The teacher at the hālau is the kumu hula, where kumu means source of knowledge, or literally just teacher. Often you will find that there is a hierarchy in hula schools - starting with the kumu (teacher), alaka'i (leader), kokua (helpers), and then the 'olapa (dancers) or haumana (students).
The word was also used for the long open-air houses, often constructed at the shores, where the instruction took place.
A common Hawaiian adage is "ʻAʻohe pau ka ʻike i kāu hālau," which means "Don't think that all wisdom resides in your hālau."
- The Spirit of Kaloko brochure from National Park Service