Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dance Aliamanu's 1st Anniversary and Charity Ball

Dance Aliamanu was organized on January 15 2009 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization (Note: As I understand it this organization was a breakaway group from HBDA - Hawai'i Ballroom Dance Association). Funds collected are used only to defray expenses incurred in providing and promoting the dance programs. Class fees are donated to the schools where the dance classes are held. There are currently 5 locations of dance classes with 2 or more opening in 2010.
Their 1st Anniversary and Charity Ball was held at the Pacific Beach Hotel on Friday January 15 2010 and judging by the fact that the event was a complete sell out with over 430 people attending  the Club seems destined for success. The cost of this event was $58 and included the usual Pacific Beach Buffet fare which seemed much better than in the past. The Officers and Board members are to be congratulated for their dedication and teamwork. I noticed President Maurice Morita taking time to go to each table and thank attendees for attending and their support - a very nice touch.
Onto the evening's program. I personally felt that the evening, which really was a success, was a little overcrowded with too many introductions of instructors, recognizing honored guests, presentations of special donations, accolades, door prizes, etc. Then of course the special exhibitions which is what everyone was looking forward to. All of this cut into the time for general dancing.
Now to the Exhibitions and Showcases. There were four group routines. First all the eight Instructor couples dancing to a Tango with each couple showing their own individual interpretation of Tango such as International, American, Filipino, Argentine Tango. I think that the Argentine Tango by Robert and Vanelle Hirayasu stood out among all the others. I noticed a new International Style Tango hold by one couple. This was followed by three student groups each dancing a medley. I must say that each 'team' outdid themselves on their costumes and grooming. First the Dance Aliamanu's Rumba and Cha Cha Medley with nine couples - they danced in two straight lines of five couples and four couples, there really was no formation with changing of patterns but maybe it was not supposed to be a formation team (a line dance perhaps). However one would think that the two straight lines could have been kept straight and evenly spaced but there was some interesting choreography. Second, from Lihue, the Kauai Ballroom Dance Club dancing an American Waltz with five couples dancing in a circle. Again beautifully dressed with some nice American Style figures. One couple needs a little more rehearsal! Dancing third Dance Aliamanu's International Jive and Quickstep Medley of 6 couples. I was aware of an attempt to get some different shapes and patterns. The exit off the floor was very good whereas the other two teams looked as if they could not get off the floor quick enough!
So onto the Celebrities Showcase. I understand that each of the Celebrities  had only had four lessons before the showcase! Well taking that into account each one of them did a tremendous job and are to be congratulated.
First dancing a Cha Cha with instructor Richard Nakamura was  'The Tita" Melveen Leed. Melveen is truly an experienced show person who has performed in many times in many countries and this came across in her performance never once letting her 'little' mistakes affect her performance. Her Fan and Hockey Stick needs a little more work! For the last several years Melveen has been a performer at the Hawai'i Star Ball.
Mrs. Hawai'i 2009, Liana Green Wright performed a Mambo with instructor Robert Hirayasu showing lots of personality with an interesting solo part in the routine.
Michele Choy, Chairperson and Contestant Coordinator of the Narcissus Court and Queen Pageant, danced a Night Club 2-Step with instructor Cullen Chong. Michele dancing in a black cocktail dress gave an effortless performance.
Next, the only male celebrity, Micah Banks dancing an International Jive with Jill Tengan gave a very "interpretive" performance showing some of his hip hop skills showing great stage presence.
The youngest celebrity was Kim Anderson dancing an International Rumba with Joshua Manzano. She showed good potential with her leg and foot action but her performance could have been a little more relaxed.
The last celebrity was Kehaulani Christian, Miss Hawai'i 2002, dancing a Quickstep with Richard Nakamura. This beautiful young lady wore a gorgeous gown together with the highest heels which gave her a most elegant look. But was it appropriate for the Quickstep? I  think not. I saw very little Quickstep with Promenade Runs and an attempt at Scatter Chasses. But she held on and completed the routine in spite of the choreography.
And so to the end of the program finishing up with General Dancing.
One last comment. During the evening it was mentioned several times that that the instructors  are all volunteers and are not professionals? Not sure what that means or why it was even announced. In the past we have had semi-professionals and now non-professional instructors. Are we trying to re classify as to what an Amateur is and what a Professional is? Oh well, only in Hawai'i.
Once again congratulations to the Officers and Board members and instructors for a wonderful evening of dancing, good food and camaraderie.

Shari Berinobis Emcee at Hawai'i Star Ball
Melveen Leed songstress of Hawai'i Star Ball
Geoffrey Fells Organizer Hawai'i Star Ball

No comments:

Post a Comment