Hawai'i Star Ball 2016

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Tying the Knot in Hawai’i!

There was a dramatic conclusion to this year’s Hawai’i Star Ball.

The biggest explosion came the Sunday immediately after the competition was over when organizers, John Fishpaw and David Alvarez invited us to their wedding celebration on a sailing boat!

The honored guests all met at the beach where the boat waited decorated in white and we all took off out to sea. The backdrop for the wedding was the magnificent Diamond Head everyone knows as one of the most prominent landmarks in Hawai’i. Once there the ceremony was very short but sweet and these two became one, and as Mr. Alvarez put it, “who would have thought this would come through and be possible.” Those thoughts are in many ways very true, for many years people of the same sex were not allowed to be married and in many places even if you were, people still refused to cater or help when it comes to a same sex weddings. Well, not here in Hawai’i, it was one of the first states to allow same sex marriage and break the bigotry of stopping 2 people who want to be together for life and give them the protections that only marriage equality gives.

That was a big whammy, but the competition Saturday night was also a fantastic affair with a sit down dinner for hundreds. The competition were all finals but with great quality. The Ballroom was won by Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija by winning all dances with a majority of firsts in all dances. Masafuni Fujiwara & Emi Masuda from Japan took all seconds, leaving third place for Shoji Fujimi & Yoshiko Fujimi. We must also point out that Nick Cheremukhin & Viktorija also won the showdance but this with perfect scores from all the judges. Kyle Spinder & Allie Spinder placed second in the showdance and third went to a very interesting Cabaret routine presented by Alejandro & Lucelia Falcon.

The Professional Rhythm also took place this fantastic evening and here Ivan Dishliev & Marieta Nedyalkova won all dances, second was awarded to Kyle Spinder & Allie Spinder, leaving third to Alejandro & Lucelia Falcon.

The Hawai’i Star Ball went without a hitch and everyone was able to take a small part of the beauty of the island.

The Dance Beat Team went the day after the wedding to the Big Island of Hawaii and we saw some amazing sites. Pele has been quite active and has been pouring lots of fire and land into the island. Kilauea Volcano was active and with the naked eye you can see the fire jumping up and down out of the caldera. We also walked 8 miles to see the “Lava” flow meeting the ocean and it is just magnificent. Many of us can say they have been close to a lavatory but not many could say they have been a number of feet away from the lava flow in Hawai’i. We found it so magical and so close to nature that it makes our trip one of the best to this remote state of ours called Hawai’i. Our congratulations to David & John for doing such a fantastic job at this one of our favorite events around the world and with over 4 thousand entries, people are hearing the call and when they come and like us they will not be able to stay away from this excellent event and its beautiful land.

In Quest of the Star!

Last night here at the Hawaii Star Ball a (points only) event was held for the Star American Smooth Tour, all couples participating received points toward their goal and the couple with the most points by next year’s City Lights Ball will walk away with $25.000.00.

But that is not all, the couples in the top 12 spots will also qualify for some great prizes. The night was perfect for the couples since it was a standing room only with not one table empty giving a wonderful atmosphere for the couples performing.

The performances were nail biting by all couples, but in particular the top three in the Professional Smooth, but in the end this competition went solidly to Nick Cheremukin & Viktorija, who are our new US Champions and who took first in all four dances. We have to say that their performance was electrifying yet cool and collected totally suited for US Champions. Second in all dances went to Max Sinitsa & Tatiana Seliverstova, they gave an excellent performance getting the audience’s attention more than once, however, although it was full of emotions their performance at times got a little too internal and perhaps on this night did not reach out to the audience who are totally their strength. Their tango in our opinion was their stronger dance because they don’t just dance it they live it. Third in this parade of champions were Kyle & Allie Spinder and they took third place in every dance. They had a busy night, also competing in the Rising Star and Open Rhythm divisions.

Fourth place in every dance was awarded to another very strong performer last night and that was Mariusz Zakrzewski & Lynnsay Ray. These two held their own and it was perhaps one of the best performances we have see from this couple. In fifth place were Ivan Dishliev & Marieta Nedyalkova placing 5th in all dances, this is a very talented couple but on this night it looked almost as if they took their great Rhythm dances and added some Smooth steps into it, looked hurried and a little messy.

