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Betty Jane Pa, beloved Hawaii Island hula, Tahitian dancer dies at 83

Aunty BJ, seen here with flowers in her hair and a pikake lei, was a beloved hula dancer on...
Aunty BJ, seen here with flowers in her hair and a pikake lei, was a beloved hula dancer on Hawaii Island.(Hawai‘i Care Choices / Facebook)
Updated: Dec. 14, 2020 at 8:57 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Legendary Big Island dancer Betty Jane Pa has died.

Known affectionately as “Aunty BJ,” she was Hilo’s first professional Tahitian dancer learning from Kaui Brandt in the 1950s. 

Aunty BJ later danced hula under George Na’ope and Iolani Luahine. And she was also a perennial front row guest at the Merrie Monarch Festival, always dressing to the nines with the freshest lei. 

Her family says she passed away last Wednesday due to non-COVID health problems. 

In recent years, she spoke publicly to praise the staff and volunteers of Hawaii Care Choices, formerly Hospice of Hilo, saying they helped her recover from illnesses, allowing her to continue her love for dancing.

Her services will be held Jan 5. Aunty BJ was 83 years old.

BJ Pa graduated Hospice Services and is still dancing hula because of the care she received.

Posted by Hawai‘i Care Choices, formerly Hospice of Hilo on Tuesday, October 29, 2019

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