Sunday, August 19, 2018

Hawaii Gardenia Circle Anniversary Dance & Showcase

It's been a very long time since Lani and I visited the Ala Wai Palladium or for that matter gone dancing there. The road from Kapahulu Avenue to the Palladium had been newly paved and the parking lot seems a lot bigger and visibly striped. Nice!

Climbing up the stairway was a bit of a struggle due to my back injury but I made it to the top (reminded me of climbing the stairs at the Great Wall of China during our visit there). Only a few people hanging out in the foyer. Fo' sure the crowd was in the ballroom dancing to the great music selection of  Bert Burgess.
Bert Burgess and Deanie Bates

Inside the ballroom, Lani and I were greeted by smiling faces of dancers at the reception tables that we hadn't seen for a long time. Got to greet our host Gayle Kawahakui who invited Lani and me as her guests to tonight's event. This gal is like a dynamo working behind the scene making sure that the program is well oiled and running smoothly. We didn't get to see very much of Gayle afterwards except for a few flitting moments.
Greeters at Reception Table  No. 1
Beverly, Diane, Bob, and Roxanne

Greeters at Reception Tables No. 2
Friend, David, and Helene

It was wall to wall attendance but we were able to find a spot among some new friends who were mostly spectators than dancers but they were good to chat with until the program started.
The Program started with announcements by EmCee for the evening, Ivan John, who is the President of Hawaii Gardenia Circle. I thought he handled the program very orderly and smoothly.
The announcements were the customary stuff but very good to know who helped in making the Anniversary Dance and Showcase a successful one: Introducing the Professionals, Presidents of the various dance clubs, Upcoming events, and a Thank You message to all the Ticket Sellers (to name a few: Annie Ferguson, Debra Ota, Dance Magic 808, Aiea Ballroom Dance Club,  Pan Pacific Dance Society}, New Aala Bakery for the refreshments, Bert Burgess for the great music, and all the helpers in the kitchen and at the Reception Table. General dancing resumed till it was time for the Showcase to begin at about 8 o'clock.
Ivan John

Open Part One of the Showcase was a Rhythm Medley performed by Franchise Owner of Arthur Murray Dance Center, Gisella Shultz dancing with Kevin Kerns.
Kevin Kerns and Gisella,Shultz

A "rocking" group performance by the staff of Arthur Murray Dance Center to the tune "Rockin' Robin" soon followed. (You can see the video on Arthur Murray Dance Center Facebook).

There was a brief period for general dancing before Part Two of the program.

Part Two welcomed the Hawaii Gardenia Circle 2018 Grand Ball Dancers to the dance floor. The first dance was the Viennese Waltz which was performed by the dancers from the Arthur Murray Dance Center, Dance Magic 808, Divino Ritmo Dance, and various other dance clubs.  Individual club couples were Calvin and Debra Ota, Mike and Lorie Chun, Ed and Candy Matsuda, Jackie Lei and May Zhang, Ravi Narayan and Brooke Johnson, Alan Kim and Lisa Hankins, and Tommy Nakamura and Joannie Hsieh. From Divino Ritmo Dance were Lucas Jaime with Ailie Barden and Lisa Wong. From Arthur Murray Dance Center were Gisella Schultz, Christian Grado, Rikita Turner, DeAndre Bobo, Steven McNally, Jeddie Kawahatsu, Kevin Kerns, Tamie Kerns, Naomi Hirayasu, Nathan Aragon, Lisa Valderueda, Damien Morales, Kevin Chen, Christina Forrester, Teri Bruesehoff, and Wen Chen. (Some of the listed Arthur Murray dancers were performers in the "Rockin' Robin"}.
After the Viennese Waltz performance some dancers danced off the floor to begin the "mock" portion of the showcase. Dancers danced in when it was their time to perform the Waltz, Tango, Quickstep, and Foxtrot. (Here are a few photos of some of the fast moving and energetic performing dancers).

At the conclusion of the Showcase part of the program, all the dance performers were called to the floor to be awarded appreciation gifts.

General dancing resumed while others bearing blue tickets from purchasing presale tickets marched out of the ballroom to get their refreshments (bento). Lani and I got ours and decide to head for home. We enjoyed the program, dancing to the music of Bert Burgess, and chatting with new friends. I had promised Lani that she could dance my a** off tonight which she thoroughly enjoyed. She was happy and I was happy that she was happy. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Before I close this blog, I sincerely thank Gayle for inviting Lani and me as her guests, and I am most grateful to Ivan John for sharing his notes on the Program. This is his story, too.
Gayle Kawahakui and Ivan John

Aloha and Happy Dancing!