Eric Wada, artistic director and co-founder of Ukwanshin, is the first male outside Okinawa to have passed all levels of the prestigious Geino Konkuru, a series of performing arts tests administered in Okinawa. He graduated from the Okinawa Prefectural Performing Arts University with a scholarship from the Okinawan government. Bearer of the title of kyoushi (instructor), Wada heads the Hawaii branch of the Tamagusuku Ryu Shosetsu Kai, teaching traditional Ryukyuan dance in Honolulu. On Maui, he teaches Okinawan musical instruments, Eisa, and shishimai (lion dance), history, culture, and language. He was a featured dancer in David Ward’s Dancequake which was presented at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, and also toured Hawai`i Island and Honolulu. He is currently researching and teaching the obscure arts and traditions of Okinawa villages. In addition to the American English language, Wada is fluent in Japanese and functional in Okinawan and Hawaiian.