Wai Company's movement vocabulary and discipline draws from Hula, Modern Dance, Aerial Dance and Physical Theater while greatly influenced by Hawaii's native cultural practices and eastern philosophies of Buddhism and Yoga.
Wailana Simcock, Founder and Artistic Director, first got his training in dance and movement as a nationally awarded figure skater at age 12 in Detroit, Michigan. At age 24, he embarked on his professional career as a modern dancer for cultural activist Pearl Ubungen of Pearl Ubungen Dancers and Musicians, in San Francisco, CA in 1997. He later became Pearl's principal dancer and traveled all over the mainland US and to the Philippines where he had the opportunity to also work with this Filipino cultural icon and composer, Joey Ayala. While in San Francisco, he danced with other innovative companies like Steamroller and Kunstoff. He studied with Joe Goode, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Stephen Pelton, Barbara Dilley (SF, NY), and Aerial Dance with Terry Sendgraff. Upon his return to Hawai‘i in 2000, he joined with the remarkable Iona Dance Theater, Tau Dance Theater, Giingko Maraschino, and the aerial dance troupe Samadhi Hawaii. He has also performed with the groundbreaking productions of 'Ulalena (Maui) and Waikiki Nei (O'ahu).
Designing a unique multidisciplinary degree at the University of Hawaii at Hilo titled “Culture and Performance in Contemporary Hawaii” (2006), Simcock merged Hawaiian language, culture, and ethos with western theater arts. He continues with this focus in his participation with the unique N2 Dance program (Maika and ‘Ānela Woods) in the honorable Hawaiian Immersion school Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u (K-12) where he teaches western dance theater constructs in the Hawaiian language exclusively.
Simcock is the Artistic Director of the Kalani Performing Arts Festival (KPAF) which is going into their 4th anniversary. He teaches Aerial Dance, Modern Dance, Yoga, and Hawaiian Studies where he lives and works at Kalani Oceanside Retreat Center, Puna, Hawai'i Island.