Merrie Monarch 2014: Serrao crowned Miss Aloha Hula

Merrie Monarch 2014: Serrao crowned Miss Aloha Hula

HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Ke'alohilani Tara Eliga Serrao was named Miss Aloha Hula 2014 during a ceremony at the end of the first night of competition at the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo on Thursday.

Serrao, of O'ahu halau Ka La 'Onohi Mai O Ha'eha'e has been dancing under the direction of kumu Tracie & Keawe Lopes for the last six years.

The kahiko Serrao performed, "A Ka La'i Au I Mauliola," is often referred to as "Keanolani" and honors Princess Ruth Ke'elikolani.

Her 'auana, "Ke 'Ala Ka'u I Honi," is a section from the mele "Pua Nani O Hawai'i", which was composed by Kekapa Low as an expression of affection for Queen Lili'uokalani.

Serrao's win comes 20 years to the day after her kumu hula Tracie Lopes won the title in 1994.

22-year-old Serrao also took home the night's first award which is presented by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for excellence in 'Olelo Hawai'i (Hawaiian language).

Serrao beat the second place finisher, Kilioulaninuiamamaoho'opi'iwahinekapualokeokalaniakea Lai, by 50 points, making it one of the largest spreads in recent competitions.

Lai, who danced under the direction of her tutu, Kumu Aloha Dalire of Keolalaulani Halau 'Olapa O Laka, competed to maintain an impressive family legacy. Her tutu was the first Miss Hula in 1971 and her mother, Kapua Dalire-Moe won in 1991, followed by her two aunts, Keola & Kau'i.

Third place finisher Sarah Kapuahelani Sterling of Halau Mohala 'Ilima under the direction of Kumu Mapuana de Silva also had family ties to the competition. Her older sister Lilinoe Sterling was named Miss Aloha Hula in 2012.

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