Lehua

Lehua (Cassie Houchin) 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 nei as well. 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. She danced ballet, tap, and jazz since she could walk, but it wasn't until almost 15 years later after her first trip to the islands that she began her hula dancing career in the Fall of 2013. Led by hula sister Namaka, she is kokua (helper) for their dance group, Nā Wāhine ʻO Kalani, who regularly perform at various local events on the Coastside. 

 

She met Kumu Kamaolipua at her Art of Aloha workshop in 2015 and learned her first Hawaiian chant. Always a dancer, Lehua didnʻt realize until then that she had a "chant" voice and felt deep power within her naʻau when she chanted. It took her hula practice and knowledge of the Hawaiian culture to another level.

 

She began studying one-on-one with Kumu in 2016, first learning the history of Hawaiʻi and then onto language, ho'oponopono, and culture, which included traditional Hawaiian crafts, as well as more chants. 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. Kumu gave her the Hawaiian name Lehua after this retreat, and she is now known in her hula world as Lehua, not Cassie. She is honored to be one of Kumu's alaka'i along with alakaʻi sisters as they teach the traditions of Kumu and how to Live in Aloha.

© 2018, 2019 Hālau Nāpua o Kalei Maoli Ola