Monday, November 29, 2010

Night Club Salsa Session #2

Although it's a long drive from East Honolulu to the Radford in Central Oahu, there were a number of Easterners for the Salsa lesson this past Sunday. Good to see some of the other dance organizations are taking advantage of the free lessons sponsored by Dance Hawaii. However monetary donation will be accepted at the door to help pay for the cost of using Radford High School Cafeteria. This week there were about 70 or more guys and gals..a lot of new faces this week. I brought my main squeeze Lani to this session since we plan to teach Night Club Salsa at Ali'iolani CSA during the Spring 2011 Session.

I got to make small chat with the dance instructor Samir Hana before the class started. He's soft spoken and got a humble personality.

The first hour went pretty fast and I don't mean that Samir rushed things. You gotta admire Samir's method of teaching. He demonstrates the movements...footwork, body position, arm and hand position, and how to lead.
Then he demonstrates the lady's part complete with the shimmy from shoulder down to the body. When all of that is done, he asked for a lady volunteer to dance with him and shows the whole package what the Salsa pattern will look like plus more. The ladies looked good following the lead and that always brought a lot of whistles and applauses.
The routine went the same way like the first session...practice without music...then with music..then increasing the pace of the tempo.

The patterns were a little more intricate compared to the first session, so there were more repetitions and more time for practice and changing of partners (although not many guys wanted to change partners). The gals who came without a partner weren't left out. Dance Hawaii Prez Maurice Morita accommodated all of them by partner-dancing with them.

There was a 10-minute break after the first hour. We had learned two different patterns during the first hour. During the second hour, Samir taught another Salsa pattern. By this time, it looked like most everyone was getting into the rhythm of combining all three patterns and dancing the whole package with music.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hawaii Gardenia Circle Christmas Dance

Last night was probably the first time that Lani and I have been to a Hawaii Gardenia Circle Dance at the Palladium in many a moons. We got there a little before 7PM.

The admission was $6 per person but here's the surprise that I mentioned in an earlier blog...the $6 admission can be applied to a year membership with the club if you choose to do so and as a member it was a free pass for the night. Good deal! Just like the godfather's "An offer you can't refuse". So now Lani and I are Hawaii Gardenia Circle members and entitled to all the benefits the club offers.

General social dancing was in full swing when we entered the Ballroom. Of course, being a Christmas Dance there's gotta be a Santa. And sure enough...that familiar "HO! HO! HO!" echoed throughout the Ballroom. We didn't know that our very own Dance Hawaii Prez Maurice was in the red suit until Gayle Kawahakui clued us in.

The program started with a Welcome speech by EmCee David Mayman. It was admirable how he acknowlege all the helpers for this event.

The entertainment began with an Argentine Tango by professional dancers Bruce and Yoko Wee.

Followed by a Mock Competition in the Cha Cha. Participants were (guys) Mike Chun, David Matsumoto, Walter Takeda, Gordon, Doug Smith, Howard Gillary, Victor Ho, Richard Nakamura, Ed Matsuda, Eugene Shen, and David Iki; and (gals) Lori Chun, Aimi Oswalt, Anne Ferguson, Olivia Chow, Dion, Kayo, Monique, Lynn Nakamura, Anna Mae Schwartz, Candy Matsuda, and Nancy Shen. All 11 couples competed in the 1st heat which led to the semi finals of 7 couples, then to the finals of 4 couples. All 11 couples danced magnificantly but there was to be only one winning couple.

After the final heat, David Matsumoto and Anna Mae Schwartz ermerged as winners of the Cha Cha Mock Competition by audience applauses. Among the judges were Geoffrey Fells, Nancy Luckie, Ivan John, Tom Nakamura, Bruce Wee, and a few others. All in fun and it was good entertainment with a mini Mock Comp.

After the Mock Competition, the partition between the Ewa side Ballroom and the Diamond Head side Ballroom was opened to allow the Ilima Dance Club and the Hawaii Gardenia Circle to enjoy dancing the full Ballroom. What an excellent idea! Refreshments of a variety of pies with ice cream were served on the Lanai.

Mustn't forget about the door prizes by lucky ticket numbers. There were no absentees. This was this years last Palladium dance for Hawaii Gardenia Circle and they celebrated it in a big way by way of social dancing, entertainment with an Argentine Tango exhibition, a mini Mock Competition, light refreshments (heard the delicious pies were from Arthur Oda's Aala Bakery), an "offer you can't refuse" yearly membership, and the coodination of opening the full Ballroom with Ilima Dance Club.

One more thing, Santa and Gayle helped in distributing the door prizes. We all know how pretty Gayle looks. So in all fairness, here's a photo of Santa unmasked.

It was a enjoyable night of fun dancing with my main squeeze (with dancing feet that never quit).

