Thursday, July 24, 2014

SRO @Dream To Dance Grand Opening Party

Carlos and Debby Borges Barboza's DREAM TO DANCE dance studio Grand Opening kicked off with a BANG this past Monday night. And a BIG BIG BANG I might say. It was SRO (Standing Room Only). It wasn't hard to find the new DTD dance studio on the 2nd floor of the Palama Fish Market building, given the explicit directions by our host Debby. Parking was no problem since there was ample parking both in the Fish Market lot and across the street. Lani and I got there a bit early and the studio was starting to fill with familiar faces that you come across at the many dance events at the Palladium and the Pacific Beach Hotel.
The Studio has a spacious dance floor, nicely decorated studio 
and air conditioned and with high ceiling fans. Pictures of  
famous dance icons covered the upper walls, and  mirrors 
at each end of the studio and one side of of the studio. The 
   other side has large windows facing the street 

As we found our way to the soft cushioned seats, a lady kept beaming a smile at Lani and me. Mystery woman? Not really... I hadn't seen Noreen Nakamoto, the leader of the WASABI Oldies 50s & 60s Band for quite a spell. It was good to see her again and made small chat. And it was good to see our friends Paul and Marie Laderta from Divino Ritmo Dance there, too.

More guests started to come into the studio and pretty soon it was SRO. Lani and I found a good seat at the edge of the dance floor, next to Ceci and her friend. (Sorry I didn't get his name). Talk about burning the floor! This couple were on the floor constantly and having a good time.

Tape music played on as the live band SON CARIBE was setting up. Our host Debby was busy greeting guests as they entered the studio. A sweet little lady came by and asked us if we wanted to enter the contest for door prizes. No fan fair..just a matter of writing our names on a ticket stub that was deposited in a plastic bowl. The dance floor got crowded as the music..Waltz, West Coast Swing, Hustle, Rumba, Salsa, East Coast Swing, etc. beckoned the dancers to the hard wood floor.

 Then Carlos and Debby came to the microphone and welcomed everyone to the Grand Opening of their new dance studio.

Some notable guest in our dance community huddled before Carlos and Debby as they gave their warm welcome message. Among them were ,Christopher Bayot, Shari B., Doug Kesler, Geoffrey Fells, Marie Laderta, David Easa and friend (I'm gonna get her name one of these days fo' sure).

After the saying of the invocation, it was time to enjoy the festivity with the buffet that covered the long table that stretched from one corner of the room to the other. Kudos to the menu preparator of the ono eats.

Then it was time to PARTY with Son Caribe with HOT SALSA and MORE! The rhythm was da kine that makes the body move the Latino way. Ay Caraba! I've never seen so many different body isolation action done to a 5-minute music. But it was there for all the dancers who dared to get down and d**** and don't mind the sweating. It was night club dancing at its best....Merengue, Cha Cha, Salsa, and Bachata. Some how the Bachata which Lani and I have never learned and danced got under our skin and drew us to the dance floor. I think we got all fired up that it wasn't hard getting into the spirit of the Bachata. It's a fun dance with a lot of "move your body to the rhythm".


It was a party to celebrate and enjoy. As an added attraction with music played by Son Caribe, there was an acrobatic show high above the dance floor. It was a spectacular and skillful watching the reality TV show "America's Got Talent". Dangerous as it seemed, it was entertaining and wow! it was mighty courageous of the performer.

(Left click to zoom in)

The hot sounds of Son Caribe continued to fill the standing room only studio and nearly all the time there was a wall of happy dancers dancing at the edge of the dance floor.

A short break was called to announce the names of the lucky door prize winners. And there were several of them that walked away with Jackets , and T shirts. The biggest prize was worth more than $400.00 credit to be used at the  upcoming Hawaii Star Ball. Guest speaker was David Alvarez for Hawaii Star Ball.

Then the cool madness of Hot Latino music echoed throughout the Dream To Dance Studio and energized more dancers to the dance floor. It was a successful Grand Opening Party of the studio for Carlos and Debby and Lani and I wish them and the Dream To Dance studio continuing success with the "Dream".

