Happy Father’s Day


Father’s Day is once upon us again and I for one always look forward to this day.  Why you may ask?  It’s because I cherish the homemade cards that my children give to me.  Their words of appreciation and love are truly priceless and beats any material gifts that I receive.   a7

Being a father is by far one of the “BEST” jobs that I have.  When I’m not disciplining my children for something bad they may have done, I’m their adult buddy.

That’s my excuse for going to the toy store and perusing shelves of toys to my heart’s content.  It’s my chance to purchase awesome “action figures” (I call them that because calling them “boy” dolls are totally not cool at all).

I also am afforded the opportunities to do things like hip hop dancing, playing video games, being up on the most current social media app, learning how to navigate my phone, all the stuff that kids nowadays do.

Don’t let my “over the hill” appearance fool you; inside this battle-worn body is a goofy kid that’s willing to make a fool of himself as well.  There are even times when my kids join in my tomfoolery; more often than not, my kids are slightly embarrassed at some of the mischievous things I tend to do in public just for a laugh.  My wife often says that she has not two but three kids and the “oldest” one is the most immature.

Aside from all the fun things that I get to do with my kids as a dad, I’m also there to provide guidance and strength in crucial moments in their life.  I’m a father first and my family is my world…my everything.

I try my best to be the best father I can be and I can honestly say that it’s not that hard to do.  I had a good role model in my father; he took a vested interest in my well-being, gave sound advice and made me into the person I am today.  A4My father’s quiet strength, extensive knowledge, vast experiences, quirky sense of humor, gentle kindness and champion against all forms of danger belied his gruff, stern exterior.  No amount of thanks will ever be enough for what he’s done in my life.

Yeah moms are given all the honor and glory that they rightfully deserve but give dads the same as well.  So this Father’s Day, if you’re fortunate enough to still have your father around, spend time with him and cherish it with all of your heart.  If you’re a father, be with your kids and love them for all their worth.  Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there!!!

So You Think You Can Dance

Dance7 In an earlier post I had talked about my daughter wanting to learn how to dance…more specifically dance “K-Pop” style.  Well, it’s been three months since I started this quest to help fulfill one of my daughter’s dream and it’s been going quite well.

 We’re not quite where we want to be but I’m proud of the fact of how far we’ve both come along.  I’m not a professional dancer by any means but I think we’re getting the hang of this style of dancing. 

When my daughter wanted to learn how to dance, I originally anticipated her asking me about break dancing or popping.  I was ecstatic and brushing off the cobwebs in a portion of my mind of all the old routines I used to do back in my heyday when I was a B-Boy (I wasn’t the best but I clearly wasn’t the worst).

 Like I said earlier, when she wanted to learn “K-Pop” style, my mind went blank and I had absolutely no idea what that entailed.  “Where do I start?” and “How am I going to pull this off?” were the only things that ran rampant in my mind.

K-Pop dancing has very intricate moves; it’s almost as if you are doing synchronized choreography.  Dancing by yourself is one thing, but doing it at the same time with another and hitting your marks at the same time is DAMN TOUGH!  These kids nowadays have much more rhythm than the kids I grew up with…simply amazing.

The things that helped me to get over this hump was the fact that she wanted to learn a routine from a specific Korean pop song and YouTube.  YouTube is simply the best because you can learn just about EVERYTHING and ANYTHING on that site.  I knew that can find a lot of stuff on YouTube but…WOW!  Where was this when I was growing up?!

 There were tons of tutorials and people doing dance covers that truly enlightened me as to the style that me and my daughter were about to learn.

After endless hours of watching the tutorials and clumsily mimicking the moves, we were inching our way towards our goal.  Man, for someone my age, this quest is daunting.  Not dancing since my high school and college days also added to the challenge.

 Doing something like this with my daughter, however, is priceless.  I was glad that my daughter took an interest in dancing, something that I LOVED to do when I was her age. 

 We got a lot of work ahead of us to complete our goal.  And…“How long will that take?” Your guess is as good as mine but I take solace in the fact that we’ll get there.  AND when we get there, I know we’ll get that sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that we were striving for.  Hopefully it’ll be soon so that I can upload the video to my blog to show you the results and make you see that we can REALLY DANCE!

Dance like no one is watching


I could never fully understand the phrase “Dance like no one is watching”, guess I’ve always loved to dance so it never really mattered.  Never took a single dance class in my life but learned from going to all those high school dances and watching other dancers from nightclubbing or from TV.  I mimicked their moves and then put my own flair to it.

 More than anything, I’ve always let the music dictate how I moved on the dance floor, sidewalk, bedroom or hallway.  Never really cared if I looked funny, I was free to dance to my heart’s content.  Really didn’t practice except when it came to popping and break dancing.  Those were the only type of moves that needed to be perfected so that you didn’t look like crap.

But going back to that phrase, the reason why I brought that up was because my teenage daughter wants to learn how to dance.  I thought to myself that this was a golden moment, I’ll offer up my services and in the process have a little father-daughter bonding experience.  How hard would this be; she took dance lessons for a couple of years but that was back when she was 4 and 5 years old.

 I asked her to show me what she remembered but she drew a blank.  Then I asked her to show me any type of dance move and she was too embarrassed to do so.

 I said to her “If you want to learn to dance, you can’t be afraid to show what you know even if it looks weird or stupid.  If you get over that inhibition, then your body will be able to move more fluidly.”  I’m not a dance teacher or professional by any means but in my opinion, if you’re not afraid of making an ass of yourself while dancing then you shouldn’t dance.

