Sunday, May 29, 2011

Aiea Ballroom Dance Association 56th Anniversary Dance

Once known as Aiea Ballroom Dance Club the organization has grown in leaps and bounce and now is renamed Aiea Ballroom Dance Association-Hawaii. A great accomplishment for the first and oldest dance organization in the Hawaiian Islands. You might think the "grandfather" of all the dance clubs in Hawaii at 56 years old.
The organization is now headed by Prez Deanie Bates who with her capable staff hosted the Anniversary Dance at the Palladium last night. Although the entire Ballroom was in use, the dividing walls couldn't be open all the way leaving a small but accessible opening between #1 and #2 ballrooms. No big problem. It was fun for Lani and me trans-dancing from one ballroom to the other.

But first, big kudos to Prez Deanie for a successful anniversary event that drew dancers from nearly all the dance organizations on Oahu.

Next, the KP Beauties who dished out the dinner bentos for the presale ticket holders. For 8 bucks we got a generous serving of boneless chicken, a piece of luncheon meat, takuan, tempura, and an Okinawa doughnut hole on a bed of white rice. Not bad considering it comes with four and a half hour of social dancing to some great dance music.

Speaking of great dance music, you gotta give DeeJay Mike Chinen a pat on the back for spinning those fabulous tunes non-stop all evening. My personal thanks to Mike for playing a Merengue tune for Lani and me. It was a good touch among the other usual dance music.

The guy and gals were busy at the reception table admitting the line of guests feeding unto the Ballroom. However, I was able to get some smiles from them.

Long time friend and dance instructor John Calleon was at the VIP Table with friend Sawaye and Prez Deanie greeting others who wanted to see the awards and door prizes.
There was no dance exhibition on the program but there was a break to introduce the Presidents and representatives of the various dance organizations, and professional dance teachers in attendance.

Lady EmCe was Kay Yahiku who handled the mike with expertise. Prez Deanie Bates extended a welcome speech to everyone.

An award went to Herbert Omizo for selling the most tickets for this event. Then it was time for the lucky ticket holders for door prizes. General dancing continued till closing.

There were other VIPs than those in this photo that keeps the Aiea Ballroom Dance Association-Hawaii afloat for a long time. Too many to get them still long enough for a camera shot but I was able to corner Naone, Amadeo, and Stephanie.
Lani and I had danced nearly three hours with very few breaks. It was an enjoyable evening for us but it was time to hit the road back home.

But before departing, we had to show our appreciation and thank David Carvalho for keeping the Palladium clean, and in order and even help stacking the chairs away at the close of the event. He tried desperately to engage the mechanism to fully open the divided walls to both ballrooms but was not successful. He is present at nearly all weekend dance events at the Palladium. If you see him, it would be a good gesture to make his day by giving him the SHAKA, BRO sign.

Aiea Ballroom Dance Association-Hawaii has another social dance coming up this coming Tuesday at the Palladium. You can check it out at my other blog by clicking on That's Dancing for more info.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Week That Was May 22nd

Two of my youngest Princesses are performing members of the Iolani School Dance Team and this past Sunday was a prelude to the High School Dance Team Competition coming up this Saturday at the Kaimuki High School. As I watched my 17 year old granddaughter perform Hip Hop, Lyrics, and Modern dances with her Team on the floor of the Iolani School lower gym, I couldn't help but flashback when she was a little bundle of energy.

Anyway, the Dance Team treated the audience of mom and dads, and friends, to a non-stop 17 fantastic performances that wowed the crowd. The dancers were grouped by grade levels but I'm pretty sure there were some eight to ten year olds from other schools participating in the showcase.

