Monday, January 30, 2012

The 63rd Narcissus Coronation Ball

Boy, what a night it turned out to be this past Saturday in Waikiki. It's the little adventures that added some sparkle to Lani and me. We hadn't been to the Hilton Hawaiian Village for a big number of moons. Getting there was no problem except when we hit a gridlock at Kapiolani and McCully. So smart as I am (well I think I made a smart move), I pulled out of the left turn lane and headed for Atkinson Drive. Well it seemed like nearly everybody else had the same idea. More traffic but we got to the Hilton HV in plenty of time before the Open Bar opened. Lots of parking spots on the 3rd floor. Of course finding the Coral Ballroom was another task. I think we must've covered the whole acreage of the Village before we seeked help from one of the employees of this massive Village. "Eh, bro az da saym playc way ya wen pak yor car". Good thing, I'm local and can understand pidgin. Getting to the Coral Ballroom on the 6th floor was no problem. Hilton HV had gone high tech with the electronic prepay parking fee machine. Good feature and I believe every hotel needs a high tech device like this to speed the parking lot exit.....but you gotta read the instructions very cafefully if it's your first time use.....otherwise.........

Outside the Coral Ballroom were filled with guys in black suite and tie, and the ladies were mostly duked up in their finest Chinese garments. And the gals in the Coronation party..well pardon my French...OOH LA LA!

The Grand Opening Ceremony started with "24 Seasonal Drums" and  "2 Majestic Dragons" performed by Gee Yung International Martial Arts Lion & Dragon Dance Association. The loud drumming was consistant to wake up the dragons that followed.....a Red Dragon and a Green Dragon. A very impressive dance by the young martial artists of one of the oldest martial arts organizations in Hawaii.

Remember my other blog on the Narcissus Coronation Ball about keeping an eye open for the "girl with the dragon tattoo"? Our table was about 10 or 15 yards from the stage but I manage to get close for a candid shot of the lady EmCee,  the pretty Stephanie Lum from KHNL/KGMB TV.

It was a huge annual event and there were three distinguished speakers to give the welcome messges.... Mr. John  Hui (President of Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii); Mr. Leonard Kam (President-Elect & General Chairman of the 63rd Narcissus Festival); and Honorable Peter Carlisle (Mayor of the City & County of Honolulu).

Mustn 't forget the introduction of some important guests.....too, too many for me to recount. So I leave it to the video guys to hammer that portion out.

There were a lot of beauties parading on the runway to the stage and they look like the royal court of 2011. Again, they were too numerous for a point and shoot camera buff like me. So it's in the hands of the video guys, again.

The invocation was said by 2008 Narcissus 2nd Princess Leilani Soon. Then dinner was served. It may have been a 6 or 7 course Chinese dinner but I lost count after four delicious entries cuz I'm not much of a big eater.  Maybe the other nine tablemates were small eaters, too, cuz there were so much leftovers for anyone to scoop up for the next day's dinner.

There was break before the main program Lani and I went gallivanting around the ballroom to see if we can spark anybody we knew. There were some of our dance students scattered all over the place. but most of the hard core dancers were on four tables near the large dance floor.  Most of the dancers are members of IBDI, Dance Magic 808, and various dance clubs along the Moanalua Corridor.

The Main Program went smoothly thanks to the expert hands of Lady EmCee Stephanie Lum, and Michele Ching Choy, Chairperson of the Coronation Ball.

The Program opened with a hula dance by the Halau Hula Olana under the direction of Olana Ai. The hula with many dancers performed on the runway and on the stage. It was colorful and well done in unison. There was a solo hula dancer, too, which Lani described her performance as graceful and professional.

The hula performance was followed by the Parade of Past Presidents of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce to honor Our Dragon Emperors on the Chambers 100th Anniversary. There were 18 presidents....too many to list here I'll let the photo tell the story.

There was a huge procession featuring the 2012 Narcissus Contestants and the 63rd Narcissus Queen and Court. All of them filled the stage and it was a colorful picture. Mayor Peter Carlisle crowned 63rd Narcissus Queen Tiffany Ho Yun Au as 1st Princess Amanda Mei Ling Wong, 2nd Princess Stephanie Hui Yuan Wang, 3rd Princess Julianne Joo Lai Cheng, and 4th Princess Cherie Oi Mei Ching looked on.

