Aloha! Iʻm Janelle.
Iʻve lived most of my life onstage,
and this is just a different one.
I was born in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi and raised in Southern California. Growing up, I was constantly asked why I didnʻt live in Hawaiʻi (my father was in the Navy and stationed in California after I was born), and I knew one day Iʻd come back to find out what living in Hawaiʻi was like. SPOILER ALERT: Itʻs a beautiful life, and I love it.
I grew up dancing ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop – the works – since I was 4 years old, and when it comes to sports, itʻs really all I know. Ask me if I can shoot a free throw — the answer is no. Ask me if I can put together a cute outfit to go out to an NBA game — happily! I would charge money for my family to watch the shows Iʻd create to Disney soundtracks. Quite the entrepreneur, I know. I teach dance at 24-VII Danceforce in Kāneʻohe and am the head coach for the University of Hawaiʻi Rainbow Warrior Dance Team. Prior to moving to Hawaiʻi to attend UH Mānoa, I danced in parades for the Disneyland Resort.
MUSIC CUE: When You Wish Upon a Star
In 2011, Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa graced the Ko Olina resort community, and I found myself working in a serendipitous blend of everything I loved – entertainment, Disney, and Hawaiʻi. I was named Aulaniʻs first Disney Ambassador (2015-2016) and lived much of my life publicly – like tattoo removing, life-changing kind of public. Thereʻs so much of those years I posted about, shared, and made mention of, BUT I know thereʻs so much I didnʻt talk about because letʻs face it – talking about yourself is weird.
A definite hi.light of that experience: Interviewing Auliʻi Cravalho, the voice of Moana – sheʻs a complete sweetheart and is aloha spirit personified.
Iʻm at a place where I want to do things that make me happy and recognize the amazing circle of people I associate with. A little dance choreography 101: you often put your hardest working, expressive dancer center stage, or highlight them, and this is exactly what I want to do with all the things that bring joy to my life – hi.light the people, places, and products of Hawaiʻi.