Copyright 2005-present. Hula Hut Polynesian Dance . All Rights Reserved.
We are located in "Gorges" Ithaca, New York located in the Finger Lakes Region. Surrounded by breathtaking landscape including clear lakes and bountiful farms and vineyards. Ithaca is a vibrant, active and diverse community and is also the home of two respected universities, Cornell University and Ithaca College. Ithaca is a wonderful place to teach and learn hula and we are proud to call Ithaca our home town.
Since 2005, our hula group has enjoyed dancing at a variety of private and community events. We look forward to continuing to connect with others in the community as well as teachers/kumu, dancers and halaus/schools from all over the world.
If you have any questions or would like more information please visit our other pages and/or contact us.
Mahalo for your interest and we look forward to dancing with you!
Julianne Wrolstad is Owner of Hula Hut Polynesian Dance and lead instructor ('alaka'i) of Hula O Lokahi (hula group). She grew up in New Jersey and started dancing ballet and tap at just three years old. She started dancing Polynesian styles of dance around the age of ten. In addition to Polynesian dance, she has many years of experience dancing ballet, jazz, funk, hip hop, modern/lyrical, Caribbean and Middle Eastern dance. She has competed in most of these styles of dance and won several top awards including a First Place Overall (highest score at competition) for a Hapa Haole (western style) hula, "Keep Your Eyes on the Hands", and a Tahitian dance, "Royal Tahitian", solo performance. In high school, she became an assistant instructor at the dance school she attended, Star Performing Arts Academy. She is very grateful to Nancy Cruz for her years of dance instruction and inspiring in Julianne a love of dance.
She went on to college and studied Sociology and Psychology at a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. During her summers she worked at a day camp and taught Polynesian dance.
After college, Julianne moved to the central coast of California and remained there for about four years while working full time and completing a Masters degree. She kept her passion for dance alive and studied under a couple of kumu hula at halaus on the central coast. It was in California that she realized that hula is much more then dance (or grass skirts...as many think) and was intrigued to learn more. She is thankful for all her kumu's kuleana (graceful guidance).
Once she graduated with a Masters degree (and met her husband), she moved to Minnesota. It was here that Hula Hut Polynesian Dance was founded! There Julianne founded Hula Hut Polynesian Dance as a way to bring the warmth of Polynesian dance to the very cold winters in the Midwest. Teaching through a community arts program, she and her students danced at a variety of special events.
Since 2006, she has been in New York teaching and dancing at a variety of events as a professional instructor and dancer.
It's important to Julianne to continue to expand her knowledge through learning opportunities including networking and collaboration with other halau (schools) or groups of Polynesian dance, music and culture around the state, country and world. "Polynesian dance is sacred and it is critical it is honored, respected and that dancers understand the history, culture and meanings of songs interpreted in the dance. It is imperative to malama mau (take care of) hula and support these endangered cultures."
Julianne is "Hawaiian at heart", and strives to share her aloha of dance through performances, lessons, and workshops.
Julianne is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, and a Bachelors Degree in Sociology. Her other passion is horses and she is a certified Therapeutic Horse Back Riding Instructor through P.A.T.H. International. She resides in the beautiful Finger Lakes region with her husband and daughter.