Wednesday, March 30, 2011

1st Dance Classes @Hale Ikena

Last night Lani and I headed towards Fort Shafter Hale Ikena to assist Richard and Lynn Nakamura in the International Rumba class, and Andy and Monica Pascua in the American Social Cha Cha class. Going through security at the gate wasn't as strict as before but it did take some time. Then trying to find Hale Ikena was another task. Talk about getting lost in a military base but we eventually found our way. Hale Ikena was buzzing with registration of dance students as we entered the building. Lynn handled the registration while Elsie McGrew was teaching the Cha Cha Line Dance with the assistance of Roxanne Kaino. Not all ladies were dancing the Line Dance...there were a few men, too. There were some experienced ballroom dancers but a lot of new faces.
Richard and Lynn taught the first 45 minute class. Being that it was the very first dance class, everyone started at the basics. It wasn't hard to learn the International Rumba for Lani and me this first night since the syllabi are similar to the American Bolero/Rumba. The only differences were the names of the steps and the posture. Richard and Lynn are excellent teachers so it was easy for us to assist and convey their teachings to the students. The amalgamation consisting of five steps was fluid and I think most of the students caught on to the tempo.
Andy and Monica Pascua taught the American Cha Cha during the last 45 minutes. Starting off with the basics. Some of the steps were similar to those taught in the International Rumba, so it was easier for the students to understand Andy and Monica's instructions. The students were able to dance the patterns in tempo with the music before closing the class. Andy and Monica showed their expertise in teaching this Latin dance and their cha cha demo for the students was a superb incentive.
Lani and I really enjoyed assisting Richard & Lynn, and Andy & Monica Pascua last night.

Lynn send me the photo of the students and instructors of Last night's dance classes, and an e-mail with expectation of another successful dance class at the Hale Ikena on Thursday.

Hi Frank,
Can you also mention that Hale Ikena & Mulligan's Grill & Bar have very inexpensive delicious sandwiches and meals that the dancers can order to eat before and during the classes?

We are very fortunate and thankful to have Elsie McGrew teach the line dance (Roxie Kaino helped her), and to have you and Lani help our students in our classes. Thank you. We had a lot of new students so we are very appreciative that you both were able to help us.

We are looking forward to Thursday night which will be a bigger class than tonight so we'll be asking Hale Ikena to add on more dance floor to accommodate the dancers.

Thank you again.
Richard & Lynn

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ilima Ballroom Dance Club 28th Anniversary Dance

The Ilima Ballroom Dance Club pulled out a big success last Saturday as the organization hosted their 28th Anniversary Dance at the Palladium. Talk about a crowded dance floor and the Team that made it a successful event. You gotta include the friendly persuation of club President Diane Wong for getting the showcase dancers from other dance clubs to perform in the Exhibition Dancing. None of them were members of the Ilima Dance Club but they came and put on a terrific show. It was a big treat for my eleven students, too. For some of them it was the first time to dance at the Palladium.

(Left click on photo to zoom in)

The TEAM included Betty and JoAnn at the Reception Table; Prez Diane Wong who was everywhere and that including helping prepare the bentos in the kitchen. There were other helpers too but were too busy to face my camera. Luckily I got a shot of Kay Yahiku, and also Warrick Sargent who collected the tickets for the bento. Roger Izumigawa was the EmCee for the evening who gave the Welcoming message and introduced all the Presidents of the various dance clubs who were in attendance. He also introduced the professional dance teachers/owners of dance studios. Then there was Walter Wong, the DeeJay who spun the music during the entire event.

GENERAL DANCING continued from 5PM till closing at 9:45PM.


First on the showcase were Calvin and Debra Ota, my brother and sister bloggers, and the only couple that I know to have performed and competed in both the International Standard and Latin Dancing. Prior to the showcase, I had asked Calvin "where would be a good spot to view their performance". He said "anywhere because they were going to dance the length of the dance floor". And they sure covered a lot of floor space. We enjoyed every bit of the Quick Step...the front, the back, and all sides. Tonight they hit a higher level in performing the Quick Step. Very beautifully done.

Tom Sutton and Hami Draper followed with their rendition of the Rumba. Lani loved the beautiful forms and hand gestures that Hami displayed in the dance. And I think Tom and Hami did really good in their performance of the Rumba.

Again, another superb performance of the Waltz/Tango Medley by Sydney Chiu and Patricia Paliracio. (My apology to Sydney and Pat. The photo taken did not look flattering. So I replaced it with one taken from their previous performance.)

I guess I've used all the adjectives in Webster's abridged and unabridged dictionary to describe the performances of Ed and Charlotte Bugarin in previous showcases. Tonight was a another dynamite performance of the International Rumba...sensuous indeed.

The most beautifully danced performance in the combination of American and International Foxtrot that Lani and I have ever seen for a very long time. This time by Ivan John and Nancy Luckie who were marvelous in this performance to the music and vocal of Barbara Streisand. A great performance and one that will be remembered for a long time.

General dancing continued till closing.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Honolulu Festival @ Ala Moana Centerstage

Normally, Lani and I avoid large shopping centers like Ala Moana Center on Sundays. But this past Sunday it was a must go to pick up an item that was held on hold at Macy's. Of course, when going to Macy's, browsing becomes a sporting event for Lani. For me, it's Barnes and Noble Booksellers. Reading has become a passion for me when Lani goes shopping. So after an hour, she calls me on the cellphone, "there's gonna be a show at Centerstage". Like a paparazo, I quickly got my camera and headed to the Centerstage. Big crowd but the event hasn't started yet.

