Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dance Hawaii Social Dance @Radford HS

Traffic on the K. Highway and portions of the H1 was a bit heavy with some rain showers heading towards Radford HS. It was smooth driving once we got past Moanalua Gardens. It was a bit rainy and the parking lot at Radford was filled to capacity. I thought "WOW! we got a big crowd tonight!" As it turned out, there was a football game going on at the Radford Field.

There weren't many dancers in the cafeteria while DeeJay Paul Lee's music played on. A few more members and guests trickled in and then more came later. The rain and full parking lot didn't damped the spirits of those that came. Foxtrot, Quickstep, Waltz, Tango, Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing, Samba...Paul had it all for the dancers pleasure.

To get all the dancers on the floor, Margaret Yee led the Line Dance in the Cha Cha. That brought some of the new students to the floor.

While the going was hot, Kevin & Margaret Yee, and Maurice & Gilda Morita led members and guests in the Waltz Line Dance. That was enough to activate the appetites for the potluck break. (Checkout Jimbo's blog at Moanalua Corridor for more enlightening info on this social event). Social dancing continued till closing. More Dance Hawaii Social Dance at Radford HS on Furlough Friday (9/3) at 7PM.

Friday, August 27, 2010

So You Want To Go Dancing In September

There's a few venues for your pleasure listed at "That's Dancing" Weblog. As more reaches my desk, they will be posted.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dance Hawaii Kai 3rd Quarter

Dance Hawaii Kai is coming along pretty good in enrollment thanks to Stanley Akamine who posted the large banner on his fence in Aina Haina, and to Prez Maurice Morita of Dance Hawaii for his support.

Last night was our 4th lesson on the Social Waltz and Mambo. Two new couples joined the class at this half way point of eight lessons. As of last night, Lani and I had taught seven patterns in the Waltz, and seven patterns in the Mambo. The newer students are picking up the earlier patterns pretty well while the other more experienced students are adding polish to their dancing. Hopefully, Dance Hawaii Kai will continue to prosper since all monies paid by the students for the dance lessons are donated to Koko Head Elementary School. Dance Hawaii Social Dance at Radford High School this Saturday...good place to practice your dancing skills 7-10 PM.

Thursday night dance class at Ali'iolani CSA will start on September 9 at 7PM. Lani and I will be teaching Social Waltz, Tango, Cha Cha, and Samba during the 10 week session.

As a reminder, dancers: Tonight at the Dole Cannery Ballroom, boogey to the music of the 50's and 60's by the HOT WASABI Band. And on Saturday at the Palladium...the Hawaii Gardenia Circle Anniversary Dance. Surf over to "That's Dancing" for more info.

Monday, August 23, 2010

IBDI 49th Anniversary

It was 5:30PM Saturday and it was time for Lani and I to jet over to the Palladium for the IBDI Anniversary. A little traffic encountered on the Kalanianaole Highway but we made it in time to pick up our bento dinner. There was a line entering the Ballroom but it soon shortened. WOW! I remember the old days when another dance club filled the Ballroom but this event just went over the top. All the seats were occupied and I gotta say it was SRO. General Dancing with the sweet musical selections of DeeJays Henry Lee and Jane was in full swing till about 8PM. Grace Nohara and Dana Morey were busy at the entrance as were the Kitchen Crew.

Prez Chris Jay opened the program with a welcome speech and a history of IBDI. It was gratifying to know how this dance organization started and how successful it has become on it's way to their 49th Anniversary.

Chris also welcomed the other Ballroom Dance organizations as he called out the names of the Presidents and Representatives of each dance club.
Then Steven Sambrano took over the podium as EmCee of the Showcase Program. He did an excellent job in keeping the program moving without any gaps in delays on the Showcase Performances, the calling of Door Prize winners, and the Snow Ball Dance.

The Salsa by JoJo Ocampo and Vaitui Petelo was a portriat in speed dancing with a lot of dips and lifts. It was exciting to watch this young couple in action.

It's rare to see a father and daughter perform in a showcase but coming from the very talented Villanueva ohana it's no surprise. (Dad) Sergio and very pretty (daughter) Faith put on a stunning show of the International Jive with a bit of theatrics that wowed the audience.

Not to be out done (mom) Renna Villanueva and Robert Schiff entered the floor with some theatrics of their own. Robert wore a half mask ala Phantom of The Opera as he carried Renna with out stretched arms over his shoulder. The dance was a Medley with a touch of Paso Doble. A great performance with a good story left beautiful Renna laying on the floor as Robert echoed a yell of triumphant (or was it a cry of sorrow?). In any case, the performance was mesmerizing and captivating.

