Makalina Gallagher - Makalina was born and has lived around the Marianas, Caroline and Hawaiian islands most of her life. A graduate of Fordham University with a B.A. in Theatre and Drama, she has studied ballet, jazz, modern, and tap in New York City. She was under scholarship with Rod Rodgers Dance Company and has performed with Linda Diamond's Dance Company as well as with Denisa Reye's & Friends. She has appeared in several theatrical productions as Liat in South Pacific, summer-stock and was on the national tour of the King & I with Yul Brynner. She has worked on films, television, commercials and daytime television. Makalina has always come back to her first love - Polynesian dance.

 

With her background, she became a member of the ALLNATIONS Dance Company, a multi-ethnic group of dancers from various cultures around the world. Makalina represented the South Pacific Islands of Tahiti, New Zealand and Hawaii and toured with them throughout the Eastern U.S., Alaska, Asia, Guam and Hawaii. She has also performed with various Polynesian Revues in the NY Tri-state area and at the world-famous Hawaii Kai under the artistic direction of Uilani Walton and Leonaka Cagata.

 

Makalina had her own company Hawaiian Express & The Tiny Bubble Band. With her husband JT, they performed Hawaiian music using the traditional Hawaiian steel guitar played by JT and the ukulele which she plays. She has performed with the Tiny Bubble Band and her Hawaiian Express Dancers on Channel 13 WNET PBS, NYC Telethon, FOX5 Good Day New York and at the Manhattan Center for Bette Midler's 4th Annual Hulaween Ball, a benefit for the New York Restoration Project, the Food Network with Donna Hanover featuring Roy Yamaguchi of Roy's Restaurant, The Food Network with Gordon Elliot's Doorknock Diners. She has appeared on Good Day New York Fox5 with Mike Woods and with Don Ho on FOX 5's Good Day New York as well as on WB11's Morning Show. Her dancers and the Tiny Bubble Band were featured on MTV's Beach House promoting the movie "American Wedding" and was seen on Times Square with the Tiny Bubble Band and dancers promoting FOX 5's new show "North Shore" as well as the Flea Theatre benefit.

 

She is the organizer of the NYC Ukulele MeetUp group and had been involved with the NY Uke Fest. She also played with the The All Borough Ukulele Ensemble. She has participated in celebrating Asia Pacific Heritage Month by performing with her students and dancers at CAPA (Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans ) Festival, Mayor Bloomberg's Asian Pacific Heritage event as well as various Asian Heritage events in Manhattan and Brooklyn. She and her husband were members of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association, an organization whose goal is to preserve and promote Hawaiian music and dance.

 

Makalina is a teaching artist and has given lecture-demonstration workshops on Polynesian dance. She also has taught a Basic Hula Class at Sarah Lawrence College. She has on-going hula classes on Zoom.

 

 

 

 

 

 
World Dance Passport 2021
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May 2nd 2021