Kau`i (pronounced KAU-E) Dalire is no stranger to performing on stage and being under the spotlight, Dalire’s DNA has given her a head start in the world of Hawaiian entertainment. Born into a well-regarded hula dancing family from the Windward side of O’ahu, Hawai’i, Dalire’s Mother, Aloha Dalire, was the winner of the very first Miss Hula competition in the Merrie Monarch festival, often referred to as the “Super Bowl” of hula. In time, Dalire, as well her two sisters would follow in their Mother’s footsteps and capture the title as well, making Hawai’i history. Now, Dalire is Kumu Hula to her own schools known as Halau Ka Lihilihilehua ‘O Hopoe Kuikanani, with locations in Hawai’i, Japan (Shibuya, Okinawa, Ikebukuro, and Yokohama), Mexico, Australia, Arizona, Seattle, Las Vegas, Michigan and California.
Although Dalire excelled in hula dancing, it wasn’t the only area where she honed her skills. An accomplished athlete, Dalire was proficient on the basketball court and winning awards while a student at Kamehameha Schools. In her college years, she even won a position on the Linfield team in Oregon. Little did she know that all of the training, discipline, and hard work in hula and sports would eventually be the foundation of a future career.
Kauʻi Castaneda born and raised in Southern California has danced all types of genres from Jazz to Filipino culture dancing. With her grandparents and parents from Oʻahu, her love for hula has been with her but could not find a hālau near her on the Mainland. It wasn’t until she moved to Oceanside where her hula journey began and has become her greatest passion. In 2013, she began dancing with Hālau Hula O Kāʻeo under the direction of Kumu Hula Kāʻeo Haupu in Escondido, CA. Her hula journey has now led her under the direction of Kumu Hula Kauʻi Dalire and has become a branch of Hālau Ka Lihilihilehua ‘O Hopoe Kūikanani.
Kauʻi takes pride in teaching people who are eager to expand their minds, talents, and skills with learning about hula, the Hawaiian culture and embarks into continuing with the teachings that is being handed down to her.