After a short wait of 10 minutes, the lady EmCee comes out and gives a blow by blow description of what's in store in English and then in Japanese.

It was part of the HONOLULU FESTIVAL!

A lot of action going on by young dancers from Japan. They called themselves the TGP Crew. Mostly street dancing ...Hip Hop...Crumping...Popping...Break Dancing...and a lot of jumping up & down. A good performance on the various styles of Street Dancing.

Yuka & Studio Pilialoha performers came on next that brought the tone down several notches. No doubt the Hawaiian Hula has taken a hold in Japan. And the ladies performed the hula pretty good and the accompanying music players were superb.
Lani and I left during the Hula performance but I was able to get some shots of the performers in action. You might want to check the Ala Moana Centerstage schedule for more performances during the Honolulu Festival.
(Left click on photo to zoom in).

Sunday, March 06, 2011

IBDI 2011 Inaugural Ball

It was a good feeling getting to dance at the Pacific Beach Hotel Grand Ballroom once again. With the weather forcast of an impending storm with accompanying heavy rain for Friday, Lani and I did a heli-on to Waikiki. Parking was at a premium at the Pacific Beach Hotel when we got there a little after 5:30PM but we were lucky to find a space on the 5th floor.

We were greeted by the familiar friendly faces of the lovelies at the reception table...Shirley, Delia, and Dana. Got our table assignment and waited a few minutes for the doors to open to the ballroom.

Met some nice people while Lani and I waited. Among them IBDI Prez Chris & Charlene Jay. You can always get a good handshake and a hug from these friendly twosome.

The mellow sound track of easy dancing music filled the air as we entered the ballroom. DeeJays Henry Lee and Jane were spinning the tunes for the evening as more dancers got on the dance floor. It was good to see Henry and Jane taking time out to do some dancing, too.

One of the organizers of this event is Grace Nohara and she did an excellent job putting together the program. Kudos also to her committee of helpers.

Good to meet people in high positions, too, that will be shaping the future use of the dance palladium. Charlene Jay was nice to introduce me to the new City Parks & Recreation Director Gary Cabato and his wife Lynn.

The man with the golden voice that kept the program well oiled and running smoothly was EmCee Michael Goya. He has the charisma and humor and his voice carried throughout the ballroom. He introduced all the Presidents of the various dance organizations who were in attendance including the owners and teachers of the professional dance studios. Yeah! All of them got leid....oops! I mean they all received leis. Michael also said the invocation before the grindz time. As usual the entries selected were ono especially the roast beef sauteed in gravy, and the miso butterfish. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

Guest speaker for the evening was City Parks & Recreation Diector Gary Cabato. But prior to him taking the mike, Prez Chris Jay announced that the Inaugural installation of officers will take place at another time hence that will give more time for dancing. That won approval with a loud applause. No date was set for the installation of officers.
Mr.Cabato gave an inspiring speech about the future use of the dance palladium for dance organizations. He mention a nice figure of $15 an hour fee for the use of the dance palladium which brought more applauses. Whether it's a proposal he's working on or the real thing, it sure sounded nice.

Then it was grindz time.

Prior to the Dance Exhibition part of the program, the icebreaker "Snowball" dance brought nearly everyone to the dance floor. Lani and I got pulled onto the dance floor by different dancers at the first sound of the music. Somehow I've always liked the "Snowball" rather than the tradition "Horseshoe" because it got everybody to dance. Everybody got to dance is right 'cause I only got two dances (with Vicky Kerfoot, and Debra Ota). Other than my Super ex-girlfriend, these gals were fun to dance with that night.


The Dance Exhibition part of the program started soon after with the International Waltz by Ed and Matilda. I never get tired watching this young couple perform in showcases. They have so much strength and techniques in the International Waltz.

Ed and Charlotte has always pleased the audience with their dynamite showcase performances of the International Samba, and the International Cha Cha. And tonight's showcase of the International Rumba showed their versatility in the slow tempo sensuous Rumba.

Another excellent performance in the Tango-Foxtrot Medley by Dr. Michael and Trudy. It appears that "medley" is the new approach to dance exhibition showcases and Michael and Trudy has been wowing the audience with their rendition. Good technique and always a pleasure to watch.

I've always enjoyed the Villanuevas solo and team performances in previous showcases and tonight they had added a new dimension of entertainment in their "Latin Showcase". It had a touch of cultural or tribal mixture that I found pleasing and entertaining. Renna's grandson Ikaika and Kona's daughter danced some nice Latin moves to open their showcase before Renna and Kona appeared on the dance floor. A performance well done.

Closing the program was an American Style Waltz performed by Debby and Rueben. I've watched this performance once before and I gotta say..Rueben has mastered this routine tremendously. He was more relaxed and in control of the dance. Debby of course, is always at her best which contibuted to a wonderful performance by both teacher and student.

Well, all good shows must come to an end..and I emphasize it was a good and well planned, and an enjoyable showcase. Five dance exhibitions is a good number allowing more time for dancing. Lani and I stayed till almost 11PM and lucky for us 'cause I got to take home the Centerpiece being that my birthday was the closest to February 23. They didn't ask for the year I was born, so that's double lucky for me.
(Left click on photo to zoom in)