Sunday, April 30, 2017

USA Dance Honolulu 24th Anniversary

It's been many, many, moons since Lani and I had attended one of USA Dance Honolulu events. Not that we weren't aware of them since many of their announcements are sent to me via e-mail. Lani and I are grateful to Glenn and Tracy Okazaki for inviting us as their guests to their 24th Anniversary Dance at the Palladium last night..

As we climbed the stairway to the second floor ballroom, we caught a glimpse of Anne Ho and Tracy Okazaki collecting tickets and serving out refreshments to presale ticket holders. We were greeted at the entrance door by KI (Dance Fever Oahu) and by James Matsumoto, both dressed up in suit for the occasion..

Greeters: James (left) and KI
At the Reception Table were the Lovelies and two gentleguys with Anne Ho.

The Lovelies: Delia Tom and Candy Matsuda

Two Gentleguys: Glenn Okazaki & Edward Matsuda, and Anne Ho
General dancing was in full swing to the vibes of Gary Kawasaki's full volume music. There's been talk for a long time that the Music Man, Gary has in his procession the best music for dancing. Well, the hundreds of dancers that claim the dance floor last night can attest to that.

Music Man: Gary Kawasaki
Shortly before eight o'clock, the program's EmCee, Edward Matsuda, took to the microphone and announced the start of the evening's agenda. After a short welcome message, he introduced USA Dance Honolulu President, Glenn Okazaki, who said a welcome message, too.

EmCee Edward Matsuda returned to the podium and continued his welcoming message as he recognized the Professionals who were present: Dream To Dance Debby Borges Barbosa, Jacki Lei, and Lucas Jaime and Yanna Samkova of Aloha Dancesport Center.

Many representatives from the "Sister Clubs" were also recognized: Aiea Ballroom Dance Association Prez Deanie Burgess, Aloha Ballroom Club Prez Gordon Wong, Dance Magic 808 Representative Roxane Kaino, Friends of Ala Wai Atlas Cook, HBDA Prez Willy Dionisio, Ilima Ballroom Club Prez Diane Wong, Pan Pacific Dance Society Pez Gene Inoshita, Hawaii Gardenia Circle Prez Ivan John, Korean Ballroom Dance Club Roger Yang, and the list continued on. And special recognition went to USA Dance Honolulu Founding President Roger Izumigawa.

The EmCee talked about the USA Dance Honolulu Scholarship Program. He said, "Hawaii have a lot of very good amateur dancers. Many dancers compete on the mainland and sometimes overseas. In many instances, dancers from Hawaii have been National Champions in the events they entered".

EmCee Edward Matsuda
USA Dance Honolulu Prez Glenn Okazaki

The EmCee continued, "We are proud to present scholarships to our couples who have just competed at the 2017 USA Dance National Championships.They are: Mike and Lori Chun, Ravi and Synthia Sumukti, Prita Narayan and Ravi Narayan, Calvin and Debra Ota, and Miguel Heraclio and Rieko Ota.

Couples who entered the 2017 USA Dance National Championships, with USA Dance Honolulu Prez Glenn Okazaki. Prita Narayan was not present. All the couples received scholarship awards.
 Then came the introduction of the USA Dance Honolulu Officers and Board of Directors. They are: President Glenn Okazaki, Vice President Calvin Ota, Treasurer Jon Obara, Secretary Candy Matsuda, Special Events Coordinator Anne Ho, Special Events Ticket Coordinator Tracy Okazaki, Music Coordinator Gary Kawasaki, Membership Coordinator Debra Ota, K-12 Coordinator Ravi Narayan, K-12 Coordinator Synthia Sumukti, Board of Director Delia Tom, and Board of Director Edward Matsuda. (Glenn Okazaki and Anne Ho are also dance instructors for USA Dance Honolulu).

USA Dance Honolulu Officers and Board of  Directors

A Dance Mixer with the Waltz followed before the Dance Exhibition Showcase.

Waltz Dance Mixer

The Dance Exhibition Showcase featured the International Waltz performed by James and Annie Kwong, the Quickstep performed by Michael and Lori Chun, the American (Smooth) Foxtrot performed by Ravi and Synthia Sumukti,, the International Rumba performed by Calvin and Debra Ota, and the International Tango performed by Miguel Heraclio and Rieko Ota.

