Māhealani Uchiyama is an award-winning dancer, musician, composer, choreographer, recording artist, and teacher. An advocate for cultural understanding, she is the founder and artistic director of the Māhea Uchiyama Center for International Dance in Berkeley, California.
She is also Kumu Hula (hula teacher) of Hālau Ka Ua Tuahine of Berkeley, California and is the creator and director of the annual Kāpili Polynesian dance and music workshops. She has led numerous performance tours to Tahiti, New Zealand, and the islands of Hawai‘i, and has taught workshops throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
At Stanford University, Ms. Uchiyama has been an instructor of Hawaiian Language, and in 2010 she contributed a chapter on the hula for the book Dancing on the Earth, Womenʻs Stories of Healing and Dance.
Her CD A Walk by the Sea was awarded the Hawai’i Music Award for Best World Music Album. The 2009 recipient of the Aloha Spirit Award for contributions to the Bay Area Hawaiian community, she has also been presented the Ke Kanaka Poʻokela (Person of Distinction) Award by the Berkeley Hawaiian Music Festival. Ms. Uchiyama has served on the panel of judges for the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and the Tahiti Fete of San Jose and Hilo.
She is the author of the publication The Haumāna Hula Handbook: A Manual for the Student of Hawaiian Dance (North Atlantic Books and Penguin House Publisher Services).