January 2024
The Siska Family

Aloha! We are the Siska family and are so happy to be picked as PDD's Family of the Month. We are a family of 7 - Scott (dad), Hannah (mom), Ethan (brother), Aurora (dancer), Princess Leia (the cat), Wickett (the Labrador) and Boba (the Frenchie). We love hiking, playing cards, cooking and attending all the sports/dance activities. We are newer to PDD, so I'd love to share our story on how we came to be a part of this dance family for anyone on the fence about joining.

We are a military family and blessed to get a few years living on this beautiful island, but with moving comes all the work of finding a new dance studio. We originally found one that was close and friendly but didn't have other aspects we were hoping for. We decided to look for another studio at the end of the season and were suggested Pas De Deux. When I called to inquire about classes for the upcoming season, I realized PDD was about to have their summer recital and asked to get tickets to the show. Dance Mom Tip: If you ever need to see the heartbeat of any studio...go to their recital! We arrived and everyone was so friendly, we could see all the families interacting with each other, dancers, and staff. We took our seats and the curtains opened to the first three routines. That's all it took. three. Aurora leaned over and whispered, "Mom, I want to go to this studio."  I replied tearfully, "Yeah, they are great huh? I feel like we missed a whole year on the island at the other studio." Right then, we both knew PDD was the place Aurora needed for more genres, technique and growth.

I can't praise PDD dancers and musical theater students enough for welcoming Aurora the second she walked into those trial classes. Every day she wants to go to dance and every time she leaves is wearing a smile. I also have to give a shout out to all the staff and other parents that I approached with hundreds of questions. Always willing to be available, helpful and kind. Because of you and your open hearts, we knew we had found thee studio for us. 

Fast forward to now, Aurora has been exposed to Musical Theater and Vocal lessons at PDD and loves it! She decided not to waste any of her dance time at PDD, so also tried out for their Prep Competition Team and is about to start her first season of competitive dance! We are so excited to see Aurora's confidence and technique grow, along with her love of dance.  The hardest part of finding and loving PDD isn't the drive each day from Kaneohe (if you know the H3 to H1 merge, you know our pain), but the fact that we already know our time is limited with this amazing dance OHANA. Thank you Pas De Deux for what you have given us, it's more than just dance/theater. <3 

February 2024

The Ching Family

Aloha PDD family!  We are surprised and honored to be chosen for this month’s Family of the Month!  We are Keola and Rhiannon Ching, parents of Braelynn, who is currently enrolled in Hip Hop level 4 and Tahitian level 2.  Our family photo includes our two other children, Brayden and Briannalynn, having a great time at our favorite place to visit, Disneyworld!

Keola is a Fire Captain with the Honolulu Fire Department and has been a firefighter for almost 24 years.  He also owns and operates his training company, HeartStart CPR & First Aid.  Rhiannon retired from Hawaiian Airlines in 2020 after 20 years of customer service, needing to be home with Braelynn during the pandemic.  She is now a life insurance and living benefits agent with Premier Financial Alliance and finds her new career very gratifying in that she is able to help people achieve their financial goals.  Brayden (25) is an assistant produce manager for Safeway and is hoping to follow in his family legacy of eventually becoming a firefighter.  If successful, he’ll be the fourth generation on Keola’s side.  Briannalynn (21) danced Hip Hop and Tahitian at PDD for about eight years until she graduated from Mililani High school in 2020.  She was also in Company Hip Hop her last two years and still fondly remembers dancing with the late and great Twitch during one of his workshops in Las Vegas during The Dance Awards competition.  She is currently attending Valencia College in Florida pursuing a degree in nursing, while working at Animal Kingdom in Disneyworld driving the Kilimanjaro Safari tour truck.  Say hello to her if you see her on your next family vacation!

Braelynn (13) is a 7th grader at Mid-Pacific Institute.  This is her second year there and was fortunate to have been selected to join the intermediate volleyball team this year with no prior volleyball experience.  She will be joining the track team as well and also plays the clarinet in the intermediate band.  Her dance journey began when she was six years old, following in her big sister’s footsteps of dancing Tahitian at first, then Hip Hop a little later.  She really enjoys expressing herself through the two different genres of dance and looks forward to performances and recitals.  She is normally somewhat quiet and reserved but opens up and shines on stage.  She says she still gets nervous before every performance but wishes they wouldn’t end at the conclusion of each one.  We really look forward to all of her performances too as we get to sit back and see her hard work in practice (Not to mention seeing the fruit of our labor as dance parents who invest so much time trying to kill time while waiting for her during practices.  You all know the struggle is real!).  We are hoping she will take her Hip Hop dance to the next level and try out for Company one day.

