It was like, “By the way there’s this photographer. You’ll see her here and there.” That was it, and that was a problem. I didn’t want this photo essay to simply showcase the event. My challenge was getting the halau’s kumu (teacher), named Mapuana de Silva, to let me shoot the dancers off stage. But after day one, I realized what I wanted was going to be extremely difficult to get. Mapu didn’t want me shooting the girls out of context, which meant I was limited to that two-foot space next to the stage. So I had to come up with a plan.