Lehua (Cassie Houchin) lives in Hilo but was born and raised in the coastal town of Half Moon Bay, California. Always pulled to the beach and ocean, she felt a longing and deep resonation with Hawaiʻi at an early age. Her first time to the islands was a trip to Maui at the age of 14. It was also the first time she saw hula dancing and was mesmerized by the dance's beauty, but it wasn't until almost 15 years later after her first trip to the islands that she started dancing hula in the Fall of 2013. She danced with Nā Wāhine ʻO Kalani of Half Moon Bay for 6 years.
She met Kumu Kamaolipua at her Art of Aloha workshop in 2015 and learned her first Hawaiian chant. It took her hula practice and knowledge of the Hawaiian culture to another level. She began studying one-on-one with Kumu, first learning the history of Hawaiʻi and then onto language, ho'oponopono, ho'okipa and other parts of the culture, which included traditional Hawaiian crafts, as well as more chants and hula. After a cultural immersion retreat in March of 2017, where she learned how to be hoʻopaʻa (musician) and play the ipu heke ʻole (gourd) and visited Tutu Pele at Halema'uma'u, she knew that the study of the Hawaiian culture and living in Aloha was her calling and life's work. It was during this retreat that Kumu gave her the Hawaiian name Lehua.
She moved to Hilo in January 2020 to continue her studies of the culture. She is honored to be one of Kumu's alaka'i along with alakaʻi sisters as they teach the traditions of Kumu's 'ohana and how to Live in Aloha.