The Professional American Rhythm was not a “Star Tour” event so here no points were awarded. Ivan Dishliev & Marieta Nedyalkova won all dances. Second place was awarded to Kyle & Allie Spindler, we liked the work but in our opinion it lacked a strong sense of isolation and a more casual hip action. Third in this went to Alejandro & Lucelia Falcon. We really like this couple but at times the outfits do not compliment their performance. Attention should probably be put into this, remember this is impression judging, the judges don’t have much time to study the couple and if wearing a wrong costume you are asking the judge to imagine and there is no time for that! Fourth place went to Jacob Himoto & Jessica Szienkowski the only couple from Hawaii.

We must say that here at the Hawaii Star Ball they know how to fill a room! The evening started with a standing room only, all seats were taken and this made it to be a fantastic event for all. The pro/am Top Solo Grand Prix, was perhaps one of the best I have seen in a while. The couples looked very close to professional in their performances. Cindy Mishlove w/Alejandro Falcon won the competition with a fantastic cabaret number, second went to Brittany Overbeck w/Todd Travis who did an excellent routine where she came in with a long gown and was unwrapped and then began a very difficult routine. Third was awarded to Jeff Justice & Jessica Notine.

Last night there was a band and everyone enjoyed general dancing. It was a semiformal evening with Aloha shirts still being worn. The evening totally captured the spirit of “Aloha.” We look forward to the Professional Ballroom and Latin tonight and we will keep you posted tomorrow. We expect it to be a full night and dinner service will be in the ballroom!

The Star of the Pacific!

There are only so many popular stars that you can clearly see, the Star of David, the Sun, the North Star, Barbara Streisand and there is, in the middle of the Pacific, the Hawaii Star…….. Ball.

Our ballroom Star of the Pacific, the Hawaii Star Ball, has shone brightly this year with close to 5 thousand entries and new faces from all over the world, Hong Kong, Australia, the Philippines, Japan and even the United States.

After flying across the seas, as always the organizers Mr. David Alvarez and Mr. John Fishpaw treated us to a fantastic Luau on the side lawn of the hotel, the first night we were in. This gave us a chance to relax and acclimate to these beautiful surroundings. It was a clear night and the sunset went down as if on cue and the festivities began, a school of “Hula” dancers showed us their expertise moving their hips in all directions and at tremendous speed. The fire-eaters and throwers were fantastic including the 7-year old who did not miss a beat. This was beautifully orchestrated in the darkness of the night and it looked fantastic from everywhere you looked.

Yesterday was the first day of competition - it was Pro/Am Smooth and Latin. The floor was packed for many of the heats while everyone cheered them on. All Hawaiian schools were in attendance making this perhaps the best competition the locals can attend all year round.

There were plenty of scholarships and they too were for the most part fully attended. The Smooth “B” and “C” were excellent. The “Open B” went to Joanne Tatem w/ Mariusz Zakrzewski and they won all four dances. Second in this excellent final was awarded to Dana Miller w/David Estrada and third place was awarded to Susan Cassano w/Randy Dias.

In the “C” division the honor went also to Susan Cassano w/Randy Dias who won all four dances, second place in all dances was awarded to Vicki Barbera w/Jonah Schneider and third place went to Anna Mae Schwartz w/Lucas Jaime. The “Open A” division was the smallest of the Smooth Scholarships with only two couples entered, and here Victoria Chiang w/David Estrada won all dances, leaving second place to Kristen Wilson w/Tino Maggio.

The Latin also had some fun competition and here too the “Open B” and “Open C” had the most attendance. The winner of the “B” scholarship was Cindy Mishlove w/ Vartan Zakhariants by winning 4 dances and placing second in their rumba. Second in this same division was Leanne White w/Chris Poppleton and here they won the rumba and placed second in the other four dances, leaving third to Junko Sano w/Masafumi Fujiwara.

In the “C” division first place in all dances was awarded to Vicki Barbera w/ Jonah Schneider, second in all dances went to Mia Gentuya w/ Arthur Eroles, and in third place was Ronny Harris w/Emi Masuda.

Once again the weak link here was the “A” division with only one couple entered Stacie Yoshinaga w/Lucas Jaime.

As this weekend of dance progresses things seem to be getting better and better, tonight we have some rising star events and the Country western and solos are going on right now as we speak and so we don’t sign off we just say as they always do here “Aloha” meaning hello or goodbye or everything in between!

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