HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kayli Ka'iulani Carr of Halau Hi'iakainamakalehua won the 53rd Annual Merrie Monarch Festival's Miss Aloha Hula title Thursday, dazzling the judges with kahiko and 'auana numbers dedicated to the island of Maui.
Dancing under the direction of kumu Rob Ke'ano Ka'upu IV and Lono Padilla, Carr's victory is the first for the Kalihi-Kai halau, which only opened its doors in 2008.
Both kumu, however, have strong hula roots on both Maui and Hawaii Island.
Carr's kahiko and 'auana numbers were inspired by Maui, where kumu Padilla was raised. Carr's winning score: 1,134.
Runner-up Brylyn Noelani Aiwohi of Halau Ka Lei Mokihana, was just 11 points behind Carr. The Kauai dancer won the OHA Hawaiian Language Award in a tiebreaker.
Mobile users, click here to see a slideshow of the competitors.