Jay Kaneholani

Born and raised in Kapa'a, on Kaua'i Island, Jay Kaneholani has traveled a hula journey guided by many. He began hula studies in 1987 with Kumu Hula Keala Kinimaka-Senkus of The Hula Room, based in Wailua & Kapa'a, Kaua'i. Soon thereafter he was selected as her Kane (male) soloist and eventually chosen to represent the Halau in competitions. In the years after, Jay would go on to compete and represent his hula lineage as a Keiki dancer and into his teens, honored to hold titles such as, Master Keiki Hula, Kawaihau Hula Master, and Kaua'I Hula Master, to name a few.

In 2010, he began his formal studies with Kumu Keala - Aunty Keala to many – who would help him see the possibilities of teaching others and how much he had yet to learn. Jayʻ 2014 and was granted the rank of Kumu Hula.

With her encouragement, he started Halau Makana Pomaika'I 'O Ka Lani the following year, starting with a tiny space, a handful of dancers, and a dream to share his love and the legacy of Hula with others. In 2016 Jay moved to Grants Pass, Oregon, and shortly after arriving met Kat Greene of Hula 'O Nuku 'Aina at a community event. After a year of transition, he joined Kat Greene's group as a Haumana (student), and now assists her with classes as a co-Kumu. Now in 2024 Jay will celebrate 10 years of teaching.

When asked why he loves/teaches hula, he says, “it's my way of life, it's a way for me to stay connected to my culture, its also a responsibility to ensure that the stories, traditions and culture are perpetuated”.

Teacher's Bios

Kat Greene

Kat Greene is a 3rd generation Chinese American, born and raised in Central California. She studied ballet, tap, modern and Chinese folk dance throughout her life and has utilized dance therapy in her field of work as a recreation therapist for many years. Upon graduation from SF State University in 1980, she worked 12 years at Fresno County Mental Health, and started the Chinese Folk-Dance Troupe of Fresno (1980 -1992). In 1992, she moved to Hawaii where she obtained her doctorate from the American School of Professional Psychology, Hawaii Campus (1992-1999). From there, she and her husband (William) moved to Southern Oregon where she has been in private practice as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist for over 23 years.

Kat studied hula in Ashland with Halau Aunty Malia and Halau Hula O Kawai (2009-2011). In 2012, she joined Halau O Na Pua O Hawai'i Nei under the direction of Big Island Kumu Pekelo Day. During this time, she became an alaka'i (assistant) and granted permission to teach hula in Grants Pass, where she formed Halau Hula O Nuku 'Aina (2013-present). Kat met her hula partner; Kauai born Jay Kaneholani in 2017, and together they have been collaborating and co-teaching hula in Grants Pass with the purpose of perpetuating hula and promoting cultural diversity through music and the arts. Kat is a board member of the Southern Oregon Chinese Cultural Association, and enjoys playing Hawaiian music on the ukulele and Irish music on the fiddle.