Nadia Le`i and Jennifer Wright, hula instructors at Moving Day ® Silicon Valley.

Nadia Le’i will accompany Jennifer Wright in two free mini-hula classes offered at Moving Day ® Silicon Valley, an annual fundraising walk event that debuts on April 25 in San Jose at Arena Green East. Moving Day is made possible by National Parkinson Foundation and it is presented throughout the country. The goal of the event is to educate the community and bring awareness to the fight against Parkinson’s disease (PD). People with PD and their families have the choice of joining one-, two-, or three-mile walks. While the walks are enroute, participants can try mini-exercise sessions such as hula that help manage the symptoms of PD.

Nadia started dancing at the age of 6 with a hula group called Na Pua Nani O Na Pali O Na Koolau. From sixth grade to her senior year of high school she danced off and on at the Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaii’s number 1 tourist attraction, as a keiki (child) and adult performer. In college, she danced with the Menlo College Hawaii Club for four years and performed at the annual luau. She and Jennifer currently dance with Keaolalaulani Halau Olapa O Laka in San Mateo. When Nadia is not dancing hula, she works as an e-commerce marketing coordinator with Cafepress in San Mateo.

“Hula rejuvenates the mind and allows you to stretch your body in a graceful manner. Incorporate movement with music and let your hips, hands and feet follow the soothing sounds of the Hawaiian islands,” said Nadia.

Jennifer started dancing hula at her wedding in 2008. Her dad dances hula, and through the years, she has been taught informally by other dancers and him for small shows and parties. Jennifer has also danced at the Menlo College annual luau where she was a staff member and Hawaii Club Advisor.

Jennifer said, “I have learned that hula is a physical art that stretches your body in ways you would not imagine. Dancing to beautiful Hawaiian music and getting a great work out, there is nothing better than that!”

Jennifer is also a member of Ho’okahi Pu’uwai Outrigger Canoe Club (HPOCC) in Foster City, CA. Outrigger paddling was the first form of transportation throughout the Polynesian islands and it has become a world renown competitive sport. Paddling consists of 6 people in a canoe working as a team, using their whole bodies and paddling as one to be able to glide on the water. “Outrigger paddling is a great activity that all family members can enjoy,” said Jennifer.

For more information, contact Colleen Fischer, Moving Day® Bay Area Coordinator, National Parkinson Foundation at cfischer@parkinson.org. Register for this unique fundraising event in San Jose on April 25 at http://www.movingdaysiliconvalley.org

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