Sunday, January 31, 2010

Did Al Have The Magic Touch @The Al Franz Showcase?

I think Al did 'cause he pulled out a very successful showcase this past Saturday at the Pacific Beach Hotel. With all the happenings going on on Saturday..Preview of "Lost" at Sunset On The Beach at Waikiki, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce Narcissus Coronation, and other weekend big events, he was able to garner the hotel's recommended amount of dancers to attend his Showcase.
Lani and I got there a bit early 'cause we knew that parking would be a premium with "Sunset On The Beach" fans gonna take up most of the spaces in the parking structure. True to my thinking, it happened. Okay, it's 5:15 and the doors to the ballroom won't be open till 6PM. Fortunately for us, the name Gayle Kawahakui who sold us the tickets has some pull to it. We were escorted in to our table while the showcase performers were ironing out some rough spots in their dance. Got to meet Calvin and Debra Ota as they waited their turn to use the floor. Also met some long time acquaintances from our spell with IBDC (now IBDI).

As 6PM approached, more dancers and spectators started to fill the ballroom while the specially selected music by Al Franz played. Didn't take long for everyone to get into the mood for dancing. Al's barkering may have helped too.

Okay these hard working guys and gals hardly get recognition for what they do to make the showcase a success, too. That's the Frontline people... the guys and gals who greet the ticket holders at the reception table, the MC's (well maybe they do get some applauses), and the music players who have no official name (so they said you can call us "High Intensity"). A well deserved name since they have been playing dancing music for Al for 13 years.
Buffet dinner at 7PM right on schedule take or add 15 minutes. Gonna skip the menu specifically selected by Al Franz. But I gotta mention even without the chicken, everything was ono, especially the salmon, the sashime, and miso butter fish.
There were several professional and non-professional dance instructors in the attendance but Al made known that the "Sherlock Holmes" (Geoffrey Fells)of professional competitive dancing was in the to watch out on the heel and toe placements.
It was Showtime featuring Albert Franz, His Students, and Guest Performers. There were two parts to this showcase with General Dancing during the intermission. The whole event moved like clockwork. There were no delays with waiting for the next performer to get on the floor or those long excessive bowing. As soon as one couple got off the dance floor, the next couple entered without any ballyhoo. I gotta mention that because Al was in nearly all the performances, a second MC took over and he was well seasoned...great voice and explicit but brief introduction of the performers.
Like the ono entries that Pacific Beach Hotel puts out, I'm not gonna dwell on who performed only that the Showcase was very entertaining, very well performed by the dancers, and the long hours of practice was evident in their performance. They all deserved the loud applauses and whistles that ehoed throughout the ballroom. So with all that said here are the 2010 Albert Franz Showcase performers.......

(Left click mouse on photo to zoom in)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dance Aliamanu Showcase on YouTube

Thanks to Lorrie and Mike Chun, Dance Aliamanu 1st Anniversary & Charity Ball dance showcase is on YouTube. So if you missed going to this extravaganza on January 15 at the Pacific Beach Hotel and want to see what transpired and why it was a hit for this new dance organization, just surf the wave over the Internet to YouTube and type in Dance Aliamanu first Anniversary. Then after watching the videos and you like what you see, and when you see Mike and Lorrie at the Palladium or at the Mall show them your appreciation with the shaking Shaka sign. They very well deserve it for video taping the showcase, editing it, and posting it on YouTube for all to see. Shaka, Mike and Lorrie!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Social Dancing @Radford This Saturday

Dance Hawaii Kai opened at Koko Head Elementary School this past Tuesday with Absolute Beginners Social Waltz and Rumba. Thanks to Maurice and Gilda Morita for coming all the way from Aliamanu to do the registration. As with all our dance classes, Lani and I teach aerobic exercises associated with the dance lesson. It helps train the leg muscles and breathing.

Maurice sent me the following reminder about the social coming this Saturday...


