Monday, February 1, 2010

The Albert Franz Showcase

The 2010 Albert Franz Annual Showcase was held on Saturday January 30 at the Pacific Beach Hotel.
It was a very successful event with over 300 people in attendance. Albert thanked everyone for being there in spite of the tough economic times being experienced. Albert admitted that he had only sold four tables and the rest were sold by the showcase participants to their relatives, friends, neighbors etc. The Buffet included Prime Rib as well as Salmon and Butterfish and was excellent. The tables were tastefully decorated with wonderful centre pieces created by Albert’s friend Manuel. The general dance music was enjoyed by all with all of the dance tracks personally selected by Albert from his own collection of dance music. The Master of Ceremonies was Larry Kuhner (partner of Don Smith) who did an excellent of job with only one name being mispronounced! 
It is always nice to see other Studios and Professionals supporting each others Showcases. Divino Ritmo Dance - Yanna Samkova - was there with a group of their students. We all need to support each other.
And so onto the Showcase with a total of sixteen exhibitions which was held in two parts.
Theresa Yi with Albert danced an International Tango which showed improvement in footwork but needs now to work on her Tango Closes. Good dance position for this dance but would like to see more body tone and stretch to give a lighter appearance. In her International Waltz in the second half she danced a lovely introduction. Good foot and ankle action. I would like her to make sure that she does not pick up her feet e.g. Natural Spin Turns. Remember that there is always some part of your moving foot on the floor.
Naydeen Rajotte, frequent visitor from Canada danced an International Foxtrot with Albert with nice movement and neat heel turns although I saw a few missed Feather Finishes! A more upward body stretch would enhance her dance position.
Tsubaki Lunis then danced an International Quickstep with Albert. Her basic work was excellent but her performance was spoiled by her advanced work which needs much more practice.
Debra and Calvin Ota, amateur couple, danced an American Viennese Waltz. It looked promising at the beginning and then it went wrong! They stopped and had to start over again! They made a good showing but I felt the music was a little too fast for American Viennese Waltz. Footwork was not good, flat footed, very few heel leads on the 1 count. The first time I have seen the International Style Flekerls in American Style – my suggestion is take them out they were danced badly!
In the second half Calvin and Debra danced an International Cha Cha Cha which impressed me because I could see an improvement in their Latin. However, same as in the Viennese Waltz – halfway through it went wrong. THEY STOPPED THE MUSIC! and started all over again! Lack of rehearsal, too much too soon, too advanced – I don’t know. They should have just taken a bow and exited the floor rather than make us all sit through it again. It only wastes time on a tight time schedule.
Rose Loui with Albert danced an International Tango using appropriate material for her level which she danced well. Well Done!
Keiko and Jesus Reyes (International Foxtrot) have been taking lessons from Albert for many years. They enjoy their dancing and their moment in the spotlight and even though it is never a great performance they keep going and they finish with the music!
Gayle Kawahakui looking resplendent in a white ballgown danced an International Waltz with Albert. Good dancing, good body tone and position, footwork excellent – a musical performance.
Dr. Paul and Marie Laderta, amateur couple, danced a Bolero (Instructor Yanna Samkova). This is the second time I have seen this routine and it has improved greatly. Paul is becoming a master at presenting Marie and Marie responds to his lead beautifully. They both are showing more confidence and I must commend Marie on her foot and ankle extension. Good Luck in the Philippines, Paul.
Niki Lunis dance a Junior International Tango with Albert. This young lady shows much promise. Good to see syllabus work being danced correctly by a young person. I would ask Niki not to look down when going into Promenade Position. Otherwise sound work.
Hanna Yin and Tom Collins, amateur couple, danced an International Tango. At first I thought this was going to be a comedy routine! But no – they were serious! Why did Hanna rip of Tom's jacket before they had even started to dance? He should have walked on without it! I could recognize some of the material they were dancing but they themselves had added so much aggression to the dance that it looked grotesque and was an absolute caricature of the dance and the line at the end of the routine was dreadful. Sorry to say it was not good dancing at all.
June Kadamoto and Don Smith dancing together for the first time danced an International Foxtrot that was rhythmical and sound with good timing. Footwork was a little strange at times from both. Don needs to relax and step out and move a little more and June needs to stretch up and hold her head higher to enhance the shape of the partnership.
June Choong and Jackson Cho performed an International Quickstep that showed some excellent syllabus work and good footwork – especially the Progressive Chasse to center followed by a Quick Open Reverse, a grouping that is often danced badly by the gentleman. Jackson needs to watch his timing. There was a loss on contact on some of the open material but in all a very promising performance.
Next came an International Cha Cha Cha by Alice Han with Albert. This young lady is a visitor to Hawai’i from Los Angeles where she takes lessons from Tom Hicks. She performed at Albert’s Showcase last year and this year she arrived on Wednesday took a one hour lesson on Thursday and Friday on the Cha Cha Cha and performed it this evening! It was good, musical (Alice had selected her own music), with excellent technique. Well Done!
Last and by no means least was an International Samba performed by Jun Nishioka with Albert. This was a great routine, well danced, with lots of feeling for the Samba rhythm but I would like Jun to be more aware of the accented second beat of the Samba. Albert does it beautifully and I wonder why Jun cannot feel that accented second beat from him.
And so to the end of the Showcase, well done to all of the participants. There was general dancing left until the end. See you all next year Sunday January 16 2011 at Pacific Beach Hotel.

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