Carol Leolani Takafuji
Carol Leolani currently teaches hula and `ukulele at the Spring Hill RECenter in McLean, Virginia. She has been an instructor for more than 10 years and is also Director of the “Hui O Ka Pua `Ilima” hula troupe.
Carol Leolani was born and raised on the island of O‘ahu in Hawai`i and has been singing, dancing and playing music professionally since childhood. She attended the University of Hawai`i (UH) at Manoa and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education (1967), and a minor in music. She also has a Masters of Science degree in Education from the University of Southern California (1975). She has been a substitute music teacher in the Fairfax County Public School System for many years and teaches ESL classes, as well. She has also served as President of the Hawai`i State Society (HSS) of Washington, DC, a non-profit organization promoting the cultures and traditions of the people of Hawai`i.
Carol Leolani has been dancing hula for over 35 years and has been a student of traditional hula under Kumu Hula Mapuana de Silva in Kailua, Hawai‘i for over 10 years. She had previously been an integral part of the hula troupe of the late Kumu Hula Mahina Bailey. Singing is her forte, but she also plays a variety of instruments including the piano, ‘ukulele, and saxophone.
She is currently Director of the HSS ‘Ukulele Hui, a position she has held for 20 years, presenting many cultural programs at various venues in the metropolitan D.C. area while spreading the aloha spirit everywhere they perform. She also teaches Filipino cultural dancing in Springfield, VA. She supports the various non-profit activities of her alma mater, the UH Alumni Association.
She is married to a retired Army officer, who is also a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i. He is very supportive and is an integral part of all the cultural programs in which she is involved. They have two daughters and two grandchildren.