Coming up in December is Divino Ritmo's 2nd Annual Grand Ball & Showcase featuring "West Side Story" at the Sheraton Waikiki. I had the pleasure of dancing with one of the cast members of that upcoming showcase, Marie Laderta, last night. Yes, she's got the moves and yes, she's smooth as silk. It was nice to see Paul and Marie with their good friends, again.
(left click on photo to zoom in)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dance Hawaii Furlough Friday Social Dance

Appears Lani and I are getting into the marathon stride. As if the Rock & Roll nightclub dancing at the Dole on Wednesday wasn't enough, we were back at the Radford last night for the Dance Hawaii Furlough Friday Social Dance. As I mentioned in my previous blog, my main squeeze has got dancing feet that won't quit. Trying to keep up with her is like tempting cardiac arrest. But then she allows me to take a 20 second breather between dances. And now on with dance scene.........

DeeJay for the evening was Mike Chinen who's got a KAPU on the best music for social dancing this side of West Oahu. He's like the old commercial "When _______speak, everyone listens." In this case "When Mike Chinen spins his music, everyone dances". (Okay, the same goes for Andy Pascua and Paul Lee). I don't think Mike did any dancing but wife Diane was there by his side.

Most of the dancers who were at the social were from West Oahu with a sprinkle of East Honolulu folks. Quite a bit of mileage to travel from East Honolullu to the Radford but a couple of my students (Ben and Sandra Hung) from Dance Hawaii Kai came. My main squeeze got to introduce them to nearly all the Dance Hawaii members who were scattered around the dance area. Ben and Sandra came to practice their dance steps and they did fo' sure.

One of the main features of Dance Hawaii Socials is the variety of Line Dancing and last night was no exception. Kevin and Margarite Yee lead the whole spectrum of the Line Dances.....Waltz. Foxtrot, Mambo, Cha Cha, Swing, Merengue, and more.

There were 60 or more dancers who attended this social dance. Gilda said the prayer of thanks and then it was time to dig into the ono potluck. DeeJay Mike had the music playing continuously, so the Line Dancing and Partner Dancing was still going on strong during the grindz break.

Jo Cassidy setup a mini store of shoes but had time for a little dancing. Pan Pacific Ballroom Dance Society Prez Rudy Luat, who is a staunch supporter of Dance Hawaii, was on the scene and so were members of other dance clubs. As fate had it, my little Sony camera ran out of energy (like me) and it was time to packup our belongings and head back to the East with swirling in my mind...the Bolero, Waltz, Tango, Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing, Mambo, Foxtrot, Merengue, Nightclub 2 Step, Salsa which I danced with my main squeeze (with dancing feet that never quits) and the lovely ladies who gave me pleasure to dance with them.

Just a few photos of dancers who came to the Social to support Dance Hawaii and the Radford High School Athletic Program.......

There's more photos and blogs of this event at Jimbo Blogging on Moanalua Corridor.

Next Dance Hawaii Social Dance is at the Aliamanu Middle School on Saturday December 4th at 6:30 PM.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dancing At The Dole Cannery Ballroom

It was just a spur of the moment know da kine...go get all duked up for a night of nightclub dancing at midweek.

The WASABI Oldies 50's & 60's Band was headlining at the Dole Cannery Ballroom this past Wednesday. Dance Hawaii Prez Maurice and wife Gilda were gonna be there and we also got an e-mail from Doreen (da leeda of da band) that it waS GONNA BE A SURPRISE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION for a band member (Milton). Heading for the Dole was another evening of bumper to bumper traffic on the H1 at 7PM and equally just as heavy going to East Honolulu. So dat's double AUWE.

The dance floor at the Dole was filled with midweek dancers and the WASABI Band was playing their special brand of 50's & 60's tunes at high volume. Maurice met us as my main squeeze Lani and I entered the night club atmosphere ballroom. But first gotta pay the flat cover charge of $5 per person which gets your parking stub rubber stamped with "pay $3.00 for parking". Chocolate birthday cake was served and the drinks are priced about the same as the no host bar at the Pacific Beach Hotel.

Got to brush cheeks with Doreen as she said "thank you for coming" and then it was time to Dance our A** Off. No doubt, the hot music renditions played by the WASABI can do that. And having a main squeeze like Lani whose dancing feet never gives up when the music is hot, we stayed on the dance floor and danced the next 5 songs and then more before calling it a night of fun dancing. Now if you got the heartbeat at midweek for the Waltz, East Coast Swing, Rumba, Cha Cha, Salsa, West Coast Swing, Rock & Roll, and a bit of Nightclub 2 Step, then this is the place to be on Wednesday nights.

There are other bands that provide entertainment and danceable music each Wednesday at the Dole. You can check the schedule of events at KI's "Dance Fever Oahu" website for more info.

