Merilyn Gentry and Nora Nuckles
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Merilyn Gentry is owner and director of the Hi-Desert Dance Center in Ridgecrest, California, where whe teaches Polynesian dance (Hawaii, New Zealand, Samoa, and Tahiti). She teaches both the ancient 'Kahiko' and the slow, modern 'Auana' styles of Hawaiian dance. Merilyn directs and performs with Kalena's Polynesian Dancers.
For many years, Merilyn studied in Hawaii with master teachers and continues her training in special workshops and lessons in northern and southern California. This training includes the various percussion instruments of the islands.
Nora Nuckles often partners Marilyn for her teaching appearances. Nora dances with Kalena's Polynesian Dancers. She has studied Polynesian dance and the use of the percussion instruments for many years and continues to participate in special workshops and lessons. Although she spends most of her time as an elementary teacher, she enjoys learning and experiencing Polynesian culture.
Dances Merilyn has taught include Green Rose Hula, He Oli no Kailuna, Hokihoki Tonu Mai Poi Waka, Huai Huai, Hula, I'll Weave a Lei of Stars for You, Kahuli, Kalana Kauai, Kawika, Kilauea, Kona Hema O Ka Lani, Minoi Minoi E, Na Waha, Otuu (Men's), Otuu (Women's), Pate Matai, Pearly Shells, Pomani, Tahi, Tahi/Kotahi Rua Toru Wha, Tau Tai, and Two Calls.