Hawai'i Star Ball 2023

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We are coming to the end of our trip to the Hawai’i Star Ball in Honolulu, Hawai’i, and it’s once again a time to reflect on this beautiful location on earth and the great times one has had competing, dancing, surfing, or just being with the spirit of “Aloha.”

The literal meaning of aloha is “the presence of breath.” It comes from “Alo,” meaning presence, front and face, and “Ha” meaning breath. Aloha is a way of living and treating each other with love and respect. It’s deep meaning starts by teaching ourselves to love our own beings first and afterwards to spread the love to others. As we mentioned in the past, here at the Hawai’i Star Ball you can dance while at the same time living in a sense of “Aloha.”

The competition started with it’s usual “Luau” or gathering where people enjoy food and a Polynesean style show, a wonderful way of welcoming you to an event that would focus each day on a different dance style. The luau was sold out this year.

The first dance style began Wednesday morning at 8:00AM with the Smooth. Then it moved on to the other genres, but still having some time for the beach, shopping and like for us a nice sail on the breezy shores of the Pacific Ocean by Waikiki Beach.

Aloha Spirit is considered a state "law." Although the word law sounds too strong and strict, Aloha Spirit is not such a type of law that will get you in trouble if you break it. Its main purpose is to serve as a reminder to government officials while they perform their duties to treat people with deep care and respect, just like their ancestors did. Aloha Spirit is more a lesson than a law. By learning and applying this lesson to real life, government officials can contribute to a better world, a world filled with aloha.

Today as we write with the spirit of Aloha present we should finish by recapping the events of Saturday evening, the last night of our Hawaii Star Ball. The Open Professional Smooth was quite interesting with 5 couples taking the floor. In the end all dances went to Alexey Grinev & Kseniia Grineva and they won each dance with a majority of firsts from the judges. We have to agree with this decision they were clearly the best and the most musical, what gets in the way of a perfect Aloha, is Kseniia’s shoulders which tend to get very tight especially in closed position. It seems like the more she tries to stretch her neck line the more that it becomes tense. With some attention on this area this couple can really go far, not just here in Hawai’i but all over the other 50 states.

In a surprising result for the couple themselves second place was awarded to Japan’s Yutaka Kubota & May Hibino with these marks 3,2,3,2. They danced the night before in the rising star but we did not think they danced as well. On this night they were more fluid and their performance had more confidence, congratulations to them. Third overall was Joao Carvalho & Sarah Berens 2,4,2,3, this couple are well partnered and moved quite well together, but that is about it. When it comes to musicality or understanding of the dances there is far to go. We are sure with work, understanding and practice they will soon be offering a lot more than well executed steps.

Fourth were Oleg Teleha & Mishka Teleha 4,3,4,4, and in fifth position were Spencer Belnap & Grace Bowen.

The Professional Rhythm was a 4 couple final one more than in the Rising Star the night before. Wining every dance with near perfect scores were Shem Modrzynski & Magdalena Zybura. For us and we believe for the majority of the panel, this couple were way ahead of the rest by miles. We were a little surprised not to see them win any dances with perfect scores because there was zero challenge from any of the other couples. Second in all dances was awarded to Jacody Bullard & Luisa Alvarez.
Third position went to Zsolt Katona & Timea Potys and fourth were Jordan Cano & Iliana Gonzalez.

The Professional ShowDance was also a feature on this final night. The couples all seemed prepared and they gave us some excellent presentations. The first presentation came from Danylo Dobrovolskyi & Anastasiia Malovana and they showcased a ballroom dance. Their quality of work was way above the rest and perhaps that is why they easily won this ShowDance Category. We think that closer attention could have been placed on the body of the routine to make it a little more interesting for the audience, but as we mentioned earlier their technique possibly put them up in first place overall. They got 10 first place marks out of 17 judges.

Second place went to Alexey Grinev & Kseniia Grineva who did once again their routine “Survivor” and we have to say it’s interesting enough to be placed high. Third were Florin Vlad & Natalia O'Connor who we can say also had a terrific Showdance, we would not have been shocked if they placed first or second this time their Ballroom dance was a little more sound than Alexey & Kseniia and for us they had a better routine than Danylo & Anastasiia. Fourth were  Oleg Teleha & Mishka Teleha who had quite a number of mistakes in their performance and fifth went to Yutaka Kubota & May Hibino.

The Professional Latin was also a 4 couple competition but here there was one couple that was unmistakably the best, Rangel Spirov & Veronika Chernyavska who won all dances with perfect scores from all judges and for sure were the best from step one. Before we go on we have to say that the couples all did well dancing to a live band, congratulations to all couples in all styles.

Second was awarded to Alexey Grinev & Kseniia Grineva, and that was in all dances and third were Zsolt Katona & Timea Potys, leaving fourth to David Fan & Megan Bliss.

In the Open professional Ballroom there was also 5 couples and this event went easily to Danylo Dobrovolskyi & Anastasiia Malovana, they took the tango and quickstep with perfect scores from the judges, and had nearly perfect scores in the waltzes only Didio Barrera awarded them second in these two dances. Kristy Roslender joined Didio in the foxtrot awarding them second in this dance as well.

Florin Vlad & Natalia O'Connor took a majority of seconds;  Alexey Grinev & Kseniia Grineva were third in every dance, and fourth was awarded to Oleg Teleha & Mishka Teleha leaving fifth to David Fan & Megan Bliss.

We must also comment on how much fun was had during the nightclub session Thursday night. The theme was Gilligan’s Island and all competitors and judges participated in costume, making the night very lively.

With these professional events the 2023 Hawaii Star Ball came to a conclusion. We congratulate David Alvarez and John Fishpaw for organizing such a beautiful event here in the islands of Hawai’i. I know quite a few of the dancers were going to visit other places, some were going to the big island and others went to Kuaui. During the competition they collected some funds towards the disaster in Maui and the burning of Lahaina. It was great to see people dancing for a good cause.

  • Hawai'i Star Ball 2022

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    It has been three years since we last flew over the rainbow to attend the Hawai’i Star Ball.

  • Hawai'i Star Ball 2019

    All Left the Same!

    Last night at the Hawaii Star Ball the evening concluded with the Open Professional competitions, but in the end it was basically the same result from the night before, with the exception of the Open Professional Ballroom and Smooth where a few extra couples entered, the other two events had basically the same result.

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