Kick up your heels and dance
BY Ryan Senaga
Special to The Advertiser
Suffering from "Dancing with the Stars" withdrawal already?
Tearing your hair out at the mind-boggling insanity of the auditions for "So You Think You Can Dance?," which debuted last night on ABC?
It's time to toss those Doritos, get off the couch, put on your red shoes and ... dance!
Once you got the moves down, you're going to want to show them off . (Yes, in public).
But unlike Gilles Marini, please keep your clothes on. And that includes clothing with see-through material. Repeat after us: "I will not wear sheer shirts. ..."
Here are a few places where you and your squeeze can cut a rug without fear of any crazy Italians judging you.
Benny and Faith Agbayani (yes, parents of a certain ball player) have been ballroom dancing for more than 30 years.
The dance directors of the Hawaii Ballroom Dance Association — a nonprofit corporation formed for the sole purpose of promoting, encouraging, and developing public appreciation of ballroom dancing in Hawai'i — offer classes highlighting the waltz, tango, foxtrot, rumba, cha cha, samba, salsa, swing and a whole host of others.
Best of all though, is the price.
Classes are 80 cents a week for eight weeks with an annual membership of $10 — minimum two dances required.
As Faith Agbayani said, "We are dedicated to making this affordable to the community." In these economic times, there isn't a better deal around for those wishing to learn how to move.
The Hawaii Ballroom Dance Association, 429 Waiakamilo Road, Suite 202, 848-7789, www.hbda-hawaii.org
For a less formal environment, the Dream to Dance studio in Kaka'ako offers smaller classes and even private lessons.
Owner and operator Debby Borges has been teaching dancing since 1979 and shows no signs of slowing down.
Borges found her way to the music through a more unorthodox introduction.
"I wanted to learn the hustle," she said.
She began taking lessons at the legendary Arthur Murray Dance Studio and soon became an instructor. After a brief stint in Florida, she returned to the islands and opened Dream to Dance in 1991.
Since her origins with dance began with a disco move, it's no wonder that she believes the music determines how the individual moves.
"It's what type of music you like and how you want to express what you love. If they like the mellow music, then that would be a foxtrot. If you like lively Latin, that would have to be salsa."
Dream to Dance, 661 Auahi St., Suite 201, 734-0264, www.dreamtodance.com
WHERE TO GET YOUR DANCE ON
Once you got the moves down, you're going to want to show them off — in public. Here are a few places where you can boogie down.
Coconut Willy's Bar & Grill: If West Coast Swing is your thing, this is the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights.
Coconut Willy's Bar & Grill, International Market Place, 2330 Kalakaua Ave., 923-9454
4 Play: Formerly known as Panama Hatties, 4 Play offers weekly salsa dance lessons Wednesdays with proper salsa dance nights on Sundays.
4 Play, 99-016 Kamehameha Highway, 485-8226
Nashville Waikiki: To move that honky tonk badonkadonk, head on down to Waikiki for the best venue to line dance the night away.
Nashville Waikiki, 2330 Kuhio Ave., 926-7911
Hard Rock Café: Saturdays are now Salsa Saturdays at the Hard Rock with complimentary salsa lessons by Greg "The Salsaman" Henry from 10 to 10:30 p.m and music by Eddie of Son Caribe.
Hard Rock Café,1837 Kapi'olani Blvd., 955-7383
Zanzabar Nightclub: This Waikiki mainstay hosts International Salsa Night on Tuesdays with salsa, merengue, Latin house, bachata and reggaeton, spun by DJs Alberto "DJ Papi," DJ Jose and DJ Ever. Free salsa dance lessons from 8:15 to 9 p.m. by Greg "The Salsaman" Henry. (He's everywhere!)
Zanzabar Nightclub, 2255 Kuhio Ave., 924-3939
Thai Sweet Basil: This unassuming little Thai restaurant turns up the spicy heat and becomes Sabrosa Latin Nights on Fridays.
Thai Sweet Basil, 2756 Woodlawn Drive, 988-8811
For those who just want to be wallflowers, the Honolulu Design Center presents a dance-inspired film every second Tuesday of the month all the way into July. $10 at the door in advance or before 6:30 p.m. on film night at the Cupola Theatre.
THEY CALL HER WILLOW
At the end of the month, local dance celebrity Willow Chang launches the annual Puja Global Dance Concert and Workshops with the theme "Gods & Monsters." Everything kicks off May 30 at The Living Room, with The Summer Shake It — a mix of samba, tango and belly dance performances.
The festivities continues with "Puja: An Offering in Dance," a concert performance held at the Windward Community College Paliku Theatre on June 6 and 7.
Willow also offers classes and workshops tied into the upcoming Puja events.
For more information, check out www.willowchang.com.