Halau Hula 'O Walea

Markham, ON - Kumu Hula Joy Walea Corpuz

Halau Hula O Walea is under the artistic direction of Kumu Hula Joy Walea Emalani Corpuz. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the halau’s “raison d’être” is simple, and is echoed in their motto: For the Love of the Hula and the Perpetuation of the Hawaiian culture.

Born and raised in Toronto, Walea first started dancing hula at the age of three, studying under Kumu Hula Renee Makamae Cruz – the first teacher to bring hula to Toronto. Under her tutelage, Walea and her fellow hula sisters competed in various hula competitions, included Kaleponi Hula (1987), Queen Liliuokalani Keiki Hula Competition (1990), and King Kamehameha Hula Competition (1992). In 1994, she took over as po`o of the halau, and renamed it the IWALEA Dance Company with one of her hula sisters.

In 2002, they took their haumana to compete in Ka Hula Le`a, where they met the late Kumu Hula Jay Jay Ahulau Akiona and his Po`o Pua`a, Bulla Kamakele Kailiwai. Kumu Jay Jay took Walea under his wing, as he began to teach her the ways, chants, and dances of old Hawaii. Kumu Jay Jay invited Walea and six of her best haumana to compete with his hālau, Kukui Malamalama O Kona, in the 41st Merrie Monarch Hula Festival in 2004. In 2006, she had her `uniki, and was given her second Hawaiian name, Emalani, by the head of their hula lineage, Aunty Hilda Keanaaina.

Kumu Jay Jay always taught that "hula belonged to the men." It is in his honor and memory that she brings the kāne of Halau Hula O Walea to KaHulaHou: the men with the spirit of aloha and Canadian pride!

The Men of Halau Hula 'O Walea

Halau Hula 'O Walea Halau Hula 'O Walea
Halau Hula 'O Walea Halau Hula 'O Walea