There were a couple of entertainment. Opera singer Bai He sang three operatic songs and she was magnificent. What a beautiful voice and what a treat to hear a singer that gives me chicken-skin. Okay, dat's how magnificent she sang. I didn't quite get a handle on the other act but they received a lot of applauses, too. Maybe a picture of that act can translate into a thousand words.

Richard and Lynn Nakamura of Dance magic 808 had choreographed a Waltz Formation dance for the Chinese Chamber of Commerce Officers and 2012 Narcissus Queen and Court. Participanting officers were President John Hui, President-elect Leonard J.K.H. Kam, Immediate Past President Jeffery D. Lau, Past President Alvin C.P. Wong, and Past President Edward Y.W. Pei. Whether it was nerve-wrecking or joyous for dancing in front of a large audience, it wasn't visible. But the aftermath sure told the story. Outside the ballroom, the Officers and Royal Court were congratulating each other with hugs and compliments for a well performed choreographed dance.

With the program almost coming to an end, I made like a paprazzi and cornered some of the beauties  for some photo shoot with the help of Richard and Lynn Nakamura. I don't know if my point and shoot camera photos did any justice for this 63rd Narcissus Coronation Festival but I hope it did. One thing for sure it was a very colorful event with awesome entertainment....a program very well organized.

General dancing till midnight concluded the program. The dance music was chosen by Richard and Lynn and spun by DeeJays from LA Image Mobile Entertainment with a great sound system.

This was Lani and my first time attending a Narcissus Coronation Ball and we were amaze seeing some unusual but colorful ornaments such as the huge umbrella like shade that the Royal attendant is holding and following the Queen, and the foot piece that gave some height to the contestants as they paraded to the stage.

So was the "girl with the dragon tattoo" there? HMMMM!!!
(Left click on photo to zoom in)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

IBDI Inaugural Ball Part 2

Boy, I really overloaded this time. Too many things happening this first month of 2012. The PLATE! The PLATE! Just like what my main squeeze keep warning me...."too much on my plate; goin' take long time to chew down; and can choke if you rush it." Yeah! she one smart wahine. So now I gonna try finish this blog with the utmost care before my plate gets full again.

Monday, January 23, 2012

IBDI Inaugural Ball

Boy! What a weekend it turned out to be. Sure kept me on my toes and choosing which of  the pressing priorities I needed to tackle first on and off cyberspace.. Two birthdays (my beautiful teenage granddaughter and my beautiful first wife...okay just kidding. I mean my beautiful main squeeze forever and ever and forever); a wedding (my son the Defense Lawyer and my new daughter-in-law the Prosecuting Attorney); and the highlights of the IBDI Inaugural Ball at the Pacific Beach Hotel posting on this blog. PRIORITIES! PRIORITIES! Good thing that my main squeeze got us through the first and second stuff on the list. As for a teen age granddaughter, ours was not hard to please, and Lani was satisfied "dancing our a** off" at the IBDI Inaugural Ball and scooping the beautiful centerpiece on our table because her birthday was the closest date to last Friday. Incidentlly, the centerpiece was made and donated by exhibition dancer Emi Matsuoka. We're still experiencing the happiness of the wedding so I'm gonna jump the hurdle to the IBDI extravadanza at the Pacific Beach for now.

Lani and I got to the Pacific Beach Hotel in plenty of time...lots of empty parking spots on the 3rd and 4th floor...almost thought we had the wrong date or wrong hotel. Tom and Bunny were outside the Grand Ballroom when we got to the 7th floor. Chatted a little and then it was time to check in for our table number as more dancers exited the elevator and headed for the ballroom. As usual Dana Morey was manning the Reception Table but this time with a new gal, Barbara Troegner. And as usual, there's always a big smile with a welcome and "thank you for coming to our dance". Inside the ballroom, Eugene Shen ushered us to our table. Still early so Lani and I cruised around to say hello to some friends till our tablemates arrived....Richard and Lynn, Noli and Wowee, Derrick and Kieko, and Wayne and Joyce. Lani and I got to make words with the IBDI Dance Director Steven Sambrano, too, before warming up on the dance floor.

Tonight at the "Ball" was for the installation of the 2012 IBDI Officers and Board of Directors and to acknowledge the services of key volunteers who were retiring.....the gracious Grace Nohara (1st VP), and the dazzling Dance Director Renna Villanueva           .....there may be others.

