Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Just Musing Blast From Da Past Dancing In The Islands 2

It was a big thrill for Lani and me when we performed the WALTZ/RUMBA Medley as amateur  dancers on the TV show "Dancing In The Islands" some years back. As I mentioned in my other blog "The Dance Connection," our professional dance teachers, Mr. Carmelo Baysa and Mr. Albert Franz were also on the program. I have a short video clip of my teachers on my Frank Sierra Jr. FaceBook that you can view at your pleasure.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

IBDI 2017 3rd Term Dance Class Schedule

(Left click to zoom in)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Just Musing A Blast From Da Past "Ballroom Dancing"

Okay guys and gals, without admitting how far I am into my senior years, I'm gonna sum up what got Lani and me into this grand sport of ballroom and Latin dancing and why we are still dancing.

Many moons ago, my main squeeze and I thought that dancing; any kind of dancing was a good form of exercise to keeping our bodies young and energized. There were at least two professional dance studios that were advertising on television at that time; Arthur and Katherine Murray were demonstrating some basic steps on their Arthur Murray Show, and Hawaii's own Harry Kanada and Lois Takeuchi (I think that was her name) were also demonstrating dance steps for the Harry Kanada Dance Studio. There was another dance studio that was demonstrating  "Round Dancing" on television. They were good incentives for anyone looking to learn ballroom dancing.

So here we are, a young (ahem) couple looking to start our lives with the grand sport of dancing. HBDA was still  not quite into their 10th anniversary, when we started our first step with Eugene and Hariet Ichinose at the Kalani High School cafeteria. It was good going until they opened a chapter at Hawaii Kai and we transferred to that chapter.

The professionals during those early years were Arthur Murray Dance Studio on Kalaukawa Avenue in Waikiki, and Harry Kanada Dance Studio on Beretania Street. Gradually, other professional dance studios started to pop up. Mr. and Mrs Sugino opened a studio at Ala Moana Blvd which now stands the Ward Center. Then there was Norman Short who had a studio on Bishop Street, and Haruko M. opened a dance studio in the Professional Building in Aina Haina Shopping Center featuring Carmelo Baysa, a young Filipino professional dancer from the Philippines. I think Albert Franz and Geoffrey Fells came to Honolulu about the same time. Mr. Franz held classes at the Pumehana Elementary School and Mr. Fells classes were at the Jodo Mission in Makiki. Mr. Doug Kessler was teaching for Arthur Murray Dance Studio and eventually opened his own dance classes. Local named dancers became professional dance teachers after a few years. Christopher Bayot, Leo Tomas, Jim Prado, and Chris and Vicky Visario to name a few. Late comer was the Fred Astaire Dance Studio that opened in Waikiki and held on for a little while. (Lani was training to be a teacher under the Astaire system.)

The "wolf pack" was slowly running thin but we stuck with the leader of the "pack" Harold and is mate Harriet until Harold joined the other older "wolf pack" to roam the hunting grounds in the sky. At least we did one "dances with wolves" stint together for the Mormon Tabanacle New Years Celebration on Beretania Street before Harold joined the older "wolf pack" in the sky. Harold and Harriet exhibited the Tango, and my mate and I performed the Disco Cha Cha. It was a bit of controversy because few of the older lady members did not like the costume that Lani was wearing. However the younger generation approved of the costume and the show went on.

(Photo taken at the HBDA Masquerade Ball)
HBDA offered us our first opportunity to dance solo in a dance exhibition when Lani was asked to represent Hawaii Kai Chapter as Princess Cha Cha at the HBDA Masquerade Ball. The dance was choreographed by Rotating Dance Instructors Arthur and Joan Oda. If you have ever relished those onolicious pastries that were served during refreshment time at the Palladium, you'll know Arthur and Joan, owners of New Aala Bakery fo' sure.

Although, after many moons of dancing socially and doing a bit of solo and group dance exhibitions, I gotta admit that my main squeeze and I have kinda slowed down a bit but fo' sure dancing has been our life line to keep us healthy and energized. And that's a good reason to keep on dancing!

Hasta la vista fo' now!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

Just Musing: A Blast From Da Past @UH


Social Dancing at Carmelo's Dance Studio
It was one of those weekends of roaming the circuit where Lani and I met Judy Allen, the Dance Director of the University of Hawaii. We were with friends at one of our favorite hunts (Carmelo's Dance Studio) on Kapiolani Blvd. having a good time social dancing to some good CD music. During a short break for refreshments, our host Carmelo introduced Judy Allen. Actually, Judy Allen was on a recruiting mission to get ballroom dancers to perform at the University of Hawaii  Kennedy Theater 25th Anniversary Dance Concert. She needed at least 25 couples who are willing to put some time in to learn and practice the routine and finally perform on stage in front of an audience for one week.
Judy Allen

There were more than 25 couples (all senior teenagers) that showed up for the first practice. Judy Allen was the choreographer and Tommy Nakamura was the Dance Consultant. Eventually, some dancers dropped out but the dedicated ones stead fast. Practice of the routine went on for a couple of weeks, five days a week and at the end, Judy Allen had her final 25 couples to perform in the Dance Concert.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Just Musing A Blast From Da Past

Dances With Wolves part 3

Although, my main squeeze and I ran with the new "wolf pack", we still remained with HBDA as Standing Instructors at the Hawaii Kai Chapter and at the Waialae Chapter, and as temporary Rotating Instructors at the Manoa Chapter, Aliamanu Chapter, and Nuuanu Chapter. We were young and full of energy and with the desire to teach ballroom dancing. As I mentioned earlier that the Hawaii Kai Chapter performed some kinky skits at HBDA events. Besides "The Evolution of Rock" and "Flash Dance" performances, the chapter went into another hilarious mode and performed a rib tickler Ballet called "The Nut Cracker Suite" choreographed by Darlene Yap. Guys dressed in Ballerina costume were George Ogata and Harold Kim, along with Jean Ogata. The pole bearers were Christy Ammons, Maryann Yokoyama, and Patsy H. Playing the part of the Prince was Lani Sierra, and the Ballerina Princess was played by Gilbert Ammons.

The following year at the HBDA Masquerade Ball, George, Harold, Gilbert, along with Bill Young,  David Shimogawa and Don "brought down the house" with another hilarious performance called "The Bargin Basement". The ladies participated in that skit, too, while Lani went on to join the Can Can Gals, the Rock 'N' Roll Escapade, Hula Exhibition with Zula Zachodni and Dottie Wilde of Hawaii Kai Chapter.

It was the summer of 2000, when martial arts instructors and students were invited to perform a demonstration of their art....Tai Chi Chuan, Kung Fu with weapons, and Bagua Zhang.

Monday, May 08, 2017

ILIMA BALLROOM DANCE CLUB 34th Anniversary Dance

General Dancing and DANCE EXHIBITIONS! Pre-sale tickets $10.00 comes with Bento served at 5:30-7:30 PM. 
Purchase tickets at the door $10.00 (No Bento).