About Ballet Hawaii
Ballet Hawaii has been enriching Hawaii’s cultural environment by teaching, promoting, presenting, and producing dance since 1976. Originally a support group for the Honolulu City Ballet, this non-profit organization provides opportunities for self-growth, while instilling self-esteem and pride in its students, patrons and audiences. Its classes are focused on building self-confidence through accomplishment, while its presentations of world-class performances provide the community with the priceless gift of professional quality dance.
Toward its mission of presenting, promoting and teaching dance in Hawaii, Ballet Hawaii:
- Mounts large scale productions twice a year using both students and invited guest artists. Whenever possible, symphony musicians are hired to provide the musical accompaniment. Recent productions include Coppelia, Giselle, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Romeo and Juliet, Alice (in Wonderland) and an annual Hawaiian themed Nutcracker.
- Presents highly acclaimed dance companies that have included
Baryshnikov & Co., Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Stars of American Ballet Theatre, Mark Morris Dance Group, Pilobolus, Paul Taylor Dance Theatre, Ballet Stars from San Francisco, Alonzo King’s LINES BALLET, Okareka Dance Company of New Zealand, Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance, Martha Graham Dance Company and Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.
- Provides a year-round training program for pre-ballet through advanced students.
- Engages international Master Teachers to teach at the intermediate and advanced levels.
- Conducts a three week Summer Intensive session, featuring teachers from the international dance community, that attracts students from around the world.
- Provides outreach programs throughout the community and neighbor islands to reach new audiences and create more interest in dance.
Ballet Hawaii Administration
Pamela Taylor Tongg, Artistic Director
Pamela Taylor Tongg, Artistic Director, began her early training in Chicago, studied with Martha Mahrin Florida and the American Ballet Center in New York. Ms. Tongg had a ten-year association with the Atlanta Ballet 1975-1985 as a Soloist, Ballet Mistress and Director of the apprenticeship program which prepared young dancers for professional careers.
Ms. Taylor Tongg credits much of her training to Atlanta Ballet’s Artistic Director Emeritus Robert Barnett. She moved to Hawaii in 1985 and joined Ballet Hawaii. Under her guidance, Ballet Hawaii has grown from13 students to an average of over 400.
In 2010, Ms. Taylor Tongg was given the Outstanding Teacher Award at the Youth American Grand Prix competition and she also received certificates of appreciation from the City and County of Honolulu and the State House of Representatives for her outstanding contributions to Hawaii and Honolulu’s cultural presentations.
Because of Ms.Taylor Tongg, internationally acclaimed Guest Artists and Master Teachers participate each year in the productions and training program that Ballet Hawaii offers. In 2012 she was appointed to the Mayor’s Commission on Culture and the Arts as a dance expert.
John Parkinson, Executive Director
Lesley Young, School & Volunteer Coordinator
Lesley Young directs the on-going volunteer activities that provide countless hours of service and expertise to Ballet Hawaii. These volunteers assist the ballet with office assistance, events, costume sewing, novelty sales, computer consultations and also help to chaperone and act as ushers during production times. She is also responsible for the school administration.
Mrs. Young retired as a United Airlines flight attendant with over 35 years of service. She started dancing ballet at the age of 3 and also took tap and jazz all through high school and in college. She now dances hula with a halau. Her strong organizational skills benefit both the administrative side of the organization as well as the school.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Susan Schull, President
Dr. Philip I. McNamee, Vice-President
Carol Naish, Secretary
Kenny Lee, Treasurer
Dr. Jennifer King
Floria (Lori) Komer
Marion Philpotts Miller
Carolyn Berry Wilson