Today, hula has been divided into two main categories; hula ‘auana and hula kahiko, also known as modern hula and ancient hula. Elizabeth Jonia Leilokelani Shaw made her “first professional appearance was at the Panama-Pacific Exposition at San Francisco, where she was featured for her beauty and talents as a dancer in the Hawaiian village on the zone.” These Hawaiian shows had the highest attendance at the entire fair and launched a Hawaiian cultural craze that influenced everything from American music, to movies, to fashion.
“The hugely popular Hawaii pavilion … showcased Hawaiian music and hula dancing, and was the unofficial launching pad for ukulele-mania.” Hapa-haole songs were featured in the Hawaii exhibits and hula ‘auana, contemporary hula, was born. ‘Princess Lei Lokelani’ performed traditional foot movements – ku‘i and ‘uwehe – to modern ‘ukulele and steel guitar songs – this also launched the hapa-haole hula phenomenon into broader markets. For the next four years, she was doing vaudeville as ‘Jonia and Her Hawaiians.’ Unfortunately, Shaw died April 18, 1921 at the age of 20.