The first time injury during practice caused Marsha Ninomiya to pull out of the Jive Group Formation. You've seen it happen on "So You Think You Can Dance" reality TV show, too. As they say the show must go on so Stephani Shimizu filled in for Marsha with only two hours of rehearsal. The Jive routine was choreographed by Richard and Lynn Nakamura of Dance Hawaii. Dance Hawaii dancers together with IBDI dancers performed like they were having a lot of fun and much more relaxed which contributed to a good performance by both dance clubs. (We wish you well, Marsha, and a speedy recovery from your injury).

Concluding the Showcase Program was an International Waltz by Ed and Matilda Felix. Lani and I have seen this young couple perform the Waltz in other showcases but this night they brought their rendition of the International Waltz to a higher level. It was beautifully danced with smoothness and feelings.

The IBDI 49th Anniversary Ball was well orchestrated with a Snow Ball dance to the Cha Cha beat, and Door Prizes of gift cards, and flower plants. (The plants were donated by Herbert Omizo).

It was another night of fun dancing for Lani and me and socializing with friends from Dance Hawaii. Chris Jay and IBDI Anniversary Committee did a terrific job in organizing the entire program. General Dancing continued till closing but for Lani and me it was time to hit the road for home and dig into the (as Lani described it "one of the best") bentos.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Music For Healing

I'm not sure if the Ballroom music CD that I prepared and played took steps to heal Richard but the life sign monitor kept buzzing and lighting up with code red and code yellow which brought the attending nurses rushing in and out of the ICU room.
When Lani and I got to Tripler ICU yesterday (Wednesday), there were other friends of Richard and Cora in the room...Stanley & Florence, Bella Acosta, Lucille Nakamoto, and Rev. Monica (I think that's her name) from a Waipahu Church. Richard was still on life support and in a coma. We all gathered around Richard's bed holding hands as Reverend Monica said a prayer.
There was no reaction from Richard while Lani massaged his hand. More friends came to visit,,,Derek and Keiko Oh. When Cora came in, the Reverend gave a second prayer with all of us holding hands. This is a difficult time for Cora, so please continue praying for Richard to recover from this serious illness and also for Cora.
As I mentioned earlier, I'm not sure if the Ballroom music was beneficial at that time but knowing that Richard loves music, Cora handed the music CD to the attending nurse to play in Richard's room. Hopefully it will help show a spark of recovery for our friend and fellow dance instructor.
As we left, Larry (Bella's husband) came, and we met Gilda Morita as she was going up to ICU.
(For more info on Richard's condition and visiting hours, please read Maurice's e-mail in the previous blog).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Richard Nieto - Update

This is one of those unusual moments when I post news other than dancing on this blog. I do this with sadness because one of our Dance Hawaii instructors, Richard Nieto, is fighting for his life in ICU at Tripler Hospital. Many of our fellow dance instructors know Richard and Cora Nieto of Dance Hawaii (aka Dance Aliamanu), and moreso as former dance instructors for HBDA. When Lani and I went to visit Richard yesterday, he was still hooked on to life support system and still in a coma. I don't know if he heard every word I said to him because there was no reaction. It was difficult to see a friend and fellow dance instructor in such a helpless condition. We can only pray for his condition to change to the better and give encouraging support to his wife Cora. I have included an update of his condition from Prez Maurice Morita of Dance Hawaii. (e-mail follows)..........

As for yesterday (Monday, August 16th), Richard received an EEG test and found his brain stem is okay but it is unknown the condition Richard is in affected the human brains. This is one area that is unknown in the medical field. The doctor has said only time will tell!

Thank you for the moral support for Richard as I can tell you Cora and her family appreciates the support for Richard's well-being. Many family as well as friends, especially from our Dance Hawaii Ohana,have visited Richard. I went to see Richard yesterday about 3:00 p.m. Gilda and the Chinen's went about 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. to give Cora company and our moral support. I heard Frank & Lani Sierra visited Richard yesterday morning, and saw Junie Sato coming to see Richard. There were many others who visited Richard and Cora. I saw the Nishimura's, Manuel's....thank you for the support! Because what has happened to Richard, the hospital have allowed visitors to visit any time, day or night. There are no visiting hours!

The doctors are asking Cora to do a family meeting after 72 hours since Richard went into a coma, if there are those who are planning to visit Richard later this week or this weekend, I would suggest you do your visitation today or at least by tomorrow, just in case, a decision is made. I know the love between Cora and Richard, and whatever decision Cora has to make will be a tough one. I know she does not want to lose Richard and hope a miracle will happen. We must continue praying for a miracle for Richard to recover as fast as possible.

If you don't understand what I am trying to say, please call me at 225-0326 anytime! Its really hard to write what I want to say.

Thanks again, from the NIETO FAMILY, for all your prayers, moral support, etc. What we need is a miracle so Richard can dance again, cook again.....the best chef I have known and always enjoyed his cooking, and most of all, being a good friend with a good heart (always ready to help others).

