Sunday, May 2, 2010

Emerald Ball Dancesport Championships

It is said that The Emerald Ball Championships is one of the oldest ballroom competitions in U.S. history, originating in San Francisco. Ken and Sheila Sloan first organized it in 1963. Ken was originally from Ireland - hence the name "Emerald Ball".
In 1989 Ken and Sheila sold the event to Wayne and Donna Eng. Wayne and Donna then approached Terry Leone to become a partner.
Terry Loene, who had worked directly under Mr. Arthur Murray, was the owner of the Arthur Murray Studio in Beverly Hills and was featured in the Merv Griffin Show many times to promote the Arthur Murray Studios. He was co-host with Juliette Prowse for the PBS popular show Championship Ballroom Dancing produced by Aida Moreno and taped at the famous Ohio Star Ball. Sadly Terry Leone passed away in 1994.
In 1994, Wayne and Donna Eng became the sole organizers and owners of the Emerald Ball and have made this Championship one of America's premier events. I was Chairman of Judges at the "Emerald" for 12 years.
This year, as in previous years, the event was held April 28 through May 2 at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton.
Only one couple from Hawai'i competed this year. Glenn Okazaki and Anne Ho and I am happy to report that this past Friday evening they took First Place out of 18 couples in the Amateur Masters (over 50) International Standard 4-Dance Championship (W/T/F/Q).
They are also competing in the Amateur Senior (over 35) International Standard 4-Dance Championship (W/T/F/Q) against 14 other couples. This event is being held on Sunday evening May 2.
I will report that result as soon as it is known.

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