Māhealani Uchiyama is an award-winning dancer, musician, composer and teacher. An advocate for cultural understanding, she is the founder and Artistic Director of the Center for International Dance (MUCID), and is Kumu Hula (hula teacher) of Halau KaUaTuahine. She is widely recognized for the authenticity and quality of her work.
Māhealani holds a BA in Dance Ethnology and an MA in Pacific Island Studies, both from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, and was trained in traditional hula and Tahitian ori in Hawai’i and Tahiti. Her Kumu was Joseph Kamoha’i Kahā’ulelio.
Māhealani’s passion for, and mastery of Hawaiian and Tahitian performing arts has led to numerous performance tours to Tahiti, French Polynesia, Aotearoa (New Zealand) and the islands of Hawai’i. She has taught workshops and led seminars throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. She has also traveled to Fiji, Rarotonga, Thailand, Senegal, Zimbabwe and India.
Māhealani approaches dance as a manifestation of the human spirit, encouraging her students to explore and celebrate their cultural differences and common humanity. She has been a teacher and performer of Polynesian dance for 29 years, and has also produced numerous recordings of traditional Hawaiian and Tahitian music. Her CD, “A Walk by the Sea”, is a compilation of the sounds of her cultural and spiritual heritage and has been awarded the Hawai’i Music Award for Best World Music Album of 2007. Her CD, “Ndoro dze Madzinza” features the mbira, the spiritual music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. Her latest release is a new collection of Mbira music, “The Sky That Covers Us All”.