The Art of Hula
"Nā hula ua hilo 'ia ke aho a ke Aloha"
Born in the year of 1957 in Hawai`i, Vanessa spent most of her young life helping her grandparents with their bussiness and lunch truck in Wai'anae. She graduated in 1975 from Waipahu High on the island of O`ahu. Her father was from Kaua`i, sugar cane plantation welder, and her mother’s from Moloka`i.
Vanessa married into the Army and was stationed around the “mainland”. She has formed hula troupes at military installations, she attended workshops, and other Polynesian groups. All of these organizations specialized in other languages, songs, ethnic backgrounds, and dances of Tahiti, Samoa, and New Zealand. She encompasses herself in Hawaiian culture. Vanessa has contributed to groups as a founder, dancer, musician, choreographer, costume designer, and fundraiser coordinator.
At Ft. Campbell, KY, she coordinated the “Anuenue Hula Troupe” with instructor Edilyn Frietas (1995-1997) and took lessons and danced with the “Polynesian Breeze” instructor Patricia “Ituala” Su’esu’e Steagall (1996-1997). Vanessa founded “The Pacific Islander Group” at Ft. Stewart, GA (1999-2001) with Reba Malota, instructor Louisa Feiloakituu which consisted of Polynesian dancing and workshops. She also founded, coordinated, and instructed yet another hula troupe called “Pacific Mix” with head Hula instructor Makalena Shibata, and Tahitian instructor Mililani Madina at Ft. Lee, VA (2001- 2003).
Vanessa Co-founded, chartered and became Pelekikena of “Hu’i Hawai’i O Tenesi”, Hawaiian Civic Club in 2008-2011. She also served as the Dance Coordinator and Mele Alaki’i for three years.
Now that Vanessa is fully settled in Clarksville, TN, she is seeking to further her passion by continuing her studies and attending workshops in order to share her culture through the art of Hula.