Excitement high at Merrie Monarch for Miss Aloha Hula competition

Excitement high at Merrie Monarch for Miss Aloha Hula competition

Jasmine Kaleihiwa Dunlap of Hula Halau 'O Kamuela, Miss Aloha Hula 2015, will grace the stage for one last performance Thursday night before the new Miss Aloha Hula is awarded at the 53rd Annual Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo.

Dunlap, who dances out of Oahu, also took home the OHA Hawaiian language award last year. This year one of her hula sisters is competing with hopes she'll be able to do the same. 
There are 12 ladies competing this year. They'll have seven minutes on stage to perform one kahiko (traditional-style hula) and one 'auana (modern-style hula) before a panel of judges, who are all kumu hula themselves, decide who displayed the most skill, composure and charisma on stage.
Several of the dancers have competed before and are hoping their second run at the title will end with success. 

Among them: Kili Lai of Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea.

This is her second time running for Miss Aloha Hula. She competed for the first time in 2014 for Keolalaulani Halau 'Olapa O Laka, under the direction of her late grandmother and the first Miss Hula of the Merrie Monarch Festival, Aloha Dalire.

She now dances for her mother, Kumu hula Kapua Dalire-Moe, a Miss Aloha Hula herself -- along with her aunts, Kaui Dalire and Keola Dalire.

The competition kicks off at 6 p.m. on KFVE and HNN's coverage continues Friday morning on Sunrise.

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