6:30 P.M. SET UP


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fundraiser For WAM

Dance Aliamanu has taken the lead in helping our public schools by donating proceeds from dance classes and social events to the schools that opens their doors to Dance Aliamanu. Now we have one of Dance Aliamanu's talented instructors spearheading a fundraiser for WAM (Waipahu and Moanalua High School Ballroom Dance Clubs). See poster for more info. It's a worthy cause to benefit our high school students at the two schools. Jill has a request but let her letter say it. It was originally addresed to members of Dance Aliamanu but I believe a wider dissemination might bring in more results. (Left click on graphic to zoom in)

My name is Jill Tengan and I am the advisor of Moanalua High School's Ballroom Dance Club. My club will be performing at our annual fundraiser coming up on February 6th and I am trying to get real ballroom dance shoes for my girl performers. Lynn Nakamura and Henrietta Muramoto have generously donated a number of pairs of standard and latin shoes that they are not using anymore, but I still need a few more pairs. Specifically, I have some girls who range between Size 8 and 9 who still need shoes. If you have any pairs that you are no longer using and you would like to donate them to my high school kids (guys' shoes, too), please contact me at

Thank you so much!

P.S. We would love for you to join us at our 2nd annual fundraiser social on February 6th at the Moanalua High School cafeteria. Please see the attached flyer for more info. Mahalo!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Message of Appreciation & Recognition

Lani and I finally got to meet Calvin and his beautiful wife and dance partner Debra, persona a persona. Very nice and friendly couple. This was at the Dance Aliamanu 1st Anniversary & Charity Ball and unfortunately Lani and I were just about leaving the ballroom on our way home. But fortunately, this is just the first of many "Balls" and Showcases that is scheduled for this year and we are bound to meet pesona a persona, again.

Many of our long ago acquaintances and dance students from our stint at HBDA were in attendance also. Notables were Nobu Oshiro who with her late husband Sid were our Supervisors, James and Mae who were the Senior Lead Instructors at Waialae Chapter, Tom and Bunnie who faithfully assisted us at Hawaii Kai Chapter, and some of our present and former CSA students. We are glad that the students have progress to a higher level of dancing as seen at the "Ball" and enjoying this wonderful sport of partner dancing.

Dance Aliamanu President Maurice Morita e-mailed me the following message which I feel honored to share with you.

We had a very successful weekend, first a "successful Dance Aliamanu 1st Anniversary & Charity Ball" on Friday night, Jan. 15th, at the Pacific Beach Hotel. We had 44 tables sold with ten on a table for a total of 440 members, friends, family, professional instructors, and other dance organizations including our friends from the Kauai and Big Island of Hawaii. We appreciated the support from the dance community. The comments were execllent (from the food to the dance routines by our dance club members and celebrities). Lynn & Richard Nakamura played a major role by getting the celebrities, and choreographing their dance routines with our instructors, doing the program with Cheryl Chong, table seating assignments, the MC's Karl & Kalene Sakamoto, and many more. To Millie Chun, Cora Nieto, and Elsie McGrew for taking care of the outstanding stage and table decorations and the many more helpers that came out in force on Friday morning to help set up. A big THANK YOU to Millie & Arnold Chun for their outstanding job! To Junie Sato who took care of the leis and award gifts to the celebrities. To the Raffle Door Prize gang of Gilda Morita, Leilani Alcover and Daisy Lee who raised $612.00 for our school sites.To all the Reception Table volunteers and we made the men dress in sport coats, they looked good! To Michael Chinen who played outstanding dance music throughout the night to 11:30 p.m. The crowd stayed to dance the night away. To Soon Lee for taking care of the bills as our Treasurer. To Stanley Akamine who was our club photographer. To the many more Dance Aliamanu members and friends for all their support by assisting the committee chairs.
We presented checks for $800.00 (for a total of $4,000.00) each to the school representatives to the following school sites:
1. Aliamanu Middle School
2. Aliamanu Elementary School
3. Washington Middle School
4. Kapunahala School
5. Radford High School

Two special awards were presented:
1. Outstanding Dance Aliamanu Member: Barbara Troegner
2. Dance Aliamanu 1st Lady Award: Gilda Morita

A big Mahalo! Some said this was the best Anniversary Ball they have seen. If you missed the 1st, plan to attend our 2nd Anniversary Ball on Saturday, Jan. 15th, 2011 at the Pacific Beach Hotel.

