Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hawaii Gardenia Circle Latin Festival 2013


Another BLOCKBUSTER of a dance event at the Palladium on Saturday (3/16) hosted by the Hawaii Gardenia Circle (HGC). Credit goes to all HGC members who pitched in to make this a successful affair and a huge honor goes to Gayle Kawahakui for spearheading and organizing this event that brings some of Hawaii's top Latin Competition Dancers under one roof.

It has happened before and it has happened once trusty camera malfunctioned during the showcase. So there will be no photos wth this blog. Hopefully someone in Pepe's blogspere will post his or her photos to show how colorful the Latin Festival was and the various techniques and energy of the participants. 
David Mayman and Haruko
Lani and I got to the Palladium while the ballroom was filled with dancers...all moving to the mellow music of DeeJays Henry Lee and Jane Umeda. We were greeted by Hawaii Gardenia Circle 1st VP David Mayman who was at the Reception Table with Haruko. We were given tickets for bento in exchange for our prepaid admission tickets. It was a good size crowd...some of the guests were at the IBDI Inaugural Ball at the Pacific Beach Hotel the night before. General dancing continued until HGC 1st VP  David Mayman took to the microphone to welcome all the guests.

EmCee Kay Yahiku
EmCee for the program was Kay Yahiku, that diminutive dynamo who has a big voice. (When Kay speaks, everybody listens). Much thanks to Kay for providing the names and info of the participating dancers in the Latin Festival Showcase. The dancers (mock) competed in the Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba, Mambo, and Jive. Some dancers did all five dances while others did as few as one. The largest group to compete were from Sergio and Renna Villanueva's Dance Appeal Studio. Sergio danced four different dances with four different ladies, and Renna danced three different dances with three different guys. All others had their regular partner.

At the start of the Showcase, there was a dance exhibition of Latin Medley by Jacbo Himoto and Gisella West. Mr. Himoto is the Dance Director for the Arthur Murray Dance Studio Honolulu, and Ms. West is the owner of the Arthur Murray Dance Studios Honolulu and Kailua.

The dancers in the Latin Festival Showcase were five dance participants: Edwin & Charlotte Bugarin, Mike & Lorri Chun, Richard & Lynn Nakamura, Calvin & Debra Ota. Four dances participants without the Mambo: Jackson Cho & June Choong, and the youngest dancers Ikaika Villanueva & Brandee Nakamura. Two dances participants in the Cha Cha and Rumba: Romeo & Karin Navares, and Gene & Karin Peles. Renna Villanueva & Robert Schiff danced the Rumba and Mambo. Renna & Jesse Armantiad danced the Samba, and Renna & Alvin Kutara danced the Cha Cha. Sergio Villanueva & Susan Hiwa danced the Rumba. Sergio & Bernie Keliia'a danced the Cha Cha. Sergio & Becky O'Reilly danced the Mambo. Sergio & Stacie Jo Stanley danced the Jive.
I think everyone enjoyed the showcase performance coming from the loud applause and encouragement. It was a very good showcase with seasoned performers  ....colorful with some dynamic moves. Hopefully, at next year's Latin Festival the lights in center of the ballroom will be turned on brighter during the exhibition dancing and (mock) competition.