Thursday, December 5, 2013


Center Stage - Paul Laderta

The Divino Ritmo Showcase, organized by directors Lucas Jaime and Yanna Samkova was a resounding success. With over 550 people attending this event, which was held at the Hawai‘i Ballroom, Sheraton Waikiki on Saturday November 30, Lucas and Yanna and their students should be proud of their achievements.

The evening started at 6 pm with cocktails (no host) and social dancing. At 7 pm there were welcome messages and then an excellent 3-course dinner was served.
Then at 8:15 pm the Showcase commenced. The theme this year was “World of Music” and all students made an excellent presentation using dance music representing more than 12 different countries – from Argentina to the USA!
Following the 22 different exhibitions there was an award ceremony and then a Professional Latin American Show by USA Latin Finalists and Blackpool Semi Finalists Andrei Kazlouski and Asta Sigvaldadottir who performed only three of the usual Latin Dances. I was puzzled by the fact that they did not demonstrate their Rumba and only a very short Cha Cha? It was unfortunate that the advertised Professional Show by Lucas and Yanna had to be cancelled.
Justin Cruz of KHON 2 News was the Master of Ceremonies and DJ Michael Yap did a great job with the music. (Lucas Jaime edited the music for the actual “World of Music” Showcase). I must say that I thought the sound system could have been better. D Matsumoto Design produced a very professional printed program, which had many congratulatory advertisements as well as details of each participant.
I noticed that many of the 550 attendees were unfamiliar to me; not the usual “dance crowd” that you see at other showcases. I think this is good, as it introduces more new people to the world of ballroom dancing. However several of the “dance crowd” people were not happy that there was not more social dancing. They said the Showcase section was too long! Well now, I know from past experience that you cannot please everyone.
For me I was delighted to be there with Shari Berinobis (the Mistress of Ceremonies at the Hawai‘i Star Ball) and David Matsumoto. Our table of 11 people was perfectly situated at a corner, which gave us a comfortable view of the whole floor at once. Shari, David and I were very flattered by the fact that four of the Sheraton Maitre D’s remembered us from 2007 when we last ran the Hawai‘i Star Ball at the Sheraton. All four of them kept us well supplied with bottles of an excellent red wine which kept our table happy for the evening!!! It seems that the news of the Hawai‘i Star Ball returning to the Sheraton in 2014 has spread.
Once again I congratulate Lucas and Yanna, as well as their dedicated students, for a wonderful evening of their special brand of Showcase. See you all next year.

The following pictures were taken by Jackson Cho who with his wife are USA Dance competitors and are students of Divino Ritmo Dance and Albert Franz Dance Studio.

David Easa with Yanna Samkova
Divino Ritmo Formation Team

Maria Handl with Lucas Jaimi
Rommel Del Rio with Yanna Samkova
Marie Laderta

Paul Laderta

Wesley Numazu with Yanna Samkova

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