On Saturday Night, we had our Social Appreciation Dance at Aliamanu Middle School, and what a great turn-out (just under 100 members, friends, and our special guest from Hilo, and Kauai. You can't keep the dancers away who ate all the ono food (thank you to our members and friends for the potluck), and danced the night away till 10 p.m. Another great showing for Dance Aliamanu! THANKS to Music DJ Michael Chinen who continued to play outstanding dance music.

Dance Honolulu at Washington Middle School: No Dance Class till next Monday, Jan. 25

Dance Kaneohe at Kapunahala School: No Dance Class till next Monday, Jan. 25th

6:30 p.m. Open School / Registration
7:00 p.m. Waltz - Frank & Lani Sierra
8:00 p.m. Rumba - Frank & Lani Sierra
9:00 p.m. Dance Class Ends
5:30 p.m. Open School / Registration
6:00 p.m. American Ballroom Line Dancing by Kevin & Margaret Yee
7:00 p.m. Mambo by Richard & Cora Nieto
8:00 p.m. Filipino Tango by Andy & Monica Pascua
9:00 p.m. Dance Class Ends

5:30 p.m. Open School / Registration
6:00 p.m. American Ballroom Line Dancing by Kevin & Margaret Yee
7:00 p.m. Tango by Richard & Lynn Nakamura
8:00 p.m. Cha Cha by Richard & Lynn Nakamura
9:00 p.m. Dance Class Ends

SOCIAL DANCE AT RADFORD HIGH SCHOOL CAFETERIA (Monetary donations welcomed-all proceeds go to the Radford High School Athletic Program)
6:30 p.m. Open School / Set Up
7:00 p.m. Social Dance (potluck-bring your favorite dish to share/general dancing/line dancing)
10:00 p.m. Social Dance Ends


We are trying to buy a table of ten of Dance Aliamanu members. Gayle Kawahakui, one of our Dance Aliamanu instructors will be performing. We need some of our members to support her.If you are interested in going, please contact Maurice Morita at 225-0326 or email at

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Smashing Hit @Dance Aliamanu 1st Anniversary & Charity Ball

Some say "Practice makes Perfect". And I believe all dancers agree with that axiom but I gotta add "Expect the Unexpected". The encore dress rehearsal from 4 to 5:30 PM at the Pacific Beach Hotel was just the last ride to perfecting the dance showcase that was about to come later in the evening. I think the practice went smoothly but if the unexpected can happen to Professional dancers, it can most likely happen to non-professional dancers performing in a showcase.....something like the lady's heel getting caught in the hem of her skirt. Okay, if you were at the "Ball", you'd know what I mean.

Doors were opened at 5:30 and general dancing filled the foor almost immediately. Who could deny the upbeat music of our DJ Michael Chinen, whose selection of dancing music hits the top of the chart. Our MCs for the evening were tops, dull presentations. I guess you can call it "commando" since their presentation kept everyone on their toes. Maybe being a Circuit Court Judge, and being in Marketing and Sales have a lot to do with knowing what can hold the audience interest. All three personalities did an excellent job on the front line.

I won't go into the food stuff since every dancer who has visited the Pacific Beach Hotel for dance showcases knows what kind of ono spread awaits them. But I gotta mention that Dance Aliamanu did not skimp, not by a long shot. Too much entries for such a short time for performing dancers to savor before the show. For starters, Kim Anderson sang a prayer, Invocation by Cheryl Chong. Then after dinner, Dance Aliamanu President Maurice Morita gave a "Welcome Address". Introduction of Celebrities and VIPs, and Special Guests (various dance club officers, and professional dance studio owners) followed.

It was SHOWTIME with first introducing all of Dance Aliamanu team of instructors. Dance Aliamanu Instructors' Tango Dance variations was first on the agenda as eight couples danced the American Tango, Argentine Tango, Filipino Tango, and the International Tango to the same music. (Sorry no photos since Lani and I were one of the couples in this number. Maybe some camera person will send me one for this blog). After the Tango, Kim Anderson sang a powerful rendition of "Don't Rain On My Parade".

