Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fred Astaire Studio, No!

I have made two separate contacts, ladies from two different banks. Same news from both, that there might be a Fred Astaire Studio in Kapolei by next year. I have been assured since, that it is not in the plans. I made contact with at least five hundred Fred Astaire Studios on the Mainland through my Twitter accounts and none of them showed the slightest interest in Hawaii. I have since deleted most of them.

Kapolei had become one of the wealthiest sections on these islands and much interest in ballroom dancing has been aroused. Kapolei Chapter HBDA is now the largest chapter in HBDA. The only present dance studio in Kapolei does not cover ballroom dancing at all. There is much interest in Kalealoa and up through Barber's Point to Honokai Hale. With the Rail Catastrophe looming, it is only a matter of time.

Fred Astaire, born in 1899, began show business at the age of 5, performing on Broadway and in vaudeville with his sister, Adele. Then he headed to Hollywood where he began a successful partnership with Ginger Rogers for nine movies. By 1976, he had made 33 musical films with esteemed co-stars such as Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, Ann Miller, Debbie Reynolds and Cyd Charisse. He also co-starred with the biggest actors of that time, including Bing Crosby, Red Skelton, and Gene Kelly.

 "We cannot hold a torch to light another's path,
without brightening our own."

Fred Astaire was not only a great dancer - changing the face of the American movie musical with his style and grace - but he was also an actor in many different dramatic and comedic roles in both movies and TV specials. He won multiple Emmys for his work in television. The Towering Inferno (1974) earned him an Oscar nomination. He received an honorary Academy Award in 1950 for his "unique artistry and his contributions to the technique of musical pictures."

Fred Astaire died in 1987 from pneumonia. With his passing, we lost a true dancing legend. His effortless lightness and grace may never be seen again. As Mikhail Baryshnikov observed at the time of his death, "No dancer can watch Fred Astaire and not know that we all should have been in another business."

All the present Fred Astaire studios remain on in the Mainland USA and throughout the world. And the hits are not doing so well in either Platinum Horseshoe or Moanalua Corridor since the reorganization. We'll see, have patience.