Photo Courtesy of Momentum Maui


Two and a half years ago, everything came to a standstill and keiki across the island found themselves separated from their friends and everything they loved to do, including dancing. Dancing—with its intimacy and reliance on breathing—had all the elements of being the worst thing to do together during the pandemic. But two women came together in an effort to keep Maui dancing.

After the studio they worked with took a pause, Katie Higuchi and Alannah Andersen began teaching on Zoom to create an outlet for dance students. With an incredible response, they eventually had 18 classes on the schedule collaborating with teachers from all over the world. By October 2020, in-person classes in Wailuku and Paia began and Momentum Dance Maui was born.

This past Spring, they took the leap to open their own studio in Kahului and now offer 50 classes in all styles—ballet, hip hop, musical theater, tap, and contemporary. The 15 teachers each teach their specialty with impressive credentials. Higuchi, as well as instructor Kathleen McKeon, are certified American Ballet Teachers, while others like Jackie Dowsett have enjoyed professional dance careers touring and also performing with the Radio City Rockettes.

The gorgeous space has a welcoming reception area, a studio for the younger children with a window for parents to observe, and another studio for the older students. Safety is of utmost importance to Higuchi and Andersen, and they invested in a professional dance floor to ensure students can dance and do pointe safely. Since many students take multiple classes, they incorporated a break room with space to do homework and simply spend time together. 

Higuchi shares, “One day I looked in one direction at that room and the students had all their backpacks everywhere, laughing together and still in their school clothes, and then I looked in the other direction at the studio with their perfect hair, moving gracefully and on pointe, and had to marvel at the transformation.” 

With their own studio, the pair have a vision for creating a space that brings the community together. This December, they are working with Maui Onstage for their 2nd Annual Nutcracker Sweets at Iao Theater. They see opportunities for dance competitions for the older students and “kids’ night out” and birthday parties for the younger ones. Andersen says, “One of the many things I love about dance is how it inspires connection: to the many parts of oneself, to others, to a community, to the universe.” 

Momentum Dance Maui is located at 230 Hana Hwy. Unit 4, Kahului. Learn more at