The Dance Exhibition performers were presented with gifts.

With the presentation of gifts to the Exhibition Dancers, the program ended. General dancing continued till closing at 9:30.

However it was time to go paparazi and do some candid camera work. So here are some people caught on camera that attended USA Dance Honolulu 24th Anniversary last night that you might know.

A BIG MAHALO to EmCee Edward Matsuda for sharing his notes of tonight's program with me, and to Glenn and Tracy Okazaki for inviting Lani and me as their guests to this event.

Hasta la Vista! 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Aiea Ballroom Dance Association 62th Anniversary

Hola Dancers and Readers,

It was a sweet and well organized 62th Anniversary for the Aiea Ballroom Dance Association (ABDA) last night at the Palladium. There was no showcase of dance exhibitions; just a grand party where all dancers enjoyed dancing and seeing and chatting with old friends. Wow! It must've been a gathering of all the dance clubs, dance organizations, and owners of profession dance studios. As Lani and I walked into the ballroom, we couldn't see the stage side of the ballroom. The dance floor was filled wall to wall with dancers trying to find openings to move forward in tune with the dynamic sound coming from the music selection of the evening's music man, Bert Burgess. But first..........

Music Man Bert Burgess

 Lani and I were greeted at the reception table by Gary and Joyce (there was another lady there but she left the table before I could draw my camera out). We were given red tickets for door prizes, and white tickets for refreshments. More on this later.

At the Reception Table: Gary and Joyce

As we were looking for seats, an old friend called to us. We hadn't seen Joe Martel (Town Dancer Blog) since he moved to the Leeward Coast. KI of Dance Fever Oahu was also there. We made small chat with acquaintances along the way to the stage side where we were able to find seats.

ABDA 62nd Anniversary Stage Decoration

General dancing was in full swing till about 7:45 when lady emcee Kay Yahiku took to the mike and announced the opening of the program. Her welcome message included introducing officers of ABDA, past ABDA presidents, dance professionals, representatives from nearly all the dance organizations on Oahu, recognizing ABDA dance instructors Jim Prado and Cathy Snider (Jim was ill and couldn't be there), Annie Ferguson for most tickets sold, Jim, Cathy, and Annie were awarded with gifts presented by Deanie and Bert. And lastly, introducing social media dance news bloggers KI, Joe Martel, and me.

Lady EmCee Kay Yahiku

 ABDA President Deanie Burgess took to the mike, also and shared her welcome message. Sixty two years of history goes back to 1955. A very long time and still standing. Congrats!

ABDA President Deanie Burgess

The program continued with the Waltz Mixer, better known some years ago as "ice breaker". It was led by President Deanie Burgess.

Waltz Mixer

General dancing followed till it was time for door prizes; 18 in all. To cut the distance between the table that held the door prizes and the red ticket holder of the lucky numbers, ABDA had runners Sandy Pak and Vicky Hiramoto assigned to do the leg work.

General dancing continued as many dancers headed towards the outdoor lanai for refreshments. The line was long that snaked all the way to the Diamond Head ballroom entrance. There were still many dancers moving in tune to Bert Burgess music yet to come out for refreshments. But there was no shortage of the Chinese Chicken Salad, coned sushi, Gao, and a package filled with assorted cookies. There were many volunteer servers dishing out the refreshments and they worked fast but still able to slow down to say "HI" with a smile. ABDA had this part of the program well covered.

Volunteer servers at the Refreshment Tables
One more dance before heading to the Refreshments
Caught on Camera:  Dance Magic 808 Richard and Lynn 

Caught on Camera: Dream To Dance Carlos and Debby 

Caught on Camera: Joe "Pepe" Martel as he was heading home

General dancing was still in full swing as Lani and I walked back to our seats. Along the way I was able to get a few photo shots of some of the dancers and make small chat. It was an enjoyable evening for my main squeeze and me.....dancing to the upbeat music by the music man Bert Burgess, onolicious refreshments, and seeing and chatting with old friends.

