13-year-old Miss Keiki Hula 2018 on winning the title

Dancing with Hula Hālau 'O Kamuela since she was five

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The 44th Annual Queen Lili’uokalani Keiki Hula Competition is right around the corner, and with it will come a new pair of Miss and Master Keiki Hula winners. HI Now host Jobeth Devera is with Rachel Komomo Mahinamaikalani, Miss Keiki Hula 2018, to talk about the moment she won the title.

Kimura has been dancing hula since she was two, but she’s been dancing with Hula Hālau ‘O Kamuela out of Kalihi for the past nine years. “I like to share the story of my mele, and I like to dance with my hula sisters,” she says. “I love to put smiles of people’s faces.”

When it comes to those who have inspired her, Kimura says she looks up to her kumu. “Every time he dances, it makes me smile,” she explains. “When people watch me dance, I want them to feel happy and lifted.”

Last year, Kimura’s song during the Keiki Hula Competition was Lei Nani Kalaunu written by Kihei Nahale-a. In the song, the author talks about her friends winning Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and how she now sees them all as beautiful stars.

“When I won Miss Keiki Hula, it was really surprising to me,” Kimura says. “I trained really hard, but I didn’t think I could win.”

Since her big win, she’s participated in the Aloha Floral Festival Parade, riding in a car with Justin Paredes, Master Keiki Hula 2018. Kimura also danced in the Kuana Torres concert and visited Japan twice, once for Na Hiwahiwa O Hawaii festival and also for the country’s own Keiki Hula competition.

The 44th Annual Queen Lili’uokalani Keiki Hula Competition will take place on July 25-27 at the Neal S Blaisdell Arena. It will be streamed live on K5.

About Keiki Hula:
On September 11, 1976, the Kalihi-Palama Culture & Arts Society, Inc. organized a festival to honor Hawai’i’s last reigning monarch, Queen Lili’uokalani. The day-long event was held at A’ala Park and featured multi-ethnic dance performances, Hawaiian crafts demonstrations, a pageant of Hawai’i’s mo’i wahine, and the first keiki hula competition.

For more information: keikihula.org