It is a lot of hard work to take beautiful pictures. This past weekend we were one with Colorado nature and we took pictures at McCabe Park in Parker, CO. Thanks to all of the dancers who endured stepping on rocks and bushes and who went into the tall grass. It was funny to see them scared of spiders too! (Sara!). Thanks Latreesha with Maniyah Photography. We cannot wait to see the final pictures.
This was our second invitation and visit to Farmington, New Mexico. Our first time here we danced at a Pow- Wow. This time around we were invited to their Riverfest Festival along the Las Animas River. We flew into ABQ (of course on Southwest Airlines!) and went to eat at Frontier Restaurant. Yummy Mexican food. We then made our way to Farmington, NM about three hours away from ABQ. If you ever get to tour "The Four Corners" make sure you come during Riverfest. Rafting, games, beer garden, musicians, entertainment, and FOOD. The Navajo Taco is a MUST! You can also just have Fried Bread which is so good. We shared the Polynesian Culture along with an awesome Fire Performance to our Farmington Community. Thanks Myra and staff for having us again. We had a lot of FUN.
So... I found Elvis! Well not the REAL Elvis but the one that made a guest appearance at our Annual Lei Day Celebration this year. He was amazing. He came out on stage during the Hula Dancers dancing to WIPE OUT. He then continued to move his hips and dance with the girls as they did their dance to the famous song "Rock-A-Hula" by The King Himself. It is insane how fast news travels BUT now I have clients asking me for Hula Dancers and Elvis. WOW! I guess we made a lasting impression. So if you want Elvis to Impersonate with a Cellophane dressed dancer for a 1940's and 50's styled show... Give us a call.
"Thank you... thank you very much" -Elvis
We find ourselves at our 9th Annual Lei Day Celebration in Parker, CO. Yes we have done this many times. We have tried many venues. Our first venue was at L&L Hawaiian BBQ in Aurora, CO. I had three dancers (counting myself) and Sai (owner of L&L) allowed us to move the tables a little and do a show right in the center of the restaurant. There were people watching us from the outside windows! At that first Lei Day my daughter was 4 years old watching me from one of the tables. She now helps me out in the show in more ways than one. From then on it was a trial and error... learning from mistakes and trying new ideas out. Although we get better and better every year we manage to always make so much memories because truthfully our shows have always been different, exciting, and high energy. We have gone to sit down dinners and show at the DPPA in Downtown Denver to having Lei Day at an art museum in the Santa Fe Art District (with an aerial dancer as part of our grande finale). We have hosted Lei Day at the DL Parson's Theater in North Glenn where we had a wide variety of vendors and stadium seating for our show. We have had our Lei Day at the Red Lion Hotel (dinner and show), Gateway High School, Fiesta Palace Event Center, and now for two years we have found our home at the Parker PACE Center in Parker, CO. This venue is amazing. From the lobby where they have concession stands and bar to the auditorium stadium seating. The front of the house is just as amazing as the back of the house where they have dressing rooms and mirrors with private restrooms for everyone. They have costume racks, loading dock, green room with fridge, and much much more...
This year we had silent auction and raffles in the lobby along with our Country Store with our musicians strolling around and singing Pre-Show music for the guests. The doors opened at 630pm and all 500 seats in the auditorium were filled with all of our FANS! We sold out the PACE Center. We started the show with the blowing of the conch shell as we began our show themed "The Evolution of Polynesian Dance". Our beginners and Intermediate Adult Classes as well as our keiki (children) dancers graced the stage (along with ELVIS IMPERSONATOR) for our first show. We then moved on to the modern second show followed by our LED and FIRE Grande Finale. The following pictures are BEHIND THE SCENES at The PACE CENTER. We hope those of you that joined us enjoyed the show. We look forward to seeing you next year for our 10th Annual Lei Day Celebration. 10 years! Woo Hoo!
We were back at First Friday's at The Gnarly Root. We had an awesome crowd and amazing dancers that performed. This time around we had so many kids eager to learn to dance. Here is one of our smallest audience members that came up for audience participation. How cute! If you missed our performance make sure to check us out in June at 7pm on First Friday!
The members of Kalama are authentic Polynesian Dancers who specialize in dances from the islands of Tahiti, Hawaii, Samoa, and New Zealand. They have been featured on local and national events from MTV to Univision and performed in front of celebrities such as Will Smith, John Lithgow, and The Denver Broncos.
Kalama Polynesian Dancers have been entertaining the Mile High City since June 2007. Kalama specializes in performances, classes, workshops, and fresh flower leis (Polynesian Products).
Kalama includes Professional Dancers (male and female) with Fire Performers for your next Birthday Party, Wedding, Corporate Event, etc...
Kalama also teaches students the art of Polynesian Dance. We have performed in numerous venues throughout Colorado (Broadmoor, Cheyenne Mtn Zoo, Colorado Dragon Boat, Denver Botanical Garden, 1940's Wounded Warrior Ball, Denver Aquarium, Numerous Nursing Homes, Schools, etc...