Joyce, Stephanie, and Ester

The music was SOOO Good that even the Music Man Bert
and ABDA President Deanie got into the swing of it

George & Roscel Garcia, Lisa, and Vince

Music Man Bert and ABDA Prez Deanie

Tracy and Glenn Okazaki
Glenn is President of USA Dance Honolulu
Annie Ferguson and Lani

Last dance was at 9:30.

Gotta dance the last dance!

Count Down to Last Dance

Mucho gracias to Kay Yahiku for sharing her script of the program.

Hasta la vista fo' now!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Just Musing a "Blast From The Past"

                                                             Frank Sierra Jr. FaceBook

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

ADC Good Friday Dance

Aloha Dancers and Readers,
Last night the Aloha Dance Club hosted a Good Friday Dance at the Palladium. Besides general dancing, there was a dance exhibition of the Foxtrot performed by guest May Ching (Zheng) from Los Angeles and Aloha Dance Club president Gordon Wong.

My main squeeze Lani and I got to the Palladium a bit late but with enough time to do some dancing before the dance exhibition part of the program started. We were greeted by ADC prez Gordon Wong as we entered the ballroom along with the Lovelies at the Reception Table. (This was the third time Gordon had invited Lani and me as his VIP guests).
The Lovelies @the Reception Table: Diane, Gladys, and Jane
  Music man for the evening's general dancing and exhibition showcase was DeeJay Henry Lee. Henry added some new music to his collection and that sure drew a lot of dancers to the dance floor.

DeeJay Henry Lee

EmCee Dianne Ako
Lady EmCee for the program was Dianne Ako of Aloha Dance Club who actually wrote the narration in this blog. Thank you, Dianne. The following are the words as she spoke to the audience as she greeted them, recognizing the workers behind the scene, and a short bio of the exhibition dancers.

Hello everyone. On behalf of the Aloha Dance Club and our President Gordon Wong, I would like to welcome all of you here tonight, and thank you for making our club such a great success and our evenings so enjoyable. We look forward to many great evenings to come. We are privileged as we are on many evenings to have Mr. Henry Lee provide us with his beautiful music.. May we also take this opportunity to thank our awesome kitchen staff directed by Jane Umeda, and thank Aala Bakery for the delicious "treats" this evening.

Kitchen Staff serving delicious "treats" from Aala Bakery

Tonight, we are happy to have a guest performer, May Ching (Zheng) to perform for us. May is an elegant dancer, who in her teenage years had a great passion for dancing which she has embraced with most of her leisure time. During the past 15 years, she has parlayed her beauty and popularity into fulfilling and realizing her life long dream to dance. May also attended a number of National Competitions across the United States with wonderful results. She has added to her success by being the Organizer for the Spring Event in the Dancing Sector for the Chinese Community of Los Angeles in 2015. We are happy that May Ching has now with her family, chosen Honolulu as her home.

Gordon Wong and May Ching (Zheng) dancing the Foxtrot

Tonight dancing with Ms. Ching is our own President, Mr. Gordon Wong. Gordon participated n the Hawaii Star Ball in 2009 with his then dancing professional teacher Renna Villanueva in 6 Latin dances and received 6 first places. Last year 2016, Gordon again entered the Hawaii Star ball with his partner Hana Yin and placed first in all 6 of their standard dances. He also danced with another professional teacher, Yanna Samkova at the 2nd Anniversary Ball of the Aloha Dancesport Center held at the (Waikiki) Sheraton Hotel.

Gordon Wong and May Ching (Zheng)

Tonight's performance of the Foxtrot is a "show dance" about a fairy tale, perhaps a myth, of a feminine little fox who meets some "company" and begins dancing for joy and harmony. As the darkness clears, she lets go of her loneliness and fears as she is finally united once again with her friend.

Now may I present May Ching (Zheng) and Mr. Gordon Wong dancing to the music and song from "The Secret Garden". (You can view the video of the dance exhibition on Frank Sierra Jr. FaceBook)

Wendy Wong,  May Ching (Zheng), and Gordon Wong

Awards to the exhibition dancers followed.

Dianne Ako, Gordon Wong, May Ching (Zheng), and Wendy Wong

Thank you, Dianne for writing and submitting this detailed description of the Aloha Dance Club Good Friday Dance.

 General dancing continued till 9:30.

Aloha for now.