The Seabury Tides

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The Seabury Tides

The Seabury Tides

A Cultural Learning Experience for All

Seabury Hall’s 2024 He Hāʻupu Aloha


Freshman Kiandra Gann uses ili`ili, a traditional musical instrument (river rocks)

Another incredible showcase was performed by the whole school at this year’s He Hāʻupu Aloha, with the theme being ‘Maui Nō Ka ʻOi: Maui is the Best.’ He Hāʻupu Aloha has been a yearly tradition at Seabury Hall where every grade level including the staff perform hulas and celebrate Hawaiian Culture, along with a few solo dances from other students. 

Ms. Janssen smiles as she performs in the faculty hula on May 3.

“I think hula is a beautiful cultural practice and I think it’s beautiful that anyone of any culture can participate in this event,” said Ms. Savannah Janssen, a teacher and alumni of Seabury Hall who participated in the faculty hula for this year’s He Hāʻupu Aloha. “It’s such a cool tradition to be a part of and to embrace Hawaiian culture and I want to integrate myself as much as I can to elevate Hawaiian culture.”

For most of the year leading to He Hāʻupu Aloha, hula practice became a weekly duty for the students and faculty to learn their hulas and organizational skills to prepare for the event. 

Akira Thayer, seventh grade, performs a solo dance for the crowd during He Ha’upu Aloha Day.

The event on May 3 was colorful and bright, with every color of pa’u and sash around the school as students hurriedly got into position for their upcoming dances. Every classroom and hallway was filled with laughter and smiles as students helped each other look the best they could and made sure they knew the dances they would be performing mere minutes from now. 

“It was really fun,” said junior dancer Isabelle Brown, “It was cool to see everyone and see all the pretty dances.”

Last year, the juniors won for their hula, but this year the freshmen blew the judges away with their dance incorporating rocks as instruments while they danced.

“I thought it was cool this year that different grades had different instruments that’s something I haven’t seen before,” said Janssen, “It’s like an understanding of the past and better skill with the dances and deeper engagement with hula than the same dances you’d expect.”

Sophomore Christian Pelletier complete his dance along with the rest of the class in front of family and friends.

Every grade at Seabury got the opportunity to work on their unique dances, and beautiful songs, and make leis for the show, all while learning more about the culture behind them all.

Getting into dance techniques, it’s more the symbolic aspect of participating in Hawaiian culture,” said Janssen. “I like how the songs are often about the Hawaiian islands or with the geographical places you can resonate with.”

This event unites all the students, faculty, and family for a beautiful and educational show. Every student gets a chance to shine with the knowledge and skills they have learned over the months of hula practice and education. Making the event an incredible experience to bond over the culture our home stems from.

“I feel connected because it’s hard to do cultural things without feeling a sense of connection to it,” said Mr. Earl Higa, another dancer in the faculty dance. “Dancing you learn a lot, not just the moves but the meaning behind the moves and the songs. It’s good that non-native students have the chance to learn something cause otherwise where else would they learn these things?”

All grades and staff of Seabury Hall gathering to sing Hawaii Aloha to end the show.

Mahalo to Kumu Kauli’a, who took on the large task of teaching the dances to every grade, Kumu Kukini and Kumu Naho’olewa for making sure that all of the details were fine-tuned for the event, Kumu Kamalei who made it just in time to sing to all of the performances, and to all that made He Hā‘upu Aloha a success!

Staff writers Lucy Steffen and Tiara Dorn contributed to this article.



From left to right: Rael Pineres-Schooley, Matt Duester and Reagan Tengan perform their 6th grade hula.
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About the Contributor
Andy Claybaugh
Andy Claybaugh, Staff Writer/ Graphic Designer
Andy is a Junior at Seabury Hall and has spent most of their life in Maui but had a passion for writing throughout their whole life and is excited to write stories wherever fun is present. They love making cartoons and writing stories in their free time as well as improving their skills for when they can do it as a career. They want to write more on the insides of productions at Seabury Hall as well as fun-filled student activities and events.