POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 30, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 9:57 a.m. HST, Apr 30, 2011
HILO » It was a beautiful aloha performance by Miss Aloha Hula 2010 Mahealani Mika Hirao-Solem.
Dressed in a shimmery gold dress, she was up on the Merrie Monarch stage dancing her farewell hula to a medley of songs, ending with a rendition of Sting's "Fields of Gold."
Little did she know that when she took her final bow as Miss Aloha Hula, her boyfriend and kumu hula Kau‘ionalani Kamana‘o would walk on stage, drop to one knee and propose marriage to her.
Spectators cheered and shrieked as Kamana‘o presented a diamond ring, and watched her emotional reaction. Her answer was yes.
"I was super surprised," Hirao-Solem said afterward. "I was just focused on doing my dance."
Hirao-Solem and Kamana‘o have been together for five years, she said. He is kumu hula of her halau, Hula Halau ‘o Kamuela of Kalihi and Waimanalo, along with Kunewa Mook.
Hirao-Solem, whom friends and family call "Mika," also offered a lei to her first kumu hula, Mapuana de Silva, during her performance last night.
Last year she took the Miss Aloha Hula title the first time she competed in it. The year went by quickly.
"I just turned the page from Miss Aloha Hula," she said. "This is the next chapter, I guess."