My youngest Princess just graduated from elementary school this Tuesday. And she performed the hula and a little hip hop in a group at the graduation ceremony. The girls are growing a lot faster now in this cyber space age and I'm glad that they are immersed in a variety of dance forms.
IBDI opened their 2011 3rd Term Dance Classes at the Palladium on Monday. After returning from an exciting 5 day experience in Las Vegas a week before, our dancing feet were still itchy. So Lani and I cruised over to the Palladium to visit our IBDI friends Sergio and Renna. There were many faces at the first dance class who we knew from many moons before. It was IBDC then before IBDI. Got to bump fist with the guys and hugs from the gals. Prez Chris and wife Charlene also welcomed Lani and me into the club. Renna and Sergio taught the Samba Variation l & ll class. We've always enjoyed their dancing in showcases since the first time we saw them perform in a Mock Competition Dance. There was vigor and expertise in their teaching abilities and it was a pleasure being in their Samba Variations dance class.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Congrats To Rita O'Connor

West Coast Swing Gold Medal Awarded to Maui Dance Professional Rita!

Saturday, May 14th - At a West Coast Swing Continuing Ed Teacher's Training Intensive, Maui Dance Professional, Rita O'Connor, NDCA* placed first in a dance competition with dancers from the mainland, as well as Singapore, Sweden and Australia!

Rita was awarded a gold medal in this non-sanctioned competition by the GSDTA with National Judges including West Coast Swing Champions Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollman and Sharlot Bott & Mark Scheuffele among others!

Rita is very proud to bring the gold home to Maui!

Pictured: World's Top West Coast Swing Champions, Jordan Frisbee & Tatiana Mollman congratulate Maui Dance Professional Rita O'Connor* on placing first during the dance competition portion of the event!

*NDCA - National Dance Council of America (Latin & Ballroom Professional Dance Organization

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Las Vegas Extravaganza II

Las Vegas, sometimes called the Sin City. It was the Mecca for big time as well as for the initiates like Lani and me. Got there by way of Vacations Hawaii Travel Package. Good Deal! Lani and I were there this past Thursday for the IBDI Las Vegas Extravaganza....a dinner and dance event with a showcase of talented dancers at the Red Rock Room located in the Sam's Town Hotel & Casino. It was a nice scenic ride that late afternoon from downtown as our driver and travel agent, Roy Hamasaki gave us a history tour of old Las Vegas.

The Red Rock Room was spacious enough for the approximately 100 guests. No Host Cocktails and General Dancing started at 6PM. Like all dance events, there's always the Lovelies that greet the guests at the Reception Table with their friendly smile and these lovely ladies were no exception.

The Event Coordinators and Ticket Sales were IBDI Prez Christopher Jay, Marsha Ninomiya, and Lynn Nakamura and they did a fantastic job organizing this event. Big kudos to Richard and Lynn Nakamura for putting up an exciting showcase program, too. But it was time for Prez Chris Jay to take the mike and welcome both IBDI and Dance Hawaii members, and guests. It was a welcome speech full of friendliness and comarade. Bob Nishimura, Treasurer for Dance Hawaii also gave a welcome speech which was equally heart warming.

We really lucked on the Music Players. We had not only one but three DeeJays that spun the web of the most appealing danceable music. And during dinner, they played all soft Latin music...Bolero and Rumba which were very soothing when dining and having a conversation with friends and new acquaintences sitting at the same table.

Talent was not reserved only for the dancers. Chudy Amazaki treated the guests with a beautiful solo sung partly in Japanese. And just like the reality show, Dancing With The Stars, Henry and Joann Rimas demonstrated their talent as accomplished dancers in a solo dance while Chudy sang. Certainly a very nice touch for this event.

General Dancing continued till 7PM and then it was time to replenish our energy with the Buffet Dinner. Renna Villanueva gave a wonderful invocation with words straight from the heart...very touching. The buffet was ono and the desserts were plentiful...I couldn't stop at one piece of Dobash cake with coconut frosting, but at two I did, much to the encouragement of my main squeeze!

To add to the goodies, Helen Inase donated Favors from Las Vegas Jerky, Etc. Not quite the ordinary Favors since they came in useable green purse-like pouches. Very classy!

