The Matsuri Hawaii Goodwill Dance at the Pacific Beach Hotel on Friday night was co-sponsored by IBDI. It was a good fund raising cause to aid the Japan Disaster Relief Fund. Lani and I had gone to last year's Matsuri Dance and had a good feeling that this year would be just as or more spectacular than last years. But first we had to get there early enough to find a parking space. Traffic wasn't too bad leaving Hawaii Kai at a little past 5PM. However, we ended up on the 5th floor parking area with other cars still searching for a parking spot.
When we got to the Grand Ballroom on the 7th floor, we could hear the good dance music. How could you blame this couple for waltzing to the Lovelies: Shirley, Delia, and Dana at the Reception Table .
Inside the Ballroom, there were only a few dancers on the floor. It was a good time to warm up before the big crowd got to fill the dancing area. The DeeJays were Henry Lee and Jane; a terrific duo whose dance music are vibrant and spellbound that makes anyone to get up and dance. General dancing continued till it was time for the host to take the mike for the welcome speech.
Host speaker was IBDI Prez Chris Jay who introduced the Japan delegation, the live band, the superb professional singer Kaori, and the exciting showcase performers. Two representatives from Japan came to the podium to speak up their appreciation of this dance event.
The EmCee was Marsha Nanomiya who was the event interpreter that welcomed the visiting Japan guests in Japanese and later said the invocation before the buffet dinner. Incidently, the delicious entries were a good fit for the guests from Japan, and the entire program was well organized.
It had a touch from that wonderful lady Grace Nohara in them. Appears that everything she touches turns golden and this years Matsuri Goodwill Dance certainly showed it. Kudos also the many hands who made this event successful.
It was time to get everyone on the dance floor to dance and IBDI Prez Chris quickly announce the "SnowBall". I think the best "ice-breaker dance" is the "Snow Ball". It is effective in getting even the most ardent seat-warmer off the chair to dance. No, not the old fashion Waltz but the heart thumping Cha Cha and the sensuous Rumba did the trick.
Time was set aside for the dancers from Japan to showcase their rendition of the Cha Cha, Tango, Rumba, and the Waltz. It was a good gesture and an opportunity for the visitors to show that they have showcase talents, too.
It was a big surprise when professional singer Kaori and the Band from Japan took to the stage. It's been a very long time since dancing to live band music. The five member band and Kaori belted out the best array of dance music that ever played for a dance since the days of Del Courtney at the Sheraton Waikiki.
Showtime started at about 9PM with the exciting Paso Doble by professional teacher Yanna Samkova, and Cole Horibe. There was no calming of the storm of this performance as every move was like precise lightning strikes with high flying elevations by Cole. It was a terrific performance filled with passion and excellence.
Pirates of the Caribbean kept the temperature rising as professional teacher Lucas Jaime, and Emi Matsuoka continued the tempo with a dynamic medley of dances ala a touch of Tango and Paso Doble.
A delightful International Waltz by professional teacher Sharon Liu, and Jun Lim soon followed. It was the only Standard dance in the showcase and it was well performed.
"The young and the restless" as professional teacher Renna Villanueva, and grandson Ikaika were introduced put a new twist to freestyle Jive dancing. It was very entertaining and a marvelous display of showmanship.
Marie and Paul Laderta joined Yanna and Lucas in this colorful performance of "Algeria". It was a fast moving performance and very well performed by the foursome.
A short intermission followed with general dancing.
The Professional Showcase featured Yanna Samkova and Lucas Jaime performing a cabaret style dance to "This Love". It had artistry, balance, passion, and strength in motion at its very best.
After the Professional Showcase, Kaori and the Band provided the music for general dancing. Portions of the ticket sales was donated to the Japan Disaster Relief Fund.
The music was still hot to trot when Lani and I left for the drive back home. It was a terrific evening of social dancing, a wonderful showcase, fine food, and most of all socializing with good friends. We certainly enjoyed this year's Matsuri Goodwill Dance and I gotta admit: We Danced Our A** Off.
(Left click on photo to zoom in)