Solefly Wins Regional Dance Banner


Kalani’s dance group Solefly took home the championship banner in their division at a regional dance competition, just before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the state. Photo courtesy of Solefly faculty advisor Daniel Akemoto.

Lucy Fagan, Student Life

Kalani High School’s dance team, Solefly, competed at the Aloha National Showcase, a regional dance competition on March 13 at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort winning a championship banner and the title “Superior Performance”. 

“We all didn’t expect to do well,” Stacie Bae, a sophomore on the team, shared. “All the other teams were very talented so we tried to the best of our ability.”

The team, which is run primarily by students, had been working for this competition since January. 

“Winning or losing is just a by-product of hard work,” Daniel Akemoto, the team’s creator and advisor, said. “I feel that the team did very well. To win any award is always a nice surprise.” 

Unlike most teams, Solefly’s dances are choreographed by the students, something Akemoto believes is important. Students develop ownership over their work and learn skills they normally wouldn’t. 

The team focuses on the basics of a variety of dance styles; this helps them build their ability and foundation. It doesn’t matter if the student is good or not, but the effort put in is what’s important. Akemoto started the team as a way for those who might not get the opportunity to dance due to skill level or financial concerns to have a place to learn. And he puts learning above winning. 

Our basic structure is different from others,” Akemoto explained. “Many times you get criticized by other groups and especially parents, but I am always focused on students learning, and improving, and to be successful because they have good foundation.”