For over 60 years,
the Hawaii Ballroom Dance Association or HBDA has been serving the people and communities of Hawaii. Our founder, Eugene and Harriet Ichinose, had a dream to "have every couple in Hawaii dancing at a reasonable cost." Eugene viewed ballroom dancing as one of the few recreational activities that a couple can participate and enjoy together. Since that time, the organization has grown into seven Oahu community chapters and chapters in Maui and the Big Island. HBDA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization staffed with an all-volunteer, non-salaried instructors. To reach a greater audience, HBDA is community based with dance venues in parks and recreation centers.
Five years ago, under current Dance Director and Associate Dance Director, Benny and Faith Agbayani’s leadership, HBDA opened a Dance Studio in Aiea. HBDA’s Dance Studio provides nightly ballroom dance lessons plus classes in line dancing and hot hula fitness. The Dance Studio also provides a venue for dances twice a month, where members can practice dance, exercise body and mind, socialize and have fun.
When HBDA received a grant from the Weinberg Foundation for its work with senior citizens through ballroom dancing, Benny and Faith Agbayani said, “For seniors, ballroom dancing has many benefits: aerobic exercise, mental exercise and socialization, all improve and sustain good health. Learning new dances and keeping to the rhythm of the music are proven to support thinking and mood. And dancing is fun – laughter is a powerful medicine!”
as the world struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, we can neither get together to dance and carry on the vision of our founders. We are at home, carefully monitoring the pandemic and knowing that it is not safe for our dancers to be gathering and dancing and following our passion of dancing. When HBDA was forced to close because of the State-wide mandate, all classes and activities ceased. HBDA currently has no source of income but still must pay monthly rent and utilities for the Dance Studio. Even when we eventually reopen, we will still have social distancing guidelines that will minimize class size and reopening in community venues will compound our rental expenses. We need to purchase supplies, like contactless thermometers, hand sanitizers and disinfectants to clean our Dance Studio to keep our members safe and healthy. You have supported our many dance events that entertained and enriched our communities. And now, HBDA needs your support to help us continue in our efforts to bring ballroom dancing to every couple in Hawaii at a reasonable cost. It is our belief that in dancing we share our aloha and promote the core values of our society - respect, courtesy, congeniality, good hygiene and appearance.
It is written in the hearts of every ballroom dancer that we are the beneficiaries of the dream, aspiration, vision and commitment of the founders of HBDA “where dancing begins”. Your generous contribution will help us continue its pursuit for future generations. Please donate!