Part 1 continued with Dance Aliamanu's American Rumba & Cha Cha Medley with nine couples dancing in unison to a slow tempo Rumba then picking up the speed of the Cha Cha.

The visiting Kauai Ballroom Dance Club followed with the American Waltz. A well choreographed dance featuring five couples from the Lihue Chapter. They are a welcome sight and a good addition to this Showcase.

Ending Part 1 was Dance Aliamanu's Jive & Quickstep Medley featuring six couples dancing some fancy and fast footwork. Great job by the choreographers.

General dancing during the intermission and President Maurice Morita took the opportunity to donate proceeds from the ticket sales to the five schools that opened their doors for Dance Aliamanu to hold dance classes and social dancing. Awards were also given to honor dance instructors and officers who volunteered their time to progress Dance Aliamanu in the direction and position the organization is today.

The Celebrities Showcase started with Melveen Leed dancing the International Cha Cha with Richard Nakamura. "Da Tita" was in full showmanship form as she wowed the audience with her entertaining mastery.

Pretty Liana Green Wright & Robert Hirayasu danced the right stuff in keeping up with the upbeat tempo. Dancing Mambo #5 showed her high energy limits which is unlimited.

Michele Choy, the only VIP in this showcase, danced a smooth Night Club 2 Step with Cullen Chong. She performed like a well disciplined student of dance as she followed Cullen gracefully around the floor.

Micah Banks, the only male Celebrity, in this showcase danced the International Jive with Jill Tengan. It was an entertaining performance with Micah interacting with a "I love to dance" girl. Good script.

Kim Anderson, singer, actress, and now showcase dancer. What else can I say about this volatile pretty young lady with multi-talent who danced with Joshua Manzano the International Rumba. (Wish I had a better pix of Kim).

Concluding Part 2 was Kehaulani Christian dancing the International Quickstep with Richard Nakamura. Kehaulani danced a sultry number before getting into a closed hold with Richard. This pretty young lady also showed that she can keep up with Richard's speed on the Quickstep.

General dancing continued till 11:30PM. And that's a wrap of a successful Anniversary Showcase for Dance Aliamanu, thanks to President Maurice Morita, the Dance Aliamanu officers, the volunteers of the event who did the setup at the hotel ballroom, the ticket sales committee and reception desk ladies, the dance instructors and dancers, the choreographers, the VIP/Celebrities, Mike the music player, the MCs, especially to Richard & Lynn Nakamura who were the guiding spear for this wonderful 1st Anniversary Ball, and to the 430 guests/dancers who came to celebrate and enjoy this smashing hit event.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Doug & Jackie Miranda Fun Workshop

Doug & Jackie Fun Workshop was submitted by Guest Author Sandy Zook.

(Jackie, Doug, & Sandy)

Doug & Jackie’s “Fun”shop on Saturday and Sunday was fun to the max.

(Workshop was held at the 100 Battalion Club House) There were smiles galore and lots of learning going on.

Doug & Jackie not only taught dance steps, they taught style and arm motions.
They demoed dances and gave mini-performances. Wonderful job.

I give big thanks to Denis Teraoka who sponsored us at the 100 Battalion Club House.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Rehearsal @Radford High School

It's been a long number of years since Lani and I participated in group dance routines or solo dance exhibitions. So gearing up for the Dance Aliamanu 1st Anniversary & Charity Ball took big time effort at least for me to get into the rhythm of the Tango group routine. For Lani, it's no pressure since all she has to do is follow my lead and apply her styling which she does very well.

Well, everyone showed up for the rehearsal...the MCs, the music player, the VIPs and Celebrities, the singer, the dance instructors, and all the dancers of the various group routines and solo exhibitions. Each group rehearsed at least three times and their performances got better and better each time. The rehearsal was very well organized without any hitch, thanks to the hard work by Richard and Lynn Nakamura. There's one final rehearsal at the Pacific Beach Hotel then it's SHOWTIME.

Not sure if there are anymore tickets available for the Anniversary & Charity Ball since 400 tickets have already been sold but no harm in checking with Maurice at (cell) 225-0326 if more tables have been added for this event.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Al Franz Showcase

Al Franz Showcase submitted by Guest Author Gayle Kawahakui and Poster by Debra Ota.

