Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Back from Merced

As a follow-up to my earlier post and at the request of two of my biggest fans, I thought I'd give you an update on how the competition in Merced went this past weekend.

We arrived in Merced on Thursday night and settled in to get some much-needed rest for the full day of competition that awaited us on Friday. I think I was more nervous than the dancers. The deal with these Tahitian dance competitions is that if any of your dancers advance to the final round, you are expected to provide your dancer(s) with their own drummers (limit of five drummers) for the finals.
Our dancers were outstanding on Friday as I and the rest of the drummers sat and watched in anticipation of how many girls we would be playing for on Saturday. I was beaming with pride as I watched all of our young ladies display their dancing skills. They had most assuredly been paying attention in class for all the previous months, taking what our Kumu Hula (dance teacher) had taught them and polishing it to perfection.

At the end of eliminations on Friday, our halau advanced 9 dancers to the finals on Saturday out of approximately 30 who entered from our school. The drummers had their work cut out for them on Saturday.

We went back to the house that night with the nine dancers who made it to the finals and played for them so they could put the finishing touches on their routines. All of their families came along with them and we turned it into a real party with all of the dancing, music and barbecueing that went on.

After a good night's rest, we headed off to the fairgrounds for the final round of competition. We played for all nine of the girls and even had our drum instructor jump in and play with us for the last three dancers. I really enjoyed it and look forward to the next dance competition. Of the nine finalists that we fielded, two of our dancers received third place trophies at the end of the day. Not too shabby, huh?

Our Keiki (young dancers) looking beautiful and ready to dance.

Shopping for drums at the vendor booth. We buy the majority of our drums from this guy.

Two of our drummers showing the girls how they think Tahitian dancing should be done.

(That's me in the background banging on the log)

Our dancers, showing the drummers that they should probably just stick to drumming and forget about the dancing.


At March 21, 2007 3:21 PM, Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

I'm sitting here grinning and happy that everyone had a great time. That's a wonderful crowd you're hanging out with and the girls look faaaabuuuullllous!

At March 21, 2007 3:29 PM, Blogger PTCruiser said...

Thanks, Mary. The girls' mothers put a lot of time and effort into the costumes and headpieces and it shows.

At March 21, 2007 7:09 PM, Blogger dada said...

Welcome back PT! Congratulations to ALL the dancers (and their drummers). While it sounds like it was a very busy weekend, it was also a very good time.

Glad it went so well. Sadly, while you were away, the nation inched its way a little closer to hell, making what you did over the weekend all the more significant! Thanks for the update.

At March 21, 2007 8:21 PM, Blogger Human said...

Thanks for sharing. Glad everybody had a great time.


At March 21, 2007 9:24 PM, Blogger Donnie McDaniel said...

Glad it went so well PT. Sounds like you guys had a blast and the dancers look great. That must be a rush during competition.

At March 22, 2007 1:02 AM, Blogger sumo said...

I see things are progressing nicely for you and the girls. The little keiki's were very cute. Your a good father spending quality time like this.

At March 22, 2007 1:18 AM, Blogger PTCruiser said...

The 4th anniversary of the "War Based on Lies" was in the back of my mind, but I made sure it was way, way, WAY back in the nether regions of my mind. I was far too focused on the task at hand to think about anything other than my dancers that weekend.

Thank you, my good man. A great time was had by all.

You think it's a rush hanging signs over the freeway? Try playing a Tahitian instrument in front of about 12 other drumming groups and Tahitian Dance judges.

Thank you so much. The girls had a great time and it was definitely a rewarding experience for me. I'm looking forward to the next one. In the Keiki picture, my daughter is in the back row, second one in from the right.

At March 23, 2007 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Dad. I will forever regret that we didn't videotape those two fools doing their "dance off."

~ your OTHER daughter

At March 23, 2007 11:20 AM, Blogger PTCruiser said...

Dear "OTHER" daughter,
I agree whole-heartedly. We need to document that kind of stuff for future generations, and in case those guys ever run for political office.

At March 24, 2007 2:44 AM, Blogger Graeme said...

Looks like you guys had fun. You seem to be a kick ass dad

At March 27, 2007 10:14 AM, Blogger Snave said...

Whoa, way to go! That looks like SO much fun. I love rhythm, have always wanted to be a drummer or percussionist. You get it all! You get to go to the celebration, drum for the kids... what a blast!!

At March 27, 2007 3:01 PM, Blogger azgoddess said...

how beautiful!!! how did your own daughter do?

thanks so much for sharing!! hugs!

At March 27, 2007 7:00 PM, Blogger PTCruiser said...

She did great, AZ. She didn't advance to the finals, but this was only her second competition and I saw a noticeable improvement in her dancing and on-stage presence. She looked very confident.

At March 27, 2007 7:00 PM, Blogger PTCruiser said...

Graeme and Snave,
It was a great time.

At April 02, 2007 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if only your yonger and better looking brotherhad more free time..... i would have loved to see the show.
who loves ya buddy?


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