Then it was SHOWTIME at 8:45. Lani and I felt that this Showcase was going to be special and a spectacular one with the addition of the "Dance Now Team" from Los Angeles, and the "Rebel Dance Sport Team" (with Hawaii dancer Joshua Manzano) from the University of Nevada.

Sergio and Renna Villanueva opened the Dance Exhibition with a Sizzling Cha Cha. This couple has always given their best surprise and innovative performances that thrilled the audience in Honolulu whether it be smooth or rhythm dancing. Their rendition of the Cha Cha in Vegas was a hot number indeed! There was a slight accident in their performance that could happen to any exhibition dancers (you've seen it happen even in Dancing With The Stars), but true to their professionalism and Dancersport experience Sergio and Renna continued on without a break in rhythm. It was a terrific performance that I hope they will do again in Honolulu.

Dancing is ageless as the "Dance Now Team" from LA performed a Medley of Quickstep, Jitterbug, and Swing. The "Team" of active seniors wowed the audience with their fast and nimble footwork, and flexible body movements. A little magical change in costumes to harmonize with the tempo of the music added more wows and applauses to the team's performance. Dancing at non-stop speed on all three dances, the "Team" included Bill Steaber & Barbara Greenlaw, Bill Morey & Gee Gee Barde, Jim & Andrea Gutman,and Frank Trapp & Keiko Isshiki. It was an enjoyable performance and very well done.

The temperature rose sometime during the evening and like at the Palladium in Honolulu, slowly those hand-held fans started to appear. I thought the appearance of the Rebel Dance Sport Team was the cause of it, since they were hidden from view until they stepped into the ballroom. The costumes worn by the guys and gals were colorful ala Las Vegas show performers. The young college students were from the University of Nevada that competes in dance contests throughout the USA. The Medley of International Cha Cha, Rumba, Quickstep, Samba, and Swing performed by Alex Andres & Kristine Glori, Steven Knapp & Arlene Losloso, Innie Kim & Maria Amezcua, and Joshua Manzano & Kimberly Reid was electrifying and very entertaining. A touch of cabaret dancing with lifts brought excitement to the performance. It was a great non-stop performance and no mere task with high speed movements filled with unbounded energy. Kudos to choreographers Amanda Haboush and Gail Michel-Parsons for a job well done!

The IBDI Formation Team comprised of Roy & Marsha Ninomiya, Edward & Candy Matsuda, Richard & Lynn Nakamura, and Larry Arinaga & Candace Yap concluded the Showcase of Exhibition Dancing with the International Quickstep. Precision and disciple of the dancers certainly showed in this dance performance choreographed by Richard and Lynn Nakamura.
It was another eye-opener of speed dancing well done by the Formation Team from IBDI....circling the dance floor, pulling apart, and then ending in a cluster was an distintive art by itself. Clever moves for team formation exhibition dancing.

The whole Showcase was entertaining, colorful, and filled with excitement and energy to the very end. With the loud applauses that all the performers received at the finale, it was a perfect indication that the Showcase was a successful and an enjoyable one for all who were there.

General dancing continued till closing. Gotta recognize a guy and a gal who worked in the background for this event: Ray Nariyoshi (Treasurer of Las Vegas Event), and Nancy Shen (Tickets and Printing).
Left click on photos to zoom in.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

A Good Point

If you have been following Pepe's Club Dancer blog, he makes a good point about advertisement on the blog. It can turn off readers.....why? the pure and simple reason is that they rather read about what went on at the event.
Now,Pepe has covered a lot of ground on his several blogs. And that's commendable for a guy who travels by bus and bicycle to bring you news about our dancing community almost daily. But Pepe cannot cover every event that's been advertised on his blog. Neither can I. I've lost (ahem) my super powers (ahem) due to age and the high cost of living. So shouting "SHAZAM" will not get me to attend every event that's advertised on my blog and write about how successful they were. Okay! Nuff said!