 I asked her again, to just show me anything.  There was a hesitation at first but then she “manned up” and showed me what was in her dance repertoire.  It was a bit rough and her coordination was slightly off but was impressive nonetheless.  I commended her for doing that and assured her that the hard part was over and I can teach her what I know.

As I was about to display some of my “go to” moves, she blurted out that she wanted to learn hip hop.  I thought to myself “I can manage that, it wouldn’t be the greatest but it shouldn’t be a problem.”  I came up with a move in my head and was about to display it when she added…”It has to be k-pop style.”   


She wanted to learn a dance routine from a k-pop group that she thought was cool.  Now I had to check this out; I immediately went on YouTube and called up the video.  I had to admit, it was pretty awesome but way out of my league…but as a father trying to impress his child, I would never admit that.

 “I can teach you that.  Just let me watch it for a while and we can get started” I told her.

“Cool” was her only reply.  And with that she buried her face into her phone and was off in her little world.

So now I am tasked with learning an intricate dance routine and breaking it down into simple steps to teach my daughter.  What have I gotten myself into!?  This was surely a daunting task but I’m up for the challenge.  Don’t know how long it will take but I’m making it my mission to making my daughter mimic those moves fluidly and in the process adding more moves to my dance repertoire.

I’ll update my progress in future blogs and hopefully will post a video of the end result.  Here’s to a victorious end…TALLY HO!

Chloe’s Stage Fright

Chloe was the only student in third grade that loved to dance. It didn’t matter where, it didn’t matter how, it didn’t even matter if there was music playing or not Chloe just loved dancing. Her dancing involved a lot of twirling, skipping, hopping, jumping, swaying, and prancing.

Chloe’s teacher, Miss Keegan, noticed Chloe’s fondness for dancing and thought she was the perfect choice for the part of the dancing princess in their third grade play. Miss Keegan walked up to Chloe and asked, “Hey Chloe, we’re having a play this Friday night and I was wondering if you would like to be in it?”

Dancing away, Chloe replied “I dunno.”

“I think you would be perfect as the lead character” said Miss Keegan, “the dancing princess.”

She stopped and looked at Miss Keegan.  “Dancing?” said Chloe.

“Yes, you like to dance right?” asked Miss Keegan.

“All the time” exclaimed Chloe.

“So do you want to be the dancing princess in our play?” asked Miss Keegan.

“Yes!” said an excited Chloe.

“Great. The play is going to be in four days so we’ll be rehearsing for a short while afterschool.” said Miss Keegan. “Okay” answered Chloe. And with that, Chloe danced away with a hop, skip, and a twirl.

Afterschool, for the next four days, Chloe rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed with Miss Keegan and a few of her classmates. Miss Keegan was pleased at the way her students practiced, “I’m proud of you all. And especially you Chloe, you dance very well. You’re all going to do just fine for tonight’s play. See you later tonight.” Chloe was so happy to be in a play that involved the one thing she loved the most…dancing. Chloe gathered her things and proceeded to walk home. She was joined by two of her friends, Sarah and Kevin, who were also in the play.

As they were walking home Chloe said “Isn’t it great that we’re in a play?”

“I guess so” replied Sarah, “but I’m kind of scared.”

“Yeah, me too” said Kevin. Chloe was a bit puzzled and asked “What are you scared of?” “Performing in front of all those people” said Kevin.

“Yeah, all those people staring at you. I hope I don’t trip or fall. Everybody would laugh at me.” Sarah added. Chloe was a bit concerned at what Sarah said.

“I hope I don’t forget what to say” said Kevin, “that’s even more scarier.” Chloe started to look a little scared.

“I’m glad I’m not you Chloe” said Sarah. Kevin said the same, “Yeah, I’m glad I’m not you.”

“Why?” asked a puzzled Chloe.

“Because you’re the main character” said Kevin, “you have to dance and talk.” Sarah added, “Yeah, all those people will be watching you. What if you trip and fall or forget your lines?” “Everyone will laugh at you” said Kevin.

Chloe was now scared.

Sarah and Kevin waved Chloe goodbye as she headed into her house. Chloe ran up to her room and sat on her bed. “I wish I wasn’t in the play” said Chloe.

Just then, her mom entered the room, “Are you ready for the play tonight?”

“No” answered Chloe.

“Why not? Didn’t you rehearse all this week with Miss Keegan?” asked her mom.

“Yeah” said Chloe, “but I’m scared.”

“What are you scared of?” asked her mom.

“What if I trip and fall or forget what to say, everyone will laugh at me. I’m scared.” said Chloe.

“Don’t be, everybody gets a little stage fright when they have to speak or perform in front of people.” said her mom. Chloe was puzzled at what her mom said, “Stage fright? What’s that?”

Her mom looked at her, “That’s when you get nervous. You’re worried about every little that could go wrong, like tripping, falling, or forgetting what to say. But if you practiced hard enough that won’t happen.” “You practiced hard didn’t you” stated her mom.

“Yes” said Chloe.

“You dance all the time and you never forget a step right” said her mom. “Yeah” said Chloe. “So don’t worry so much” said her mom, “you’re only doing what you love to do except it’s on a stage. You dance all the time in front of your dad and I, your brothers and sisters, aunties and uncles, and cousins.”

Chloe listened to every word her mom said. Her mom added, “When you go on the stage tonight, just pretend that your dad and I, your brothers and sisters, aunties and uncles, and cousins are the only ones in the audience okay?”

Chloe thought for a second and smiled, “I can do that.”

That night Chloe remembered what her mom said. She never forgot what to say and she twirled, hopped, skipped, swayed, and pranced with ease. Everyone cheered and clapped when the play was done. Chloe took a bow and smiled.

“I did it!” Chloe proudly said, “Let’s do this again!”

Mark Kaneshige