Named Lauren Munar at birth, Wahine was born and raised in Redondo Beach. She is a Southern California girl by birth, but not at heart. She has always yearned for more diversity than suburbia could offer. Until recently, she has quenched the thirst for cultural diversity though her first love -- dance. However, her recent discovery of DJ culture has solidified her vision as a more well-rounded performer. Through music and dance, she has come to a better understanding of the world’s cultures and hopes that her unique combination of these two arts will inspire those around her to move and be moved.
Before she found DJing, her love for dance led her to study with the UCLA Department of World Arts & Cultures (formerly the Dance Department) in 1994. Her individual dance style began to blossom with the multicultural curriculum that included dance styles from around the world, such as Bharata Natyam (classical South Indian dance), Flamenco, Irish Step and West African. Outside the academic environment, she further developed her style through Hip Hop and Lindy Hop Swing.
Post-college professional life left little room for her passion, but she rediscovered the need for dance in her life after a life-changing trip to Jamaica in 2001. The urban vibe, tropical sensuality and tribal characteristics of Jamaican Dancehall allowed her to tap into some of the diverse dance styles learned over the years. Through regular attendance at local Reggae/Dancehall clubs, she quickly realized dance as a form of meditation.
Eventually needing a change from her obsession with Reggae and Dancehall, she continued clubbing at more mainstream clubs. Soon enough, she was introduced to House Music and has declared herself a Househead ever since. With House came the freedom she had always sought out in dancing. House had the variety she needed to fuse the various dance influences that had shaped her personal movement style-- a unique freestyle fusion of Dancehall, Flamenco, Hip Hop and Jazz. Onlookers will agree – few can light up the floor like Wahine.
House also introduced her to a new passion – DJ culture and club promotion. Inspired by experiences as diverse as daylight dance sessions at “Afterhour Power” to darkened dance circles at “Does Your Mama Know,” she soon realized that she could influence the club vibe. She took up spinning in 2002 and was dubbed ‘Wahine,’ or ‘pretty girl,’ by Hawaii native and fellow house DJ, Glenn Cabalar. With Glenn as her mentor and teacher, she has quickly developed a sophisticated and clean mixing style.
Wahine loves everything from deep vocal house to funky techno and breaks, but maintains that everything must have a tribal beat, a funky bassline and soulful vocals. French House seems to best satisfy her style both as a DJ and as a dancer as it often includes soulful vocals and world music influences. As quickly as she has begun DJing,, she has also begun to collaborate on music production. She also hopes to start a career as a vocalist and start her own record label, as well.
On a mission to create a “dancer’s paradise,” as she has yet to find a club environment that satisfies all of her musical, aesthetic and spiritual needs, she hopes that this quest for a renaissance in the world dance community will take her around the world and back. With the support of UNIT5, Wahine fully intends on bringing infectious beats to the dance floor and a reason for dancers like herself to dance again.