Kalama has hosted their own event every year called "Lei Day Celebration" at numerous locations including Parker PACE Center in Parker, CO. This event is hosted every year in May.
Kalama also trains students to compete in various dance Competitions throughout the year in Hula and Tahitian Dance.
Contact us to book your next event or for class information (online classes now available too!)
Polynesian Party Planners and the Kalama Polynesian Dance Group was founded by feature dancer Glenda (Aiwa) B. Florez in 2007. Glenda is a Professional Polynesian Dancer and instructor who has trained with many Halau (Hula Schools) across the Country. Most of her childhood training comes from the Ilima style of dance as she started dancing at a young age (6 years old). She has danced professionally for more than 12 years at The Mai-Kai Polynesian Restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Glenda has currently more than 100 students that she instructs along with other Professional Instructors whom she mentors. Her Team trains men and women of all ages the Art of Polynesian Dance and Fire Performances. She is also the Founder of Halau Kalama- A Nonprofit Organization.
When I started teaching in Colorado in June 2007 I had only two students and one of them was my daughter. It was $20 to rent the studio so I was actually paying to teach one student for a long time. I also asked my two friends - Bellydance Superstars Kaya and Sadie to help me dance in some shows that I booked that summer. I met them when I was still in Florida as they took some classes from me to cross train and help them with their practice.
That summer I took my daughter with me and performed EVERYWHERE. I went to all the festivals, hospitals, community events, and DANCED. I passed out brochures and cards and fliers to promote dance. We weren't event Kalama Polynesian Dancers yet. We were Polynesian Party Planners INC- ONLY. (I even went to festivals that didn't have any room in their programs for me. I just turned on my sound system and danced creating a crowd all around me!) When I think back I think to myself that people must have thought I was crazy. Years later (after I taught myself how to dance fire poi) I wanted a strong name for our group. We couldn't represent just the business name we needed our own name. So I came up with Kalama which means fire/ torch... The Kalama Family all "friended" me on Facebook and loves the fact that we use their name.
Little by little my dance classes grew and I found myself teaching non-stop. I taught Hula and Tahitian to adults and women-all levels. I taught almost every day wether it was a group class or a private session. I taught bootcamp dance classes, kids classes, etc... It was hard but it was my passion and it paid off.
A couple of my students later on became my Professional Dancers. I started seeing the potential for some of them to blossom into "Lead Dancers" and then Instructors. I always say that not all dancers can teach and I stick behind that statement.
I am fortunate to have the group of instructors that I now have. Our classes have grown tremendously. What once was two students have now turned to more than 100. I have primary instructors for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced students and now I am training the JR dancers to teach. I believe that this will help them in life. They will have confidence in public speaking, teaching, engaging the audience, and other skills. It is hard to break down choreography or dance or even create dance.
I allow all of my instructors to be creative in their own class. I want them to innovate and create because when I danced as a child and in my 20's I had no say in "Choreography" I just danced what I was told to dance.
My instructors are extremely talented and professional. They have experience in dance, instruction, MC, and they even are an integral part of all of my event planning, fundraising, and volunteerism.
They (Instructors) also have helped create Halau Kalama (Nonprofit Organization) to allow all of our students to pay a minimal amount for tuition so that we can provide low - cost classes and teach Polynesian Dance to all.
Mahalo to all my instructors. We are Halau Kalama because of YOU! Keep up all the good work. I truly appreciate you all.
Also shout - out to my husband for letting me pursue my passion. He has always backed me up with whatever I wanted to do. He was probably the first person to think I was crazy but I know he loves Kalama and secretly is proud of me. HA!
*Photography from Life Reflected Photography*
PRIMARY INSTRUCTORS ~
Looks like the fire knife dance stole the show once again! Here are more pictures of our dancers with our fire show out in the SNOW. We can't wait to see you guys next year. We definately love the Colorado weather but we are ready for Sunmer! 😝
Because we are based in Colorado we have our fair share of doing events in the snow. We do many events in Vail, Keystone, Blackhawk, etc... We have even danced the fire knife performance in the snow. This past weekend our dancers headed up to Arapahoe Ski Basin and performed for a VIP event. 150 guests snowshoed up the mountain to attend the event and watch our dancers HEAT UP the venue with dances from Polynesia including the fire knife dance. We had to be creative on how we were going to get the costumes up to the top of the mountain. At first they were going to go on a LIFT but I didn't want the sound system or other equipment on a LIFT. So, we opted for a snow mobile! Yes this is what we did and it worked out wonderful. Thanks Chris and Meredith for you Professionalism and great job to Ellen, Ikaika, Sierra, and Shane for an awesome job at the show.
Diary of A Polynesian Dancer
Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of a Polynesian Dancer? Well here are bits and pieces of our dance life.
|Kalama Polynesian Dancers||
Diary of a polynesian dancer