekend event commemorates one of Hawaii’s richest traditions and is open to hula students from all across Hawaii Nei and around the world.

Wade Choda-Kowalski, also of Halau Kekuaokalaaualailiahi, captured the 2009 overall keikikane title.

Wade Choda-Kowalski, also of Halau Kekuaokalaaualailiahi, captured the 2009 overall keikikane title.

Children ages five to seventeen dance solo and in pairs. The competition includes a judge’s interview as well as hula performances in both kahiko (ancient) and auana (modern) dance categories. The students are judged on their proficiency in Hawaiian language, and the appropriateness of their costume. Nearly $22,000 will be awarded in cash and prizes this year.

A keikikane (boy) dancer wows the crowd.

A keikikane (boy) dancer wows the crowd.

For the kahiko division, keiki will dance to  chants commemorating Hawaii’s beloved Queen Emma Kalanikaumakaamano Kaleleonalani Naea Rook and her journeys to Maui. The young ladies will dance to a song written about her travels to Upcountry, Maui. The young men will compete to a song written about Queen Emma’s travels to The Magic Isle’s iconic Iao Valley. The students and their kumu hula select their own auana number based on a specific theme and/or time period.

Executive Chef Tom Muromoto and his culinary team will delight with local cuisine.

Executive Chef Tom Muromoto and his culinary team will delight with local cuisine.

This year’s judging panel includes some of Hawaii’s most revered and respected kumu hula (hula masters). Among them are Maui’s Hokulani Holt and Luana Kawaa; Tony Conjugacion, Charlani Kalama and Vicky Takamine from Oahu; Hawaii Island’s  Leialoha Amina; and hailing from Kauai, Maka Harold.

Kaanapali Beach Hotel General Manager Mike White, an ardent supporter of Hawaiian culture, addresses the crowd.

Kaanapali Beach Hotel General Manager Mike White, an ardent supporter of Hawaiian culture, addresses the crowd.

Maui’s Own Ekela Kaniaupio Crozier will serve as mistress of ceremonies and will share her manao (thoughts) on the language and Hawaiian cultural elements of the olelo (language) and mele (song). Master of Ceremonies Harry Soria, Jr. of “Territorial Airwaves Radio” fame will focus on “hapa haole” nature of the auana competition.

Hands-on cultural workshops include Hawaiian lauhala (pandanus) weaving.

Hands-on cultural workshops include Hawaiian lauhala (pandanus) weaving.

To round off the weekend festivities will also include arts and crafts from all islands, cultural and hula workshops, Hawaiian entertainment and ono (delicious) local food. The colorful keiki performances and the weekend of festivities are a showcase for Hawaiian culture that is not to be missed.

The weekend offers arts & crafts from across the Hawaiian Islands.

The weekend offers arts & crafts from across the Hawaiian Islands.

The 432-room Kaanapali Beach Hotel combines a charming Hawaiian atmosphere with an ideal ocean front location in the heart of world-famous Kaanapali Beach Resort. Officially recognized as Hawaii’s Most Hawaiian Hotel and the #1 Hawaii Hotel for Best Value, discover what many have come to call their ‘Hawaiian home away from home’. For reservations call 1-800-262-8450 toll-free from the U.S. and Canada, 1-808-661-0011 direct, visit their web site at www.kbhmaui.com, or call your travel agent.

*Images courtesy Kaanapali Beach Hotel and photographers Terrie Eliker and Zane Mathias.

Hula o Na Keiki judges and emcee take a break from their all important duties.

Hula o Na Keiki judges and emcee take a break from their all important duties.