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Educational Dance Fitness Resource for Primary School Tamariki

Ko wai māua? / Who are we?

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What happens when a vibrant Māori dance teacher and an
award-winning children’s author join creative forces?
Hī Hā is what happens! 

Kia ora! We’re Lleuarne Panoho and Sally Sutton, and we tell stories that move!


Lleuarne has taught her popular, Māori-inspired dance fitness classes for tamariki in Auckland schools for many years. Sally’s best-selling children’s books have set thousands of kids world-wide on the path to literacy. Together, we combine the joy of movement with the power of story in a programme which embraces Māori language and the culture and history of Aotearoa.

We’ve each seen how our work empowers tamariki. We’ve seen how they grow in self-confidence, mana, empathy and understanding. We’re passionate about helping them create fitter bodies, stronger minds and more powerful imaginations. Our programme makes this possible. 

Of course, we can’t do it without you, our teachers. Please join us! Kids are made to move – let’s get them story-fit! We are so excited to share Hī Hā with you!


Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini.

My strength is not that of a single warrior, but that of many. 

Ko wai māua?
Lleuarne Panoho Dance Fitness for children

Kanikani / Dance Fitness

Tamariki are natural dancers – watch them get down with Lleuarne Panoho’s unique brand of Kiwi dance magic! All Hī Hā kanikani are designed especially for tamariki, and use subtle Māori movements and simple Te Reo Māori to help tamariki learn about New Zealand culture while having fun and getting fit.


Lleuarne says: “Can you picture 120 tamariki in a room, chanting a song in Te Reo Māori, laughing, moving, singing? Now picture that single Māori student in that sea of tamariki, and imagine how empowering that is for them. I have seen this happen. This is what motivates me to do what I do.”


No experience, rhythm or coordination is required – just bring a smile, we’ll make it easy!


Lleuarne: “I can’t wait to dance with you!”

Sally Sutton Award Winning author of children's books

Pūrākau / Story

If you’ve never thought fitness and literacy belong together, think again! All Hī Hā stories include movement: from creative Story Dances, oral retellings of traditional Māori myths with fitness exercises to follow, teacher/librarian-directed Stories Outside and energetic classroom plays, all the way to fully choreographed, movement-based school productions.


Easy Māori language, culture and history are woven into our content at every level, while our bonus educational resources offer Te Reo puzzles, games, creative writing exercises, art, mini research projects and crafts. Support for educators includes Te Reo vocab and pronunciation playlists.


Sally says: “At Hī Hā, we believe the imagination is a muscle too: the more you use it, the stronger it grows. Kids with story-sense are smarter. They’re kinder. They’re open-minded, creative thinkers with better cultural understanding. If we combine fitness with literacy, we get tamariki with healthy minds and healthy bodies. Why have one when you can have both? That’s what Hī Hā is all about.”

Some of our Artists