Our Halau

E komo mai!  Welcome!

Our name is Hawaiian for “Songs of the Sea.”  The dancers and musicians who make up Na Mele o ke Kai are all ages, sizes and ethnicities. Na Mele o ke Kai is an association that welcomes all interested individuals who want to experience the language and traditions of Polynesian cultures through dance, music and song.

Hula students explore the depths of the art of hula by learning the mele (poetry) of our songs because hula interprets the mele and tells a story through its motions.  By learning the mele, we are able to dance the songs with our inner spirit, with deeper feelings of aloha (love). Students also learn about the Hawaiian culture, music, language and dance. Gradually they learn to use some of the implements that the Hawaiians used to portray some of their songs. Students are taught the proper Hawaiian names for the hula steps, which are introduced as they learn their dances, and they may also be exposed to dances of other cultural groups.

The accomplished dancers and musicians of Na Mele o ke Kai are available to perform at luaus, parties, weddings, fundraisers and cultural events. Our hālau is under the direction of Sylvia Ke’alalaua’eokalani Hambly.  The musicians of Na Hoa Aloha often accompany us with performances here on the Central Coast.  Come join our ohana (family)!

Kumu Hula Sylvia Ke’alalaua’eokalani Hambly

Each hālau is led by a kumu, or teacher.  Sylvia Hambly is the director of Hālau Hula Na Mele o ke Kai.  Her dancing experience started in southern California when she was 5 years old and included many years of formal dance training in several disciplines. 

Her passion for hula developed under the watchful eye of Virginia Millar.  As a young adult she performed for many years with Polynesian groups throughout southern California. After moving to the central coast with her husband and children, Sylvia continued hula with Na Mele o ke Kai under the direction of Sandy Rodriguez. 

Sylvia continues to participate in kumu hula training with Loea Kawaikapuokalani Hewett with whom she celebrated ‘uniki (graduation) in 2012.  Loea was the first to present the opportunity to ‘uniki to a mainland group.  The ancient, traditional dances of the Hawaiian islands were taught in a manner consistent with the teaching of kumu hula for centuries. 

Sylvia is committed to the preservation and perpetuation of hula, the Hawaiian language and the traditions of the Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures. Following tradition, she shares her knowledge of centuries-old hula with her hālau and encourages men and women of all ages to come and experience aloha.