• 5:30 p.m. - Doors Open, Dinner Service Begins
  • 7 p.m. - Show Begins

Note: Doors will close promptly at 7 p.m. No late admittance.

Show Details

Annual Lu'au at Willamette University

Ke Welina Mai Nei

Women's Kahiko, Taught by Ashlyn Witherwax

This song is traditionally an opening chant coming from the sacred land of Hōkūʻula, a place where Kāne, god of all living beings, dwelled. It is a greeting to the people below in Waipi’o Valley on the Big Island and the nearby friends of Puna. The poetry describes Kāne and his multitude of companions wandering the calm, nearby shores of Halulu among the seabirds, eventually falling asleep covered by a blanket of gentle mist.


Tika Tonu

Haka (traditional Maori war dance), Taught by Mykah Fujiwara

Composed in 1914 by Waimarama Puhara, a highly respected chief of Aotearoa, this chant was dedicated to his son, Moana, in a time of hardship. Tika Tonu is a chant of struggle, challenge, perseverance, and achievement. It pays homage and respect to those who have guided young people in times of trouble and is often used to inspire young men as they make the difficult transition into adulthood.

Nā Aliʻi

Themed Dance, Taught by Ashlyn Witherwax

This dance is done using pūʻili, a Hawaiian instrument made of split bamboo that makes a rustling sound. Honoring the Royal Order of Kamehameha, this song speaks to the assembly of Hawaiʻiʻs previous chiefs, and future rulers of the kingdom. One first verse is a tribute to Kānāwai Māmalahoe, the Law of the Splintered Paddle, where Kamehameha I, the first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, assured that every man, woman, and child would have safe passage throughout his Kingdom.


Ali’i Iolani

Women's 'Auana 1 (contemporary Hawaiian dance), Taught by Joelle Patricio

Honoring Alexander Liholiho Kamehameha IV, who came to throne at age 21, this song, Aliʻi ʻIolani, is about the love one has for another. The motions of our dancers express the great and tender love between the king and his wife, Emmalani Rooke. The poetry describes the misty rain and playful splashes of the ocean that remind the two of the love they have for each other. The king was often referred to as “Aliʻi ʻIolani” meaning the Royal Hawk Chief.


Men’s ʻAuana (contemporary Hawaiian dance), Taught by Mykah Fujiwara

Our men honor King David Kalākaua, known as the Merrie Monarch, with this popular Hawaiian song, Kāwika. The poetry compares the king to the strong power and brightness of lighting and says that news of the great king reaches as far as England and France. It says that he holds his father, Caesar Kapaʻakea, and the highest ranked of all the flowers of Hawaiʻi.


ʻŌteʻa (traditional Tahitian dance), Taught by Megan Viloria

Fakahokiranga is a traditional tahitian dance to a fast-paced, rhythmic, drumbeat with no lyrics. This style of dance was used mostly for traditional ceremonies and celebrations. The choreography of Fakahokiranga is used as a seduction technique, a cry to battle, and a calling back to one's roots.

Rori Rori

ʻŌteʻa (traditional Tahitian dance), Taught by Megan Viloria

Recalling one’s connection to home and culture, Rori Rori is a song about  family ties, personal experiences, love life, and the special bond that being created with the people around you. Each of these things is expressed in our dancers’ movements. It speaks of the tropical aspects of the island and identifying with one’s cultural roots.

Fire Knife Dancing

Tolo Tuitlele

"I, Toloumu Tuitele of the Leone Clan, son of Fa'atuiolemotu Maugaula Sagaaau Tuitele, will be dazzling the loyal Willamette University fans with an epic show of fearless talent. I will bring my culture and passion to the stage and share it with all to be a part of my performance. I will wield a blade of fire and tame it with my own soul through circular spinning, jumping, flips, toss-ups and many more moves that I will come up with the day of the event. I will show the world who the "fire whisperer" of this realm really is with screams of my people and drums of my ancestors. I will show the world, that one man with one knife stood amongst the crowd - fearless! I am him. I am Toloumu Tuitele the last of the Leone Clan. Witness when I stand before you...."

T. Tuitele

Queen’s Jubilee

Women's ʻAuana 2 (contemporary Hawaiian dance), Taught by Kunani Tuttle

This song is dedicated to the last reigning monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi: Queen Lydia Liliʻuokalani. For many years, the Hawaiian monarchy had friendly ties to England royalty. Composed by the Queen Liliʻuokalani herself, this song honors Queen Victoria of England for her 50th year of reign. Liliʻuokalani wrote this song at the Alexandra Hotel in London while enroute to the Jubilee celebration of Queen Victoria.


Ahe Lau Makani

Couples ʻAuana (contemporary Hawaiian dance), Taught by Joelle Patricio and Ashlyn Witherwax

Composed around 1868 at Hamohamo, the home of Queen Liliʻuokalani, this song speaks of a breath so gentle, soft, and sweet that warms your heart with love. It describes the fragrant winds, cool breezes, sweet bird calls, and gentle rains that can be found at the Queenʻs home in Waikīkī.



Faculty/Staff ʻAuana (contemporary Hawaiian dance), Taught by Kalei Kaaialii

This song speaks of ʻĀinahau, The 10-acre estate called ʻĀinahau, meaning, ʻcool landʻ served as the royal home in Waikīkī for the young Princess Victoria Kaʻiulani and her mother Princess Miriam Likelike. A gentle stream flowed through ʻĀinahau and 50 peacocks, a favorite of Princess Kaʻiulani, roamed the property. From the fragrance of its pīkake flowers to the calming ocean surrounding the estate, ʻĀinahau is known for its calm and everlasting beauty.


Kamehameha Trilogy

Choreographer's Dance, Taught by Ashlyn Witherwax

This song is a contemporary medley of three traditional Hawaiian chants: Hole Waimea, Aloha Waikā, and Hoe Puna in honor of the great King Kamehameha Nui. Kamehameha Nui fulfilled the ancient prophecy of Keaulumoku, uniting the Hawaiian Islands under one kingdom. Whether he was pierced by the cold winds, tossed in violence of the Kīpuʻupuʻu rains, or struck by the spear-like blows of a typhoon, Kamehameha fought for unification and is forever honored throughout the Hawaiian Islands.


Mālama Mau Hawaiʻi

Co-ed ‘Auana (contemporary Hawaiian dance), Taught by Jordan Hitchcock

Composed by Willie Kahaialiʻi, the song Mālama Mau Hawaiʻi honors both the house of Kamehameha and the house of Kalākaua, paying tribute to Queen Kaʻahumanu, King Kamehameha, and Queen Liliʻuokalani.  The poetry says to take care of the land, follow the heart of Kamehameha, and to listen to the right and moral qualities of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi.