January 2023
The Inouye Family

Aloha from the Inouye Family! We are Mark and Lorinda Inouye, parents to Toby (8) and Taryn (7). 

Mark and Lorinda are both public high school teachers. Mark teaches math at Waipahu High School, and Lorinda is the Technology Coordinator at Kapolei High School and Senior Financial Fitness Advisor for FinFit Life.  Toby is an aspiring football player (or sports analyst) and botj kids attend Keoneula Elementary School. We have fully embraced dance family status as evidenced by the bobby pins, hairnets, and hair ties around the house!

Our dance journey was not as smooth in the beginning (we are still navigating, by the way). We joined PDD in 2019 when Taryn was still three years old. After noticing her love of music and dance, we enrolled in Creative Movement to foster that joy. The first class, however, was a bit rough! After 20 minutes in fetal position, Lorinda had to dance with Taryn until she warmed up to the idea of moving in class. Two classes later, Taryn decided she could do it on her own (which was a good thing because mom is rhythmically challenged). 

Taryn continued to thrive in the dance environment moving on to pre-jazz and pre-ballet with Ms. Reyna, and was invited to join Petite Jazz and Ballet company after auditioning this past summer. Being part of the company has been an incredible ride so far. It is a commitment that takes time, patience, and lots of driving, but we have seen Taryn improve her skills, confidence, and passion. Beyond that, Taryn is surrounded by other dancers who love what they do and is building life-long friendships with them. 

PDD has provided Taryn a venue to express herself and build relationships with others. We are truly grateful for the mentors and teachers who have supported Taryn in her dance journey. Special shoutout to Ms. Elle who always welcomed, comforted, and encouraged Taryn since she was a toddler. It was because of mentors like her (there are so many, all of whom serve as role models and support systems), the incredible administrative staff and awesome and talented teachers, that Taryn has found her feet. And thanks to other dance moms and dads, we are finding ours! 

For newer dance parents, be patient with your children. It will take time for them to be comfortable, but watching them dance on stage or perform a new skill or even stand a little taller makes every sacrifice worthwhile. Ask for help when you need it, and someone will have the answer! Also, you might want to send your kid to dance with a few dollars because they absolutely LOVE the vending machine (and they’re always hungry!). 

We appreciate the opportunity to share a little more about our family and our journey. Thank you, Ms. Wendy and Mr. Jeremy for your vision and support. We are very blessed to be part of PDD, and we look forward to Taryn’s continued growth here!

February 2023
The Kagawa Family

Happy 2023 Everyone!  We are Jaime and Chad Kagawa, parents to Anson (18), Micah (10) and Kamryn (7).  We are so happy to be part of the PDD Ohana and are excited to share our family with you.

Jaime and Chad both work at Spectrum Reach in the Media Sales Department.  Chad has been there for 10 years and is a National Sales Manager.  Jaime has been there for 14 years and is an Account Manager.  Anson is a senior at Waipahu High School.  He has been busy with Student Government and just finished his varsity basketball season.  He looks to attend college in California and wants to pursue his degree as a pharmacist.  Micah attends Mililani Ike Elementary School and is busy with club soccer and club basketball.  Kamryn is in the first grade and also attends Mililani Ike Elementary School.  She keeps us on our toes with her spunky personality and busy dance schedule.  In the midst of all the chaos, our family enjoys spending time at the pool, watching a good movie, playing board games and hanging out with family and friends.  

Kamryn discovered dance at the age of 4.  She was following in the footsteps of her cousin, Taylor Nawatani, a current dancer at PDD.  It was after watching Taylor’s Disney dance recital, Kamryn wanted to dance like her cousin.  We were all so impressed with the elaborate costumes, amazing choreography and top notch production.  We were sold and decided to enroll Kamryn in Creative Movement and Hip Hop Tots.  She got right into it and found her love for dance. We credit this to the awesome teachers and mentors at PDD.  They teach with care, love and skill.  This season, Kamryn is part of the Company Prep Team doing Jazz, Ballet along with beginning Hip Hop.  We are very fortunate to be a part of this program and studio and appreciate all the time and hard work everyone on staff puts into making this experience valuable and enjoyable.  Kamryn is learning and improving her dance skill and technique while building her confidence and discipline as a person.  Kamryn has also made some of her best friends at the studio.  From dancers to teachers to the admin staff, everyone is supportive and makes dance fun.  Being new parents to dance, we are grateful that the admin staff patiently and happily navigates us through dance life.  

Our advice to new parents is to be patient and enjoy every moment.  Dance is a commitment worthwhile.  Not only will your child be a skilled dancer, but they will blossom as an individual and learn personal and life skills that will be with them forever.

