This is a new song by me (in collaboration on some of the lyrics with my husband Kevin) that was created with the thought in mind to celebrate our diverse dance community. It is called ‘Ohana (Hawaiian for “family”).

This deliberately sentimental work took on a deeper meaning for me after the recent transition of my mom. ‘Ohana calls to the waters, the wind, the mountains, the forests and the moon, and also to those who have gone before us and to those who will follow.

Many of the video clips and images are from the recent Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance 20th Anniversary Concert, and the rehearsals and ceremonies running up to it. They remind me of the difficult, sometimes heartbreaking work of upholding traditions we may not have been born into, how important it is to acknowledge all our different colors  and orientations, and how beautiful it is when we come together to celebrate each other.

In honor of my mom, I encourage you to know your own story. Respect the stories of others in your community. Honor those who came before you. Have the highest regard for those who will follow. And most importantly of all, be a force of love in the world.