The date is January 30, 2010 (Saturday night) at Pacific Beach Hotel. Cost is $65.00 per person (japanese / prime rib buffet).

Gayle is a student of Al Franz and will be performing a dance exhibition with him. Dancers interested in purchasing tickets to the "Showcase" should contact Gayle or log in to Calvin Ota's blog "Town Dancer" for more info.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Harry Comes Of Age At 75

WOW! What a night of exciting entertainment, burn the floor dancing, association with friends and new friends, and onolicious entries. But before I go into the main show, I gotta welcome the birthday boy to the Three Quarter Century Club since I'm his senior by a (ahem)year or (ahem) so just as long as Harry Martinucci will keep in mind the motto of the makule guys as the journey to 100 gets a little closer...."There May Be Snow On The Roof But There's Still A Lot Of Fire In The Basement".

Lani and I were invited to Harry's birthday celebration at the Elks Club in Waikiki hosted by his wife Maryann and children Steven and Jean this past Wednesday. A lot of Harry and Maryann's friends were in attendance.

And the Entertainer's Entertainer Augie Rey with multi-talented musicians Bobby King on guitar, and Dennis Graue on keyboard provided rich entertainment and danceable dancing music. So enticing was the first Rumba music, that Lani and I were drawn to the dance floor. Others were drawn to the dance floor when the good old Swing music echoed throughout the room.

Harry and Maryann got the floor heated up for others to join them in the Swing. Then the Cha Cha Cha brought the next wave of dancers to the floor. During the whole evening, Augie got everyone involved with the entertainment singing and dancing.

What a beautiful singing voice Maryann has as she sang a love song to Harry accompanied by her talented son Steven on the guitar. Augie commented that she should be on "American Idol".

The talent didn't stop there. Daughter Jean belted out "Route 66" with Augie that wowed the audience as much as her mom's singing.

Augie did a little "Satchamo" interpretation. It was terrifico! Then the microphone was handed to each guest to say a joke. There were a few but most everyone wished Harry a Happy Birthday and more to come.

More dancing followed.....the Electric Slide, slow dancing, and even the Conga Line Dance. But Swing, Rumba, and Cha Cha were the favorite dances including free style disco. Got my share of dancing with the ladies (Lani, Tiare, Yvonne) on my table and with MaryAnn, Jean, Stacy (Steven's main squeeze), and a young cutie who danced a mixture of swing and free style disco.
It was a very enjoyable night of great entertainment, guests participation, and hot, hot dancing that moves the soul.

Christmas Party With Sandy Zook & Friends

Christmas Party with Sandy Zook and Friends was submitted by Guest Author Sandy Zook.

There was lots of singing and dancing (line & partner) plus dance performances by The Eclectics (Ron Yasuda, Marian Bernal, Sam Yong, Lisa Tokunaga, Mark Bryant, and Sandy Zook).

The evening started with waltz. Lani Sierra taught "Waltz Across Texas" to a group of line dancers in the back of the room while Sandy and Mark reviewed waltz steps with a group of partners in the front of the room. The music came on and people either danced or sat at their seats and sang along to "Away in the Manger" and "Silent Night".

The dancers got a small break while The Eclectics performed a waltz to "Let There Be Peace On Earth".

Afterwards, nearly everyone got up on the dance floor and Sandy taught two line dances to "Here Comes Santa" and "Winter Wonderland" followed by another performance to "Frosty Snowman" and a Viennese Waltz to "Let It Be Christmas" while the audience sang along.

Then there was swing. Lani and Sam taught line dancing in the back and Mark and Sandy reviewed East Coast Swing for the partners. This was followed by a swing performance to "Rockin A Round Christmas Tree".

Next the Cha Cha. Who can resist. Nearly everyone got up on the dance floor and either did line dancing or partner dancing.
For the grand finale, the Eclectics did a musical Christmas story to a medley of 9 dances. There was waltz, cha cha, 2step, swing routines, line dances, and more. The audience had a booklet of lyrics to help them sing along.

I think the party was a great success with everyone hugging and wishing their neighbor a Merry Christmas.