Thank you to Ms. Wendy and Mr. Jeremy for all your hardwork and dedication to our children and dance.  We appreciate the opportunity and look forward to our journey with PDD!

March 2023
The Hashimoto Family

Bio coming soon!

April 2023
The Kodama/Kakaio  Family

Happy Easter PDD! Wow this year is sure flying by! I'd like to take a quick moment to introduce our family. My name is Sara Kodama, Mom to Maz (17) and Mikayla Kakaio (15). Featured in our family picture is also my Mom, Pam Wilson-Albino. My Dad, Ralph (Bud) Albino, who missed the photo shoot, is also an integral part of our family unit. 

I am currently a part time teacher at Mililani 'Ike Elementary. I've been happily teaching there for 11 years. Maz is a junior at Mililani High School, while Mikayla is a sophomore at Kamehameha. Mikayla dances for Kamehameha Dance Company. Grammy (Pam) and Papa (Bud) are both retired from their careers as a Commercial Property Manager and Owner/Operator of Kapili Hou Services respectively, but their constant support of their grandchildren has been and will always be a lifelong passion.

Maz started her dance journey at PDD around 7 years ago when her interest was peaked by Hip Hop. Instantly she was hooked and we hung up her soccer cleats and softball glove and became a dance family. Maz's passion for performing only grew when she added Jazz and eventually Ballet classes. Maz was accepted into Hip Hop Company approximately 5 years ago, and the thrill of competition added a new level of commitment and desire. Recently Maz has embraced Tap Company and Jazz Company Prep as well. Maz began her Musical Theatre career performing in the Ensemble of CTAA's The Little Mermaid in the 5th Grade. She followed up with  parts in CTAA's James and the Giant Peach, Beauty and the Beast, Once on This Island, and finally, Legally Blonde Jr. where she took on the role as Brooke Wyndham. Maz hopes to study Musical Theater at PDD until she graduates from MHS and then continue on majoring in Musical Theatre in college. 

The saying "It takes a village..." truly applies to our family. We've all taken turns driving Maz to and from classes and performances, doing hair, make up and putting on false eye lashes (what an experience.) There's been tears from anxiety and tears of joy thru the years, and you have to embrace all the emotions. Watching Maz find her passion and progress from a beginner to the confident dancer she is now has been so fulfilling. The videos and pictures of Maz's performances and rehearsals are a constant source of pride. And to Maz's horror, our family relives all the performances over and over again thanks to Screen Mirroring on our living room TV. 

Thank you to Wendy and Jeremy and all the Teachers and staff at PDD. You have created an environment where Maz and all the other children can learn and grow and live their dream of performing!

May 2023
The Ozo Family

Aloha from the Ozo family! We are truly honored to be the family of the month. We are Jared and Czarina Ozo, parents of Christienne Emma (15), Jayden Callum (12) and our three furbabies, Charlie (6), Jirou (2), and Chewy (1).

Jared is an Emergency Room technician at the Queens Medical Center West Oahu and Czarina is a critical care nurse at Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center and QMC Medical ICU. Christienne is a sophomore at Waipahu High School and an ambassador for the Academy of Arts and Communication. She also takes classes at the early college program offered by the University of Hawaii West Oahu. Her dream is to pursue a career in veterinary medicine or forensic science. Jayden is a 6th grader at August Ahrens Elementary School and a recipient of the school’s prestigious Keiki Marauder Award. He is member of the Gifted and Talented program and the National Elementary Honor Society. He loves to watch and play basketball and football. 

Our family bonding includes traveling, hiking, going to the beach, trying new food places, watching football (Niners Baby!) or basketball (Go Lakers!) or just spending time with our dogs. Both kids are good swimmers and play the ukulele well. 

Our family dance journey started in 2011 when Christienne joined PDD at the very first studio location. She was in the hip hop class taught by Wendy and hula class with Kumu Shauna. Christienne took a break from dancing and went back to PDD in 2015 and this time with her then  four year old brother, Jayden. She was in jazz, hip hop, Tahitian, and even took private voice lessons but her passion is dancing hula. She loves performing with her hula family at weddings and public performances and even shares her talent during family weddings and birthday parties. She also participated in the Annual Ho’ike in San Francisco in 2020 & 2023. 

Jayden’s love and talent for dance came from his dad  who used to be a member of a dance group in high school many many years ago. He joined PDD Company in 2020 and attended his very first TDA (2021)  in Las Vegas and they won first place in the mini hip hop division. His first love is hip hop but every dance season, he challenges himself to try other dance genres like ballroom, tap and jazz. This is his third year with PDD company (hip hop) and first PDD Company Prep in jazz. His competitive side made him work harder every season and loves to be on stage during competitions and performances. 

