Hula teacher leaves a legacy

Hula teacher leaves a legacy
Camie Ayers
Camie Ayers
Wayne Hoshino
Wayne Hoshino

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HILO, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -- It was evident in her old photographs. Judi Hoshino was charming, beautiful, and a talented hula dancer.

"She was a beauty queen. She was everybody's dream," her daughter Camie Ayers said.

When Judi was nineteen she won a Big Island beauty pageant.

"Judi was Ms. Aloha Hawaii during that year and I never got to take her out until months later," Winston Hoshino said.

Their romance turned into marriage and a family. Judi opened a hula studio that attracted girls from Honokaa to Hilo. It became the Big Island's biggest hula school.

"She gave these young girls an opportunity to have self-confidence, dance, speak, walk in front of an audience," Winston Hoshino said.

But the woman with so much poise was living with a time bomb. A rare disease that killed her mother and two of her brothers had Judi in its sites..

"That was when she started to have balance problems so she decided to dance in a chair," Ayers said, pointing to a photograph.

Machado-Joseph is hereditary, progressive, and incurable. It affects some people of Portuguese ancestry.

While Judi's mind remained clear, she lost her ability to walk and talk and function.

"Judi was a strong person so she handled it well," Wayne Hoshino said..

"I wish that mom never had this disease or this disease never ran in our family," Ayers said.

Two weeks ago Judi died. She was 59.

Her family estimates over the years she taught hula to about 7,000 students.

Judi Hoshino seemed destined to do something significant.

Through her life and the art of dance, she did.

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