Talking story with Kupuna Achiever Iwalani Tseu

Sponsored by Arcadia Family of Companies

Kumu Hula ‘Iwalani Wahinikapu Walsh Tseu is this month’s Kupuna Achiever and she’s not letting age slow her down. A fashion icon and a pioneer of hula, Tseu is the executive director of Hui’Iwa Academy and owner of ‘Iwalani School of Dance Japan. As a highly respected cultural specialist and advisor, ‘Iwalani has traveled to 35 countries perpetuating and promoting Hawaiian arts through cultural music, dance and expression.

She has been a judge for prestigious competitions including the Queen Liliuokalani Keiki Hula Competition, Ia ‘Oe Ka La Hula Festival, E Ho’i Mai I Ka Piko Hula (World Invitational Hula Festival), the George Naope Hula Festival & Competition, the King Kamehameha Hula Festival, and hula festivals & competitions in Japan and California, to name a few. Having been in the entertainment industry for over 40 years as one of Hawaii’s premier entertainers, she works as a coach and consultant for beauty and scholarship pageants statewide, including Miss Hawaii and Miss Hawaii USA. Tseu’s current projects, “Blossom from Within” and “Bosom Buddies,” provide healing outlets through her non-profit organization known as `Iwalani’s Foundation. She has been featured in many magazines and commercials for her continued community work through the Iwalani Foundation and the Pu’uhonua o Honouliuli, a healing sanctuary for breast cancer.

Tseu provides charitable services as a mentor and life coach while encouraging Hawaii’s youth and young adults with her programs focusing on inner beauty, strength and development through teachings of Hawaiian values, protocol and culture. In addition to all these accomplishments Iwalani worked as a Hawaiian Studies Teacher for the Department of Education for 15 years in both the Central and Leeward Districts of Oahu. Those people in the community who know and love her have recognized her as a living treasure of Hawaii, as well as Hawaii’s Ambassador of hula and aloha.

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