In God We Trust,

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Project Bantay Bata 163

The long awaited Friday weekend finally came to be and Lani and I hustled to get to the "Summer Suave Dancing In Paradise" at the Pacific Beach Hotel. We were a bit early getting to the ballroom on the 7th one at the reception table yet. So we went to the lobby to go window shopping and kinda watched the Matsuri happenings...lots of ladies dressed in their Japanese traditional kimonos and straw slippers and the smell of B-B-Q from the outdoor pits fragranced the air. Talk about saliva running down the throat. Ahhh but it was 6PM and time to head for the BANTAY BATA event.

Several ladies were working the reception table...pretty organized by who sold you the tickets...dat's the line you go to for your table assignment. Since Lani and I were guests of Paul and Marie Laderta, we were checked in by Buffy Gonzales, the other half of the singing duo, The Gonzales...but not before being greeted with hugs from our gracious host Marie. "Uncle" Wesley was like the maitre-d ushering guests to their table. What a grand idea! No need to go searching by yourself. As "Uncle" Wesley showed Lani and me to our table, we met Calvin and Debra Ota who were seated next to our table. Pretty soon Jackson Cho and June Choong joined them.

We were seated with Grace Nohara (I always look at her as the First Lady of Dancing because she is always involved with helping out other dance clubs), Jim Prado (who was one of our former Pro dance teachers), Delia Tom (I've seen this lady at dances helping at the reception tables), Tom Nakamura (a recognized face in exhibition dancing) and his friend Joannie, and there were others who said they knew my older brother. Then there was Ed and Ceci who we see at most of the dances.

There were celebrities who came to our table to say "hello"...Lt.Gov Duke Aiona, Rep. Lynn Finnegan, and Ramsay Wharton. Our host Paul Laderta and Carmelo Baysa, my first Professional Dance Teacher came by to say "hello".

Dancers were starting to fill the dance floor as the music and fabulous vocals of Jesse Gonzaless filled the ballroom. There was a percussion player on drums and a sometimes-fill-in singer but Jesse handled nearly all the musical arrangements from 6to 11:45PM. Buffy took to the stage during the last hour before closing and belted out some of the finest Latin tunes. For a moment I thought the organizers of the event had contracted one of my favorite female vocalist, Eydie Gorme. Buffy Gonzales and Eydie have that rich and mellow singing voice. All smooth, rhythm, and Latin music captured the dancers to get on the floor. There were some Hustle and West Coast Swing, too, but Latin dancing was king for the night.

The program started with a Welcome and Introductory Remarks by EmCee Eric Barsatan.
Followed by the USA National Anthem, then the Philippines National Anthem lead by Jesse. Cue cards were helpful for us local born Filipinos. Invocation and then dinner. As usual, the Pacific Beach Hotel did good again on the entries and desserts.

The Showcase program was EmCeed by Shari Berinobis (Geoffrey Fells' side kick at the Star Ball) and the first to perform was a Hula by Alyssa Reyes, Miss Teen Hawaii Filipina 2009. It was a nice touch to Prelude the showcase and this Filipina can really roll those hips. A beautiful performance by a beautiful dancer.

"Beauty In Motion" Dancers Ayami, Keala, and Kamalei spiced up the floor with their rendition of the Salsa. It was more of a Line Dancing kine Salsa. It was nice and all right.

Noreen Ho with Professional Teacher Lucas Jaime came on next with the International Rumba.

Divino Ritmo Youth Dancers Angel Rodriguez and Moneque Dejesa performed the Show Cha Cha next.

The Tango Medley by Rolando and Gloria Padasdao

General dancing continued before the Second Act.

A time was set aside to recognize some of the people who gave their whole hearted support to this worthwhile event.

The American Waltz by Rueben Lee with Professional Teacher Debby Borges Barboza opened the Second Act.

American Rumba by Edwin and Remy Brion. It was good to see a couple in their senior age still have that fire to perform.

The International Cha Cha by Ed and Charlotte Bugarin.

The International Waltz by Ed and Matilda Felix.

Then a Theatrical Cha Cha by Ellen Ostler and Professional Teacher Lucas Jaime.

And as a encore treat a Professional Performance of Cabaret Dancing by Lucas Jaime and Yanna Samkova was electrifying....the lifts, the swirls, the dips, and the "look-no-hands" as Lucas did some spinning with Yanna on his shoulders.

All the showcase performers danced their very best and put on a good show. The ladies in their lovely colorful costumes and the men were well suited that enriched their individual performance. There was a whole lot of passion displayed in the performances that it kicked in the BIG "E". And that's pleasurable Entertainment!

It was a great night for dancing, socializing, and a gratifying Bantay Bata Dancing In Paradise 2010. And I gotta say Lani and I sure danced our A** Off again. Lani had her dances with Calvin, Jim, and Pepe. As for me, it was an honor and pleasure dancing with Grace (Cha Cha), and Debra (Rumba) in the American style.