Got dancing feet and will travel? Dance Hawaii hosting a Furlough Friday Social Dance at the Radford tonight (11/26) from 7 to 10 PM. Surf over to Jimbo Blogging at "Moanalua Corridor" for added info.

Still got dancing feet and will travel? Then swing over to the Palladium for Hawaii Gardenia Circle Christmas Dance this Saturday (11/27). For more info go to "That's Dancing" and scroll down till you see an earlier blog on it or go to KI's "Dance Fever Oahu"

Getting A Taste Of Nightclub Salsa

The SALSA lessons sponsored by Dance Hawaii and taught by visiting Certified Dance Instructor in Latin Rhythm Dance Samir Hana finally became a reality. The FREE Lessons was opened to all Dance Hawaii members and friends and held at the Radford last Sunday evening. This is one of the many advantages of being connected to the new dance organization spearheaded by Prez Maurice Morita. And one that is sure to make any Latin dancer appreciate the Salsa dance. So my SUPER EX-Girlfriend and I decided to ventured into this Nightclub Style Salsa for a change and headed to the Radford. We got there a little before the starting time of 7PM...traffic on the H1 was bumper to bumper that one wonders what's up in the West on a weekend?

I got to meet Mr. Samir Hana by introduction from Maurice. Being an ex-marine based at Kaneohe Marine Corp Base, Samir is a husky looking person but agile in his footwork. After a short introductory speech to the anxious to learn students, we all got to the spacious dance floor for our first lesson. Unusual scene...there were more guys (32) than gals (28). So some of the guys sat out for awhile. I got to partner with my SUPER EX-Girlfriend for a little while but lost her during the entire evening because of changing partners. I must've danced with at least ten different gals and each one was excited about this new Nightclub style Salsa. Yeah! me included. Anyway, Samir taught five patterns during the two hour session...first without music..then with music..slow then gradually increasing the tempo to the fast Salsa beat. It was easy to transition because Samir did not rush into each step. I mentioned two was continuous without any breaks in between. I think that was the only negative thought brought up. Other than that, every comment was positive. I think everyone had fun learning the Nightclub Salsa. I know I did and so did my SUPER EX-Girlfriend. We're looking forward to the next 5 more lessons of this package deal.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Furlough Friday Social Dance @The Radford

It's been a tough week for Lani and me. Samba Formation practice on Sunday, teaching Nightclub 2 Step and East Coast Swing on Tuesday, Samba Formation practice on Wednesday, and housework and yardwork on Thursday. Not as young and nimble as we use to be....BUT tonight was my night to HOWL and PROWL.

So it was like Guy's Night OUT and I headed to the Radford early without my main squeeze Lani to give Jimbo a hand in setting up the place before the 7 o'clock crowd got there. Unfortunately, I got to hit the mass of heavy traffic heading towards the Westside. When I got to the Radford, Maurice had already moved and folded most the tables by himself. It must've been Jimbo's night off since he's been the focal pointman to set up the dance area each time there was a social dance or formation practice. Anyway I got to help out what little things needed to be done.

Andy Pascua had his good selection of music playing as dancers started to trickle into the cafeteria. More dancers trickled in and by 8:30, I counted a little over 70 dancing souls present.

A lot of new faces among the regulars...and a couple that I have not seen for a long time...Chris and Vicky Visario. They are still teaching ballroom dancing in Waipahu.

As I was Guy's Night Out..and I took full advantage of being a stag tonight. Got to dance with a lot of ladies who I haven't led before. The music was just great and it was easy to glide throughout the entire dance area with the lovelies.

Kevin and Margarite Yee were just great in leading the Line Dances....the Merengue, the Samba, the Disco Hustle, the Foxtrot, the Waltz, the Cha Cha and other line dances that I couldn't put a finger on the names. It was a fun thing and at least half the attendance jumped in while others partner-danced in the open area.

It was grindz time a little after 8 o'clock and Lester of the Lester and Henrietta showcase dance duo said the prayer of thanks. All the potluck goodies on the serving table was like a Filipino luau....all ono kine with desserts and refreshments.

Well it was a fun Fourlough Friday Social Dance but this stag burned out all his reserved energy dancing with all the pretty ladies. So it was time to get on my mode of transportation and head Eastward; leaving the Radford before my legs gave way. To the ladies I danced with, mucho gracias and I hope you enjoyed the dance as much as I had dancing with you.

Next Furlough Friday Social Dance is at the Radford on November 26. But first our friends at Pan Pacific Ballroom Dance Society is hosting a dance at the Palladium this Saturday (Nov. 13). Next DANCE HAWAII Social Dance is at the Aliamanu Middle School on November 20. AND NO FORGET Hawaii Gardenia Circle Christmas Dance at the Palladium on November 27. Go to my Weblog "That's Dancing" for more info on this one by clicking on the link in the right margin. That's all fo' now.