It's never a dull moment when you have an EmCee that can keep the heartbeat beating at a high level and there have been several at many events such as tonight. But tonight, IBDI got one of the best in Shari Berinobis. This lady EmCee got the know-how on how to keep the "ball" rolling with humor and authority throughout the evening. Lots of time and space for dancing before the program starts. And again IBDI hit the jackpot in  getting Henry Lee and Jane Umeda to DeeJay. The music selections were great for dancing and the sound system even better.

Shirley Zhuang said the invocation with spirited words before the grindz time. As usual, PBH buffet was onolicious. More general dancing continued during dinner time and before the Installation of Officers.

Shawn Ching, TV Newscaster and personality was introduced by Shari to officiate the installation of officers.  Not missing a beat,  Shari added some bio of Shawn as a sports figure at the UH, a business lawyer, and married to Stephanie (?). Anyway Shawn maneuvered his way through the installation with skill and precision and the installation was all pau without any hitch. The officers for 2012 are Christopher Jay (Prez), Marsha Ninomiya (1st VP), Steven Sambrano (2nd VP and Dance Director), Barbara Troegner (Secretary), and Shirley Zhuang (Treasurer). The Board of Directors are Karen Choy, Robert Diana, Arnold Lee, Edward Matsuda, Dana Morey, and Eugene Shen.    

With the BIG business already done, it was time for the BIG man to get hold of the mike. Prez Chris was eloquent in his President's Message. A year had passed with good vibes and there are some changes in store for the 2012 year. Got some new officers and some new members for the Board of Directors. Marsha Ninomiya takes over where Grace Nohara left off. That's gonna be a big shoes for Marsha to fill but knowing her, she's got that go get'um spirit and you can expect to see some big things happening in 2012.

Okay, it was time for the fun to begin. Shari got all the 2012 Officers and Board Members to start off the SNOWBALL dance.  I couldn't hide behind the camera cuz my shutterbug friend aka Charlene Jay made a beeline for me as Prez Chris Jay took Lani on the dance floor. The SNOWBALL dance is so much fun especially when the dances are the Cha Cha or the Rumba.

Then it was SHOWTIME! Part I. There were a variety of Professionals in the exhibition dances. It was good having to begin with a dance that have so much power....the Samba. Professional Carlos Chang and Charlotte Bugarin were magnificent in this fast moving dance.

(To be continued. So stay tuned for more coverage on the Exhibition Dance Showcase. Left click on photos to zoom in)

Monday, January 09, 2012

USA Dance January Blast

Gotta thank Glenn for keeping this weblog in the loop on how USA Dance fared at their January dance this past Saturday at the Palladium. If you missd the BLAST, no hu hu! There's another one coming up in March. (Left click on Glenn's e-mail)

Friday, January 06, 2012

Line Dancing With Salome

It's Friday morning and the day looking to be a nice sunny day and a good time to go holo holo with my main squeeze Lani. Last week, we headed towards Kailua town and the traffic was slow going from the Castle Junction all the way on Kailua Road. Lots of new shops since we last visited Kailua but with no where to park, we headed to Kaneohe town. Nice drive but nothing new to see. We hadn't hit Like Like Hwy for ages and it was a nice cruise and scenery. But today, our best bet was to consult the MidWeek on where to cruise.  We hadn't seen our long time friend Salome in many moons. You know the gal that spices up the dancing StepTaculars on stage, a member of the Red Hats, and sometimes she's a blond ooh la la? Okay, all kidding aside. Good friend Salome opened a new 8-weeks Line Dance Class for Seniors at the New Hope Diamond Head Auditorium in Kahala Mall this morning at 10:30 to 11:30. The hitch is that you gotta be 60 or plus for the $1/hour good deal and a one-time registration fee of 5 bucks. Best thing about it is that it's in the morning. You can reach Salome at 737-4596 for more info.

My main squeeze decided to join in with the other 16 line dancers in this nice spacious air conditioned
auditorium. Salome is such a good teacher that she gave more than dance steps. As with all her classes, there's a little light chat to get everyone comfortable. Then there's the warm-up exercise with isolation and stretching before the  first step is taught; followed by a multitude of full body movements while dancing, and at the end of the session, there's always the cool down movements. The class runs every Friday morning till February 24.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

IBDI New Year Ball

Lani and I were looking forward to this IBDI last dance of 2011 and ringing in the new year with the New Years Ball at the Pacific Beach Hotel this past Saturday. It was a beautiful afternoon (Lani's words) and the drive from Hawaii Kai  to Waikiki was a breeze. Parking at the hotel wasn't a problem tho' we were parked on the 4th floor garage. Two of IBDI's four best greeters greeted us at the ballroom entrance....friendly and always with a "glad to see you" smile..Dana and Delia.

