Hoʻopaʻa Hawaiian rhythm lessons

Hoʻopaʻa Hawaiian Rhythms

Arizona Aloha Festival
Kaimikahu Hale o Hula music
Halau Pōhai Na Manu I Kealia Me Ho'okena
Hula with Dolly Abad

Mini-Auana Class $30

Feb 27, 2021

​He Hawaiʻi Au

Contact us with questions:


Welcome to Kaimikahu Hale O Hula I Te Faʻa O Te Mahana. Kumu Kaimi Matthews Valdez, trained in both Hawaiian and Tahitian culture, was born in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi and started dancing at the young age of 3 under the direction of Kumu Hula Master and Composer John Piʻilani Watkins.  When her family moved to California in 1975, she continued dancing with Kumu Hula Naomi Leinaʻala Kalama and then at age of 5 began dancing with Kamo's of Hawaii, also known as Kamohai's Hula Halau, under the direction of Kumu Hula Joseph Kamohaʻi Kahaulelio.

When Kaimi turned 7, her passion and love for hula grew.  Uncle Joe recognized her knowledge and after ʻuniki (graduation), he decided she should open her own halau.  In 1979 she began teaching hula and Tahitian dance in her garage.  This was the beginning of Kaimikahu Hale O Hula; it was originally based in her hometown of Santa Clara, California, and eventually expanded into the Salinas and Sacramento areas. 

In the summer of 1978, Kaimi entered Tahiti Fete in Sacramento where she placed first in her age category and took overall for the Wahine division.  She took the same title in 1979 and 1982.

In 1983, Kaimi moved back to the island of Oʻahu and took a break from teaching and attended Halau under the direction of Kumu Hula Maʻiki ʻAiu Lake and then under Kumu Hula John Keola Lake.  She also learned Tahitian from Tunui Tully.  In 1985 she moved back to California where she returned to teaching her halau again while also continuing to grow and enhance her skills at the same time under the direction of Kumu Hula Mark Kealiʻi Hoʻomalu.

In 1996, Kaimi’s family moved to Arizona where she resides and continues to teach hula and Tahitian dance and has been going strong for 20 years. 

Hoʻopaʻa Hawaiian Rhythms on Ipu Heke

Kumu Kaimi is offering a class in hoʻopaʻa, Hawaiian drumming on ipu heke.  Youʻll learn basic rhythms and techniques, then move into performing for hula.  

It's for beginners who want to start, and it's for those who have learned in the past and want to continue.

Hoʻopaʻa class will be virtual through Facebook video.  Kumu Kaimi will present the lesson live, then recordings will be available to play back.

The first session is live on February 25, 2021, from 6:30-7:30 PM Mountain time.  Sessions will continue on Thursdays twice a month.  There will be five sessions total.

If you've been a student of hoʻopaʻa with Kumu Kaimi in the past, then you can join in again for no fee.  Send us an email so we can add you to the registration list.

Join all five session for $100, this entitles you to be a student of hoʻopaʻa with Kumu Kaimi forever.

You can try the first session for $20.  Beyond the first class, you can join the remaining sessions for $80.

Mini-Auana Class - "He Hawaiʻi Au"

This is a complete hula in a single session.  The mele is "He Hawaiʻi Au", by Peter Moon, Ron Rosha and Alice Nāmakakelua, about their love for the land of their birth.

Class will be live in El Dorado Park in Scottsdale, Arizona on February 27 from 11 AM until 3 PM.  It will be recorded and then available on Facebook.  Knowledge of hula basics is helpful but it's open for all.   Enroll by paying on Paypal here and weʻll send you the details.  Cost is $30.