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Hōkūle'a Academy dancers praying

About Us

Aʻohe hana nui ka aluʻia

No task is too big when done together

Our Identity

Hōkūleʻa, “The Star of Gladness” is one of the brightest stars in the night sky (Arcturus) and the Zenith star of the Hawaiian Islands. It was this star, Hōkūleʻa, that guided early Polynesian voyagers from the Society Islands to the shores of Hawaiʻi. These early Polynesians were the first humans to inhabit this new world of volcanic terrain thus becoming the first Hawaiians. Just as Hōkūleʻa guided them to happiness in the Hawaiian islands, part of our identity is to bring people closer to happiness through our dance classes and performances.

Hōkūle'a Academy logo

For more than a decade, Hōkūleʻa has brought the spirit of the Pacific islands across the Midwest. By fostering a culture of Care, Confidence, Community, and Growth inside our academy and through our performances, we are fulfilling a greater purpose that provides individuals with exceptional experiences that have impact and meaning.

Care. Confidence. Community. Growth.

Hōkūle'a Academy founders

Where It Began

In 2003 David and Ale met in Hilo, Hawai‘i at the Tahiti Fete dance competition. Their friendship grew stronger over the years with the help of e-mail and modern technology. The two eventually realized that they had more in common than the love they had for Polynesia and reunited again in 2008. Shortly therafter, Ale decided to move to Chicago. In 2009 David and Ale were married and less than one year later, Hōkūle‘a was formed. It is their passion and commitment to teach what they know by staying true and respectful to the people and cultures of Polynesia. To do what they love is an honor and they are forever thankful for their blessings in life.

Where We Are Today

Today, Hōkūle'a is home to over 80 academy students of all ages eager to learn about the Polynesian arts. In addition to our public appearances, Hōkūle'a has been hired by clientele from all across Chicagoland to spread the Aloha spirit and beautiful cultures directly from the islands. We continue to build our 'Ohana through our academy classes and working with other organizations every day.

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