Kumu Hula Cristy “La`ameamaitahititūtahitimoe” Almeida was born and raised in Hanama`ulu, Kaua`i. She is eldest of four children of the late Ricky Ochoco and Carmen Mōhala Butacan. “I was fortunate to have loving parents who encouraged me to nurture and work hard at things that are important and close to my heart. I am also blessed with the love and support of my husband, Bertram Kaukahi Almeida, who stands beside me through it all.”
Hula began in 1973, at age 7, with Ku`ulei Punua and through the years La`amea has studied under the late Kumu Hula Lovey Apana, Beverly Healani Muraoka, and Healani Youn. She has had the privilege of experiencing the Merrie Monarch as a competitor 3 times. On June 31, 1996 she became a student of Kumu Blaine Kamalani Kia and has since been with him and the Ladies of Hālau Ka Waikahe Lani Mālie. “With Kumu Blaine I experienced my “aha-moment”. All of my years of dancing seemed to come full-circle, igniting my passion for not only the dance, but for the culture as a whole. I began a deep, fulfilling, spiritual journey in my hula”. La`amea became the Po`opua`a of the Kaua`i hālau in 2001 and was `ūniki by Kumu Blaine in 2005. In 2008 she began studying under E Ke Kumu Blaine’s Kumu - Loea Kawaikapuokalani Hewett. “What an honor to be a part of a 3 generation lineage!” La`amea has since `ūniki from Kumu Kawaikapuokalani and is currently completing her second year of studies with him.
The Ladies of Hālau Ka Waikahe Lani Mālie on Kaua`i celebrate the many gifts of life through hula. The implementation of basic, universal values of aloha, ‘ohana, kokua, hō`ihi, & kuleana strengthen the haumana and in turn, the hālau, our families, and our communities. It is our desire and kuleana to honor those who have come before us by sharing the culture through hula today so it may be celebrated for many tomorrows.