Educational Dance Fitness Resource for Primary School Tamariki

Ko wai māua? / Who are we?

Sally Sutton - Award winning author of children's books and Lleuarne Panoho - Dance Fitness Instructor and Choreographer
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. Lleuarne has taught her popular, Māori-inspired dance fitness programme 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 dance with the power of story to support your teaching of Māori language, culture and history.

We’ve each seen how our work empowers tamariki. We’ve seen how they grow in self-confidence, mana, empathy and understanding. Together, we believe we can change lives. We’re passionate about helping tamariki to 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! Tamariki think better on their feet – let’s get them up and get them creating! 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. 

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.”

Included in your subscription are bonus videos exploring fitness and movement, e.g. yoga-inspired role-play, and an energetic Story Dance, which brings fitness and literacy together in true Hī Hā style.

No experience, rhythm or coordination is required – just bring a smile; we’ll make it easy! The Te Reo Māori learnt within the dances are cleverly reinforced and expanded on throughout each Hī Hā programme, so tamariki will be dancing their way to success! You’ll even find our dances woven into a fabulous full-length play. School production? Sorted!

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 of teaching fitness and literacy at the same time, think again! All Hī Hā stories include movement: from creative story dances and oral retellings of traditional Māori myths with fitness exercises to follow, to energetic classroom plays and full school productions with choreographed dances.

Māori language, culture and history is seamlessly woven into our content at every level, with pronunciation playlists of Te Reo words and phrases included. We make it easy for you with themed programmes kids will love, comprehensive curriculum links and a treasure-trove of free resources including Te Reo puzzles, games, creative writing exercises, art, mini research projects and crafts.

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