KUMU HULA AKIKO COLTON
Akiko Colton spent the early parts of her life in Kumamoto, Japan. Her father was a music teacher so she grew up surrounded with music and performances. In her youth she danced and performed classical ballet.
In 1999, Akiko started working at the Polynesian Culture Center while attending Brigham Young University Hawaii where she earned a degree in Hawaiian Studies. There she learned the Hawaiian language, history, and culture including dance.
Akiko has been dancing hula since 1999. She danced with Halau Hula o Kekela in Laie, Hawaii under the direction of Kumu Kela Miller (former Alaka'i to Cy Bridges). Later, she danced for Keolalauolani Halau Olapa o Laka in Kane'ohe under Kumu Aloha Dalire. With Kumu Aloha Dalire she attended and competed in the Merrie Monarch Hula Competition in 2007 and 2008.
Akiko has been dancing with Kumu Pekelo Day since he started teaching in 2008. Akiko took over teaching for the halau in 2013 after Kumu Pekelo moved to Hawaii. Akiko became a kumu hula in 2018.