Our advice to other families is to nurture your kids’ talent and encourage them to excel. Let them enjoy and with our guidance they will develop self discipline and discover their true potential. It’s a dedication that the whole family put hard work, sweat, tears and investment into. And if you get the chance, we highly encourage you to volunteer during rehearsals and performances not only to help but also to witness how much hard work our kids, teachers and everyone put together for a great show. 

We thank Wendy and Jeremy for providing a safe and encouraging environment for our kids to grow,enhance and show their talents. For their teachers and mentors, thank you for your hard work and for motivating them to always do their best. Thank you to all the staff for the daily reminders especially during shows and competitions, you are our support system. For all PDD kids and families, you are all amazing and we are excited for the next dance season … LET’S DEUX THIS!

June 2023
The Sakamoto Family

It’s officially summer, and what a great way to kick it off with being selected as the PDD Family of the Month! We are excited and grateful for this recognition. We are Curtis and Dee Sakamoto, parents to Embree (12) and Colbie (8).

Curtis works in finance at HPMG (Hawaii Permanente Medical Group) and Dee is the Digital Sales Manager at KITV4 Island News. Embree just completed her first year at ‘Iolani School and is excited to move on to 8 th grade. In her free time outside of dance, she loves to paint and is interested in different types of art and now photography. Colbie will be in 3 rd grade next year at Waikiki School. When she’s not cheering her sister on at dance competitions, she’s on the soccer field. She also just started her first year in hip hop at PDD and is loving it! She’s always dancing at home to all of her sister’s dance songs. Together we love to spend time with extended family and take family trips to explore new places.

Embree has always been a performer. She would constantly sing at home or was always one of the leads in school performances, including earning the role of Young Anna in Frozen Jr. in 4 th grade. Her interest in dance started when she was 5, taking street dance and jazz, but her PDD journey began back in 2018. Two years later, she auditioned for Company and has never looked back! Joining PDD’s Company team during the pandemic was definitely a challenge…from not knowing fellow dancers and families, not being able to really meet and learn from each other (both in the studio and as parents), to learning how to prepare for competitions, and much more, all while adapting to all the changes going on because everyone was pivoting. But through it all, we’ve pushed through and have learned A LOT!

Thank you to Wendy and Jeremy, the previous and current PDD dance teachers, the PDD admin and staff, fellow dance moms and families for welcoming Embree and our family with open arms. Embree has definitely grown as a person and dancer and continues to value the time she spends with everyone and is excited to learn more. We see the countless hours she spends at the studio paying off, and we love to watch her grow every time she hits the stage.

To those who are new to the PDD family, whether if your dancer is in Company or not, have them try new things and explore different genres. It will help them develop into a better dancer. We will all be there to support one another, because this is how we DEUX it!

July 2023
The Kinjo-Toyama Family

It's Christmas in July!  We are truly blessed to be given this gracious gift of featuring our family.  We are Troy and Tracee, parents of our blended family - Madison (21), Mason (19), and Kalyn (14).

Troy works in maintenance at Kaohao School and as a jeweler for Philip Rickard Hawaiian Heirloom Jewelry. Tracee currently serves students at Waipahu High School as a counselor. Madison is in her last year at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania and Mason is entering his third year at Creighton University in Nebraska. Our dancer, Kalyn, will be a sophomore at Pearl City High School this upcoming school year. 

Kalyn's love for dance started with the Nintendo Wii at the age of 4.  Playing with her older siblings, Kalyn would try to score the highest in her Just Dance 3 favorites like Apache Jump On It, Forget You, Dynamite, and California Gurls.  At the age of 6, we signed her up for a trial class in hip hop. She tried her best to keep up with others in learning the dance steps, but she decided to keep her soccer cleats and shin guards like her older siblings.  After each soccer season, we would ask her about trying dance again, but the answer was always, "no." Two years later, she finally was ready to give dance another try and we even got her to enroll in the summer hip hop intensive workshop. This time, Kalyn was hooked!  It was because of her fabulous instructors, Mr. Eric, Mr. Zane, and Mr. Jere who cheered her when she could hit the moves, helped her when she didn't, and encouraged her when needed. In October 2017, four months after her return to the studio, she performed ballet, jazz, and hip hop routines, including the energetic grand finale in her first recital at the Kroc Center. Our family was armed with battery-charged phones and cameras, flowers, and leis for the aftershow of her debut in "Old School Jamz." We thought we packed everything . . . we forgot the tissue.

