She was born Margaret Maiki Souza on May 28, 1925 in Honolulu, the daughter of Peter Charles Souza and Cecilia Pai‘ohe Gilman Souza. Hānai (adopted) to her maternal grandaunt Cecilia Rose Mahoe and John William Kealoha, she grew up in Palolo Valley (she considered them her grandparents.) She turned to hula at about the age of 14 or 15. “Hula of the day of the kings was just a memory to some of the old timers. The old hula lived only in the talent of a few masters. Fortunately, these were training a small number in spite of the odds against their every putting their learning to good use.” She was trained in a full range of the ancient and traditional hula. In 1943, at the age of 18, she graduated (‘uniki) as an ‘olapa (dancer.)
A devout Christian, her Tutu helped her reconcile the Christian and Hawaiian beliefs and practices and was able to find peace with ancient practices and her own Christianity. She later married Boniface Aiu. She formed Margaret Aiu’s Hula Studio. Her students learned Hawaiian genealogies, culture, mannerisms, legends, poetry and the ‘beauties of our own Hawai‘i.’ In 1952, she received permission from her teachers to change the name of her dance studio to Hālau Hula O Maiki. (However a sign painter reversed some of the wording to read ‘Hula Hālau O Maiki.’) She later married Haywood Kahauanu Lake, a noted singer, arranger and song-writer, with whom she performed.