We were a bit early so we hung around the lanai and made small chat with other dancers and guest
as they arrived. DeeJays Henry and Jane were still setting up for the long haul till midnight. But as soon as the music came on and tickled the ears of the dancers, the dance floor drew a lot of dancers. Henry and Jane did not disappoint with their rotating tempo from Slow Dancing to the High Powered Samba. The good dance music must've got to them, too, and it was good to see Henry and Jane dancing together.

EmCee for the evening was IBDI Prez Chris Jay who handled the 6 hour wait to the New Year with ease...sprinkling a fun program with games along with general dancing. But first, a huge welcome to all and a promise to make it a fun evening till the stroke of midnight. And that he did. Chris also said the invocation before the buffet dinner. Recognition and well deserved praises were given to 1st VP Grace Nohara who was a long time volunteer for IBDI and will be officially retiring at the end of 2011.

Gracious Grace Nohara has been the backbone of IBDI's organizing system. Her presence and friendly nature has always made guests and visiting professional dance teachers feel comfortable. Her organizational skills have brought professional exhibition dancers to perform for IBDI Showcases. Some as far as from Japan. She will be sorely missed.

General Dancing

No New Years Ball should fade away without a King and Queen. There was no primary or general election. Knowing how to dance was not a prerequisite. In order to gain the royal status, the winners had to have the lucky ticket number. For 2011 Ball, the lucky ticket holders were "King" Eugene Shen, and "Queen" Anna Kim. To seal the title of royal couple, Eugene and Anna had to dance around the ballroom floor to a Waltz. They danced beautifully with loud vocal encouragement from the audience.

One of the fun games resembled small kid time "Ring Around The Rosy" but more adult way. Since approx. 170 dances and guests couldn't be on the dance floor at one time, certain table numbers were called to participate. The objective was to rotate around the circle as the music played on (guys clockwise and gals counterclockwise) and when the music stopped, the couple facing each other was dance partners number 1. And it went on till there were three partners for each couple. I think it was a test for memory. The fun followed with couples dancing the Rumba, Cha Cha, and the Waltz. The remaining table numbers did the same routine.
More General Dancing
Another fun game was the Horse Shoe Dance. It brought nearly all the
 guests and dancers on the floor to participate.  Could it be that the $5
award to the couple that were at the starting gate when the music
stopped was a brilliant incentive?  It was fun and a lot of $5 bills
were awarded out to the lucky couples.

Not to be outdone by the Horse Shoe Dance, the Snowball
was equally with incentives. When the music stopped, the person
dancing with a partner whose name was called out received a
$5 gift certificate to Zippy's Restaurant. 
More General Dancing

(aka Jen Ken Po)

1st to 5th Place Winners of the Jen Ken Po Game

More General Dancing

This was a fun game that Lani and I put our hearts and
lungs to, whole heartily (pardon da pun). Had two chances
to inflate the balloons and attempt to burst them using our
tummys but was not successful. However it brought a lot of
laughter when my round balloons turned to pear shape. 
Sure enough, there was a "Grand Prize" to the lucky ticket number holder.

More General Dancing

At the stroke of midnight, Derrick uncorked the bottle of
champagne (?) and we toasted to the New Year with those little
pop makers and  singing "Auld Lang Syne".  However the program did
not end there. Everyone met on the dance floor, forming a circle,
and holding hands.  Lani and I had never experienced this wonderful
way of bidding "A Happy New Year" to everyone. It was like a Tsunami
rushing across the dance floor to brush cheeks with the gals and wishing
"A Happy New Year" to the guys.  We must have done the Tsunami Rush
at least 10 times but then who's counting when you're having fun!     
To Prez Chris Jay, Charlene, Grace, behind-scene volunteers, and
the Event Organizing Committee: the program, the dance music
arrangement,  the games, and the ono buffet was very  well put
together. And from the joys and laughter heard from all the  guests
and dancers who were present, it was an enjoyable sendoff for
Year 2011 and welcoming the 2012 New Year!

(left click on photo to zoom in)