Merrie Monarch 50th: There's an app for that - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Merrie Monarch 50th: There's an app for that

Gabe Spencer Gabe Spencer
Kim Shibata Kim Shibata
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

If Facebook, Twitter and Instagram had a hanai sibling, you would get Ke Ao Hula, the newest local app that keeps a pulse on both the hula and Hawaiian communities.

"You hear it all the time, we live in a small world, especially in Hawaii," said Ke Ao Hula creator Gabe Spencer. "Everybody knows everybody and so with that, with this app and this group that I started, I feel like people can get to know each other more and just connect in a different way."

Spencer, 26, and his girlfriend Kim Shibata, came up with the idea for Ke Ao Hula a year and a half ago.

Both are hula dancers and wanted to build an online network with the thousands of others that share their passion.

"We had to figure out exactly what we wanted and the ideas kept coming," Shibata said. "We want to feature this, we want to do this. We want to do kumus and dancers, but we also want to feature local businesses and support Hawaii."

The app is like a mix plate of other social media applications. Users can access profiles of kumu hula, dancers, and even summaries of kahiko and 'auana performances.

It also invites halau and local businesses to tweet about events and share pictures.

The app is available on iTunes for $2.99 and all proceeds go to expanding the Ke Ao Hula network, so it can continue to grow beyond Merrie Monarch.

Shibata says they want to see the app grow into a "Facebook for the hula community."

"Their hula events, their fundraisers anything that they do to share," Shibata said. "I mean, even if they are having a hula night in their backyard, why not share that with people? Post pictures. That's how the culture is perpetuated, you know, interaction and having fun."

Interaction they hope goes on one download at a time.

To download Ke Ao Hula, visit:


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