Our advice to new families is to let your children know that you donʻt expect them to be perfect, or that you donʻt expect them to learn a dance routine at the first try, or that you donʻt expect them to be the best dancer in class.  Encourage them to never quit, but give them the space to find out who they are and what they love. Your children, like our daughter, might need ongoing encouragement from those who love them to feel brave enough to dance.  Also do not be shy about getting involved.  We did not know how to do things such as make a bun with hair that sticks out until we volunteered and learned a lot of tricks of the trade from other families.

Today, Kalyn is 14 years old, still cautious and shy, yet continues to love dance.  Kalyn has expanded her dance portfolio to include hip hop,  jazz, tap, and ballet thanks to her inspiring instructors, motivating mentors, and fun, encouraging dancemates. Kalynʻs decision to join PDD has not only taught her how to be a skilled dancer but a more confident person. We were shocked to see her step outside her comfort zone by auditioning for Hip Hop Company last year.  Her perseverance prevailed and she enjoyed her very first company season culminating with The Dance Awards (TDA) 2023.  Through her experiences at PDD, she is developing and practicing positive character traits such as being polite, responsible, committed, humble, encouraging, resilient, and courageous.  These attributes have equipped her to take risks in school by getting involved more in extracurricular activities.

While many people may look forward to Amazon Prime Day signaling Christmas in July, our family is so grateful to have unwrapped a special gift in PDD throughout the year.  Our heartfelt appreciation to Wendy and Jeremy. It is not easy owning a business in Hawaii and we are extremely grateful for the many sacrifices you make for our PDD families especially in creating a nurturing environment that promotes your mantra of being a "kind human" first. PDD is an open, caring community; and we have experienced firsthand the warmth of PDD staff and the families involved. Thank you for encouraging our dancers to do their best and have the courage to go beyond their limits. For all seasons, we appreciate all you DEUX!

August 2023
The Taylor/Hashimoto Family

Bio coming soon!

September 2023
The Matsuyama-Habit Family

Aloha to PDD ohana from the Habit Family! We are James and Yuko, parents to Sydney(12). We are so happy to be part of the PDD Ohana and are excited to share about our family and our journey.

Yuko is a sales manager of a real state company and James is a retired veteran who has been traveling the states and the world to find the place he likes to be. This is why no one see him around the PDD. Syd has been missing him when he's started his journey but now she used to it and enjoyed his stories where he's been and experienced. Also Syd and Yuko have visited him in many places during Syd's school break such as New York for musical and museums, Orlando for swimming with Manatees and of course Disney World, Glacier National park, Montana for snowboarding and latest trip during summer break was to Bangkok, Thailand for elephant riding and so. We are surprised that Syd is very good at snowboarding after having only a 2 hours lesson then she was ready to be on slope already! A Hawaiian girl on the snowy mountain :) Her dad and mom are experienced snowboarders and it was easy for them to navigate her next level once she knows a basic. Now Syd would like to go to the snowy mountain every winter if she has a chance.

Syd is 7th Grader at Kaimuki Middle school and a member of the orchestra as a Violinist that she really enjoys playing. Also she is a good swimmer, has been a member of YMCA's swim team, participated some races and competitions especially freestyle and back stroke category. 

Syd's dance journey with PDD started in early 2021. In 2020, our friend recommended me to try asking if PDD had planned to start in-person class soon at that time everything was shutting down meanwhile Syd was in other dance studio which had been closed and didn't have any plan to open in-person class for a while but Syd needed to explode her energy and passion to dance with friends not just taking remote classes by herself in the living room. Fortunately PDD started hybrid class soon and we really appreciated they had a place where Syd could belong. Since she joined to PDD, she found her passion for expressing herself is much bigger than we expected. Syd started hiphop first, then joined Musical theater that took her to new adventure of tap and sing. Syd played as a thespian also experienced production side which made her understand deeply how to create one musical that was more difficult and hard work needed than she imagined.

This is Syd's first season of Tap and Hiphop Company Prep and excited to be the part of them on the higher level after going through the audition which gave her a big confidence to challenge for her new movement.
We have found the PDD is the place that have great teachers, mentors, administrative staff, dance mates and their parents, all of whom we truly admire. They gave Syd not only dance technique and skill, also improving her confidence and motivation to be a better person (wishing to be selected as a mentor someday) through her experience at PDD.

We recommend to all family to join and experience to be a volunteer for rehearsals and/or recitals whenever they have a chance that we can see and feel how hard all PDD dancers, teachers and staff work for a show! 
Thank you to Ms. Wendy, Mr. Jeremy and all teachers, mentors and admin staff for all your hard work and support. We are happy to see the PDD's been growing bigger and appreciate to be part of the PDD Ohana.