Kanani Lokelani Asuega
Kanani Lokelani Asuega is of Hawaiian and Samoan descent, and was born into a family of world-renowned Polynesian entertainers. She grew up dancing in her family’s group, Lokelani’s Rhythm of the Islands, as the Lead Instructor & Co-Creative Director where she helped lead the group to create numerous award-winning dancers & performances. Throughout the last 20 years, Kanani has performed all over the world including Tahiti, Bora Bora, Mexico, Europe, and Japan. In 2017, Kanani was hired as a Polynesian Entertainer in Okinawa under Rose Perreira and Tiare Toa where she served a 6 month contract dancing at a hotel Luau show.
Aside from performing, Kanani is a 12-time Overall winning tahitian soloist at various competitions around the world, including titles Heiva I Paris Top Vahine 2018 and ‘Ori Tahiti Nui World Championship 2019 Vahine Champion. In 2018, Kanani also performed with Nonahere of Mahina, Tahiti under the direction of Matani Kainuku in their 2018 Heiva I Tahiti performance.
She now serves as an international dance teacher, sharing her mana’o and love with everyone she can. Kanani has taught workshops in places such as London, Spain, Mexico, and all around the U.S.A. Due to the recent pandemic, Kanani has taken her classes online for students near and far during these trying times. Kanani offers a plethora of classes for all levels via Zoom and in just one year of her online journey she has reached over 700 students.
Kanani strongly believes in “Reaching for the stars..” and working everyday to achieve your best self. She has always been inspired by her parents, Kathy & Roy Asuega, who opened a dance studio, to not only continue teaching dance, but to also provide a home for others. Growing up in a studio, watching her parents take care and motivate so many people gave Kanani the desire to do the same for following generations. Her teachings are a huge reflection of her family’s dance studio which was founded in love and community. Kanani’s goal is to create space and time for dancers of all walks of life and share her passion of ‘Ori Tahiti and the Polynesian Culture.