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).

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Just Musing A Blast From Da Past


"The Pack" grew older in age and many of the "wolves" slowed down going to social dancing and no more group exhibition dancing. Instead their main interest was going bowling, playing tennis, and golfing. Lani and I kept in touch with the old "pack" but we eventually joined another "wolf pack" that was headed by Harold and his mate Harriet. They were much older than Lani and me and so were the other members but they were always hungry for social dancing. We were still the "pups" of this new "pack" but they were a fun "pack" and we headed to every weekend dance venues including night clubs such as the Bavarian Garden in the Royal Hawaiian
Shopping Center, the Warriors Lounge at the Hale Koa Hotel, the Elks Club, and Carmelo's Dance Studio on Kapiolani Blvd. Since Lani and I were still members of HBDA, there was opportunity to join certain elite groups. One group was Eugene and Harriet Ichinose's Can Can which Lani joined and did several performances in HBDA Showcases. The other was Evelyn Cummings' Rock & Roll Escapade which was comprised of guys and dolls. They were Terri Chun, Jane Hongo, Faye Martinez, Ann Ramelb, Diane Umeda, Kathy Uyehara, Calvin Pang, Joe Ramelb, Yvvone Miyamoto, Jerry Sueda, Lani Sierra, and Patsy Tsukamoto. As HBDA staff reporter Sim Redona wrote in his column, "Slightly diverting from the norm, the 29th  Anniversary Ball will present a show biz number called "A Rock 'N' Roll Escapade. Choreographed by Evelyn Cummings, a Rotating Instructor, this action packed special is composed of hard core Rock 'N' Rollers...ten sexy chicks and only three foxy dudes.."Gutsy Thirteen"..assembled from Ala Wai, Kaimuki, and Hawaii Kai Chapters. If "Rock 'N' Roll Escapade" can exude the magic of "Can Can," then we're going to be in for a treat this "Anniversary Ball. Join the pack and watch the foxes and chicks gyrate, swivel, twist and shake. (TO BE CONTIiNUED)

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Just Musing "A Blast From Da Past"


I guess you could called them "wolves"; those guys and gals that run in packs to dance venues every week end. The "wolves" in "the pack" were somewhat older than Lani and me. So I guess since we were brand new to "the pack", we were like pups. But none-da-less, we ran with "the pack" to places like Rumours, Cest Si Bon, Sheraton Waikiki Ballroom, Prince Kuhio Ballroom, Hawaiian Village Balroom, the old Ala Wai, Betty Riley's Copacabana, Pearl Harbor Officers Club, Hickam Officers Club, Warriors Lounge at the Hale Koa, Chinese American Club, even as far as Wheeler Army Airfield Non-Com Officers Club in Wahiawa. Leader of "the pack" at that time was Dicky and his mate Patsy. Since "the pack" were members of the Hawaii Kai Chapter of HBDA, we performed a lot of group exhibitions together for nearly every event that was cooked up by the HBDA Dance Director Eugene. Those were the FUN YEARS and Comrade' our motto. We performed the "straight kine" dances. You know da kine like Waltz, Foxtrot, Rumba, Cha Cha, Bolero, Swing, etc. And sometimes we went to the deep end and performed kinky dances like FLASH DANCE JAZZ (choreographed by Salome), Rock & Roll (choreographed by Evelyn Cummings), BALLET (choreographed by Darlene Yap), Evolution of Rock which included CHARLESTON (choreographed by Lani), DISCO SWING (choreographed by  Bob), COMICAL HULA (choreographed by Jerry), Argentine Tango (choreographed by Roy), and POPPING (choreographed by me).  I guess we were a radical bunch looking for innovative changes to show more entertainment in group demonstrations.. One thing we noticed is a change in costumes worn by ladies in solo Latin dance exhibitions after Lani wore a "show more legs" dress when we performed the Disco Cha Cha for HBDA Masquerade Ball. Now the ladies are showing more legs in Latin exhibition and competition dance performances at the Palladium. (TO BE CONTINUED)

(Stay tuned for more).