July 2019 - The Laguana Family

Aloha! We are the Laguana ‘Ohana: Ricky, Vanessa, Jaeden (15), Rissa (8) and Jordan (6). We are humbled and honored to be Pas De Deux Hawaii’s family of the month for July 2019! 

Ricky is a Ramp Agent at Hawaiian Airlines, Vanessa the Director of Revenue Cycle Management at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, Jaeden our varsity and all-star competitive cheerleader is an incoming 10th grader at Kamehameha Schools, Rissa our little dancer is an incoming 3rd grader at Holy Family Catholic Academy and Jordan our Flag Football player is an incoming 1st grader at Saint Louis School. Our family also includes our 2 dogs-Kona a Labrador and Makoa a Bull Mastiff. We reside in Ewa Beach, Hawaii. 

Our journey with PDD began in 2016 when Rissa turned 5 and was enrolled in jazz class and ballet shortly after that. She seemed to enjoy dance so much more than the gymnastics classes she was taking and once she performed in her first recital on stage, she was hooked! Our normally shy and introverted girl found joy through her love of dance and performing and was able to express herself creatively both on and off stage.  The following year, she had the opportunity to perform in 4 of 5 shows during recital weekend for “Old School Jams” and it allowed us a parent’s to also get involved more by volunteering behind the scenes with Vanessa as a backstage mom and Ricky as an usher or security for recitals. Soon thereafter Rissa auditioned for the newly formed Mini Company and was offered spots on both the ballet and jazz mini company teams. This has allowed Rissa to compete at Jump and Spotlight locally. She also attended other local workshops such as Lux and Liberate Artists where she earned a scholarship to attend Phoenix Fire in New York City. This year, Rissa is in her 2nd year on the mini company team for the ballet, jazz and tap companies where she has competed here locally and will be heading to Las Vegas for The Dance Awards National Convention this 2019 summer.

We are very thankful for the many opportunities that Wendy and Jeremy along with the amazing team of instructors and admin staff at Pas De Deux Hawaii has provided our family to learn from not only in teaching our daughter to dance, but also in allowing her an outlet to express herself creatively and it has also taught our family valuable life skills as well. Ricky has become the designated “costume manager” for Rissa. He sews, bling’s, tacks, velcro’s, irons, you name it he does it while Vanessa enjoys volunteering her time with Rissa and the mini team backstage assisting with hair, makeup, quick changes and ensuring everyone is safe and on time to where they need to be. We’ve formed life-long friendships on this journey and look forward to making many more memories in the years to come. 

Our advice to new families; get involved, stay connected, ask questions, and volunteer. You will not regret it! 

Outside of the studio, you can find us at the stadium watching Jaeden cheer at her school sporting events or competitions, at Jordan’s flag football games where Ricky is the head coach for his team or cheering on Ricky at his bowling tournaments. We also enjoy spending quality family time together when our busy schedules permit by taking advantage of our family’s travel benefits to travel anywhere Hawaiian Airlines will take us!  

Thank you again to Wendy and Jeremy & everyone at PDD for this wonderful honor! We are truly grateful and blessed!