*The following is from an interview with Kumu Hula , Coline Aiu
My name is Coline Helen Kaualoku Aiu. My Hawaiian name comes from my great grand aunt's name, and that means "torrential rain". I am Hawaiian by birth, and by training, and by living. On my mother's side of the family, her geneology comes from Kaua'i, and my father's geneology comes from the island of Hawai'i. My background is from O'ahu. I was born and raised here. I graduated with my high school diploma from Hawaiian Preparatory Academy. I attended the University of Hawai'i, at Manoa, and achieved a Bachelor's in Drama & Theater.
During that time, I danced hula, but I didn't go to hula class. Even though my mother was a kumu hula, I would go and then not go. I was a very poor student of the hula, during my younger years. But, when I was about thirteen years old, I wanted to buy a surfboard, but I had already four brothers and two sisters, and we all went to private school. So my mother said to me, "You know, there's a group that's just forming and you have to be between the ages of thirteen and sixteen. You can dance every Thursday and you'll get ten dollars. And I thought, "Ten dollars? I can do that. I can do all those things." I tried out for it, and I got it. We, six girls and three boys, would dance at the Kaimana Beach Hotel.
"If you're going to teach something that you love, you have to live it."
The more I danced hula, the more I realized there was a lot more to it, and then I really became awe of my mother because she was this big hula person. You know, people from the University would call, and the governor's office. Notable people from the community would call her for confirmation or research or assistance. And here all these many years she was just my mother and I'd be like, "No I don't think I want to go in there and learn that." But, I must have been learning it on the way, because as she got older, you know, she had done so many things, and I think she felt she had done her work. So slowly, I began to come in and kokua and teach and it was really funny because when I'd come in, the students would hang their faces, "oh god, the sub". But, when she would come, everybody would just perk up and it was because in teaching her hula, she didn't just do the motions. She'd talk story and it was such an exciting thing to be with her.