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Salsa with Greg "The Salsaman"

Last night was the IBDI 3rd Term 7th and final session for the Salsa dance class with Greg "The Salsaman" Henry and assistant Yvonne. As I mentioned in my previous blog that Lani and I had not formally learned Salsa. So learning from a distinguished professional was a refreshing move for us. As Lani describes Greg, "he is a very good instructor, speaks very clear and well, and shares a lot of little tips that sometimes are overlooked". Well, I share the same sentiments. Although, Lani and I were schooled in the Mambo, it was a matter of making a few adjustments to match the steps and arm techniques of the Salsa. It wasn't difficult to make the changes because following Greg's verbal instructions and related movements made it easy to flow from the basic syllabus to the intricate moves. The class always started with  some "limbering exercise", and then followed by posture and arm techniques before going into the routine of the basic steps and intricate moves. After the final session last night, Greg permitted the students to take video of Yvonne and him demonstrating all the Salsa steps (syllabus) he had taught during the past seven sessions. I was able to get a few snips of the Salsa moves which Greg says, "you can expand the moves by improvising some of the basics".


Greg "The Salsaman" is on the IBDI 4th Term Dance Class schedule to teach the Bachata. Please click on "That's Dancing" on the side bar and scroll to IBDI 4th Term Class Schedule for more info.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Divino Ritmo Presents House Warming Party

This past Saturday (July 12) Lani and I attended the "House Warming Party" as guests of our friends Paul and Marie Laderta. The "party" was held at DRD's Aloha Dancesport Center, owned by Lucas Jaime and Yanna Samkova, on Ward Avenue. If you haven't been to the newest dance studio in Honolulu, then you should, even if just to look  in on the spacious main ballroom. As we entered the ballroom on the 2nd floor of 350 Ward Avenue, beautiful Yanna Samkova greeted us and escorted us to our assigned table. We were sitted at the Ewa end of the huge ballroom with a large wall mirror in back of us. The tables were situated in "U" shape facing the wall to wall mirrors. I couldn't resist taking this photo using the reflection from the mirror to show the size of the main ballroom after our table mates Jerry & Violet, and Bosley & Terry went on the dance floor. 

Social dancing went on for a while until Lucas Jaime welcomed everyone and invited all to the buffet table in the main ballroom. The buffet dinner included many of the delicious Filipino entries that one would think Lucas and Yanna have a Filipino chef under wraps. Any way there were a large selection of delicious items to filled the plate. And I gotta mention among the different dessert was the giant strawberries with a machine churning melted chocolate. Yummy!

The music players for the evening were Lucas Jaime and Susan Park. The music they played had all the makings to bring all sorts of dancers to the dance floor...International style tempo and American style tempo, the many Latin rhythms including the Argentine Tango, Bachata and Merengue. And there was the Polka, also. Social dancing continued on and to get some of the guests who were not dancing to get off their seats, Lucas led a Conga Line Dance to the Merengue beat. That was fun dancing for everyone.

The DRD Students Performance was a preview of the upcoming DRD Showcase. The DRD Formation Team performed a Rumba/Jive Medley. The Rumba was smooth and very well done and closing the dance with the energetic Jive added entertainment to the performance. 

Concluding the performance part of the program, Lucas and Yanna performed a cabaret dance with a Latin flavor. It was hot, it was dynamic, and filled with spectacular cape twirls, lifts and drop moves. It was a performance that was enjoyable to watch.

After the performance, Lucas thanked everyone for coming and helping celebrate this "house warming party".  The DRD Aloha Dancesport Center was a seven year dream that came to reality.

Line Dancing dominated the closing of the "party" starting with the Electric Slide, followed by a line dance with a Cha Cha beat, and more new line dances. It was a fun "house warming party" with a lot of time for social dancing, a good preview performance program, good company, and onolicious buffet. When I asked a DRD helper, "who prepared the buffet?", he replied, "Everybody!" Fo' sure you can't have it any bettah than that. 

Divino Ritmo Dance hosts social dancing also at the Cupola in the Honolulu Design Center on Kapiolani Blvd. For current info, please click on "That's Dancing" on the side bar.