We’ve now been with PDD for 12 years from the original studio in Waipahu and have seen a lot of positive growth.  We love the passion for dance and the desire to see the kids succeed from Wendy and Jeremy, which has also has been an enduring quality with every instructor that we’ve had the pleasure of knowing.  We’ve seen the dance styles of many other studios over the years at competitions here locally and on the mainland as well, and are happy and proud to say that PDD has always produced age-appropriate dances and productions.  Thank you, Wendy and Jeremy, for keeping our kids, kids.  Our advice to everyone would be to continue to support your children and get involved through volunteering during performances and recitals, no matter how small your role may be.  Your kids will see you there supporting them and will feel encouraged in achieving their full potential.  Not every child will become a professional dancer, but having dance as an artform in their lives will make them more well-rounded individuals and set them up for success later in life.

March 2024

The Duquez Family

Happy March, Pas De Deux (PDD)! We are truly honored to be the family of the month! We are the Duquez family; Lem (dad), Phoebe (mom), Ezekiel (16), Hezekiah (13), Layna (10), Sapphire (7-year-old English Bulldog), and Topaz (1 year old French Bulldog). Lem is currently an AGR for the Army National Guard, a veteran-owned business owner, and the personal chef for the family. Phoebe is a full time stay at home mom and the Duquez family’s private “uber driver”. Ezekiel is a sophomore in high school. He is in the Symphonic Band and has played the clarinet for about 6 years. He also finished his first year on the wrestling team for his school. Hezekiah is a 7th grader. He is in the Concert Band and plays the flute. He also has been taking piano lessons for almost 3 years. Layna is a 4th grader, and she has been dancing all her life, but has been dancing at PDD for 3 ½ years. Sapphire is a retired “show” dog and enjoys eating, sleeping, and following Ezekiel everywhere he goes. Last but not least, Topaz is a French Bulldog who enjoys making trouble to Sapphire, eating, sleeping, and playing fetch.

Our dance journey began when Layna was 3 years old. She would always be dancing wherever and whenever. Even when she had to put her toys away, she would be dancing her way around the room. It would take her hours to clean up her bedroom. It was then we realized it was time to put her into dance class. We were living in Arlington, Virginia, at that time and enrolled her in ballet since there was a studio very close to our apartment complex. She danced there for only a few months due to our move to another county. We planned to find another studio, but soon after we settled into our new home, we found out that we would be moving back to Oahu. 

It was not until the fall of 2020 amid the pandemic, Layna, who was 6 years old at the time, continued to show interest in dance. Due to the pandemic, we did not think that there would be any studios open for classes, let alone taking in new students. We already knew of PDD because we live very close to the area. We figured we would take a chance to call and inquire about classes. Thankfully, they were open and taking in new students. In October 2020, Layna had her trial class in pre-ballet virtually. Thus, our dance journey with PDD began.

We never imagined Layna’s passion in dancing would take us to Las Vegas and San Diego! We thought dance would only be weekly classes and a couple of recitals. We knew she loved to dance, but we later learned how talented she was as a dancer. From pre-ballet she then showed interest in jazz, and this is where she flourished. She surprised us all! We found ourselves being a dance family when Layna was invited to be part of the Petite Dance Company in the 2023 season. Although it took us some time to think about what we were getting ourselves into; talking to other parents whose dancers were in company and encouragement from Layna’s teachers/directors, we were sold! 

Being part of the Company at PDD, Layna expanded her abilities in ballet, jazz, and tap. She also had the opportunity to attend workshops of various genres including contemporary, hip hop, and ballroom. She gained more confidence in herself as she started to train to dance her first solos in ballet and lyrical for this 2024 season. We are very blessed and grateful for these opportunities. Through PDD, we gained a wonderful second family. Seeing each other on a weekly basis and traveling together for competitions, we built friendships with other dance families. We are so very thankful for the other dance moms and dance dads who have become “Auntie” and “Uncle” to Layna. We are also thankful for the staff, mentors, teachers, and directors for all their hard work. We are especially grateful to Ms. Wendy and Mr. Jeremy for their unwavering support, and incredible vision for PDD. We look forward to another exciting season with all of you!