Hula Halau 'O Nalua was founded in 1976 by Ruth Nalua Manaois, following her 'Uniki (passage to Kumu Hula) under the tutelage of the late Kumu Hula Rose Lokelani Thomas.
Nalua was given an opportunity to extend her study of Hula Pahu and Hula 'Ala'apapa as well as dances of Tahiti and New Zealand with Kumu Hula Master Joseph Kamoha'i Kahaulelio. She became his understudy within the first year. Nalua continued as protege to Uncle Joe up until his untimely death in May 1985. She established Tahitian dance classes within the halau and was given the name 'Ote'a 'Api by Uncle Joe, with his meaning of "new; a beginning" to the halau's tahitian competition group.
In 1989 Nalua extended the name of the halau to what is known today as Hula Halau 'Nalua and 'Ote'a 'Api. The following year, Nalua acknowledged her son, Anthony Waipa as Director-Choreographer and her daughter, Katrina Hali'imaile as Co-Director of 'Ote'a 'Api.
May 2000, Nalua gave passage to Kumu Hula Anthony Waipa and Katrina Hali'imaile during their 'Uniki Ceremony accompanied by her sister Wilhelmina Mawae Copeland, Kumu Hula and brother, Joseph Leinani Leuck, Kumu Hula.
Nathalie Teura joined our family in 2004, bringing her traditions of Tahiti to our halau.
Hula Halau 'O Nalua and 'Ote'a 'Api continues to strive to perpetuate the traditional dances of Hawai'i and Tahiti within the halau. This kuleana, this privilege and responsibility is bestowed upon each of them.