Saturday, April 3, 2010

Traveling Competitors from Hawai'i

It appears to me that Hawai’i is finally producing Pro/Am and Amateur couples that are traveling to the Mainland to represent us in major recognized dance events. This I think is a very good sign.
For instance last weekend was the San Francisco DanceSport Championships and we had two Pro/Am couples from Hawai’i.
First student Maria Handl competed in over 100 dances in the “B” age level with Professional Lucas Jaime of Divino Ritmo. She received 60+ First Places, 17 Second Places, 11 Third Places, 3 Fourth Places and 2 Fifth Places! In the Bronze Rhythm "B" Scholarship (Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing) she placed 5th out of 12 couples. In the Bronze Latin "B" Scholarship (Cha Cha, Rumba, Jive) she placed 2nd out of 9 couples. In the Bronze Smooth "B" Scholarship there were 16 couples and Maria did not place, however I think her results show improvement and are encouraging.
Second student was Yulia Sharipova who competed in 6 events in the “A” age level with Professional Carlos Chang. Dancing in the Open Gold International Latin dances there were 3 couples. She placed 2nd in Cha Cha, Paso Doble, and Jive and 3rd in Samba and Rumba. In the Open “A” Latin Scholarship (Cha Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble, Jive) there were 4 couples and Yulia and Carlos placed 2nd. Congratulations Yulia and Carlos, keep up the good work.
The above results can be found on

This weekend there is a group of dancers from Hawai’i at the Southern States Dancesport Championships in New Orleans. Professionals Lucas Jaime and Yanna Samkova of Divino Ritmo are competing with some of their students. I will have a report on their successes later.

Next weekend is the USADance National Championships in Los Angeles. Three local amateur couples have qualified to compete - Glenn Okazaki and Anne Ho, Calvin and Debra Ota, and Jackson Cho and Mei-June Choong. We wish them good luck.
Also attending this event will be Yuko Yamane. She lived in Hawai’i for many years and is now domiciled in Baltimore, MD dancing with Thomas Yu.

This year Hawai’i will have one couple competing at the British Open to the World, Blackpool Dance Festival at the end of May! Calvin and Debra Ota are attending this event for the first time and I am happy to say that they will be dancing in the Senior Latin Championship as well as the Senior Ballroom Championship. I am sure they will be in awe when they walk onto that famous dance floor at the Empress Ballroom in the Winter Gardens with other couples from all over the World. One should note that the Senior events are for couples age 35 and over!!

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