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Carol Antonsen is the founder of “Carol’s Polynesian Dance Studio” known as “Hälau Hula O Ka Poli Mehana `O Lehua”, or “the warmth of the lehua of the heart”. The lehua is a precious and beautiful flower of Hawai`i.
Carol began dancing at the age of eight and from 1983 to 1995 was part of Josie Debaat’s Polynesian Dance Studio. During that time, Carol had the opportunity to travel to both Hawai`i and Tahiti on several study tours and compete in Hawai`i in “E Ho`i Mai I Ka Piko Hula World Invitational Hula Festival”. Over the years, Carol has been involved in numerous community and corporate events. Just a few of these include: The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), Expo 86, and the Kitsilano Showboat.
After winning numerous awards in the Surrey Festival of Dance, Carol decided to open her own school in 1998. With the blessing of her instructor Josie, she started with less than 10 “haumana”, or students, and has now grown to more than 30. To keep up her own studies, Carol attended “Hui O Na Kumu Hula" workshops annually in Seattle for many years but more recently "E Pili Kakou I Ho`okahi Lahui" in Kaua`i and others locally and in Hawai`i. Currently, she is studying under Kumu Hula Blaine Kamalani Kia and in 2009 became one of the organizations within the Lauakea Foundation. Kumu Blaine bestowed the Hawaiian name for both Carol (Kapolimehanamakamae) and the school in a very meaningful traditional ceremony. Within this organization a sister halau in Kaua`i under the direction of Kumu Cristy La`amea Almeida has been partnered with Kapoli's halau to encourage and continue education.
Carol and her “halau”, or school, have been involved in performances at the PNE, local Canada Day Celebrations, Sweet Adeline’s International Convention at the Saddledome in Calgary, Kitsilano Showboat, grand opening of Walnut Grove Pool, Spirit Square in Douglas Park and the Langley Events Centre as well as many other community, corporate & private events. In 2008 Carol's halau had the honour of being invited to compete in E Ho`i Mai I Ka Piko Hula World Invitational Hula Festival in Honolulu. They continue to perform locally and internationally upon request.
Carol’s love for the culture and people of Polynesia continues to inspire her. Her desire is to continue to learn through careful study and share her passion with the local and extended community.