Dori Neumeier brings years of training along with her passion for hula to the classroom. SCC continuing education students have a unique opportunity to learn the dance as well as the history and culture of hula.
Dori’s dedication was rewarded when her own teacher, Keali’i Ceballos of Keali’i O Nalani Hula Halau, invited her to the elite Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo, Hawaii, in April 2013.
“I was immersed in how it looked there, what it smelled like and what it felt like, so I can express that when I teach,” Dori said.
While there she also visited a number of places, including Pauahi crater, located at Kilauea, Waipio Valley and Akaka falls.
“It was a bucket list opportunity. The best way to tell a story is to know about your subject,” Dori said. “There’s a story behind everything, and I can express that with dance.”
Dori began dancing at age 5 under the direction of Estella Reid of Nonosina Polynesia, Inc. in Buena Park, Calif., teaching Polynesian dances from Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa and New Zealand. She danced with Nonosina until age 13. She trained further with Auntie Jacki Ka’anoi from 1981-1988.
With the blessing of her mentors, Dori has developed a method of teaching with equal amounts of exercise, history and the foundation of the dance. She continues to study with her Kumu Hula and Ra’atira (dance masters) to further her skill and principles.
“Hollywood has painted an untrue picture of hula, and I enjoy teaching people what hula really is,” she said. “It’s embedded with culture, history and pride.”
Dori teaches Hula and Tahitian Dance classes in SCC’s Continuing Education Department throughout the year.
“I don’t think you should ever stop learning,” Dori said.
Last updated: Oct. 30, 2013