Dear Dance Community,

As of December 31, 2014, Aloha Ballroom Dance Academy (a 501-c3 non-profit organization) will be officially closing (see “Continued Dance Information” note below). The last event will be Wednesday, December 17th Holiday Dance Party & Annual Keiki Toy Drive for the Homeless Resource Centers of Maui.

A Personal Note From Rita:

Aloha Ballroom Dance Academy has had the privilege and honor to serve the Maui community at large through professionally-instructed group ballroom & latin dance classes for 15 years and has been extremely blessed to financially contribute to and participate with various other Maui non-profits through our annual charitable donations. Most memorably, in February 2007, Aloha Ballroom Dance Academy broke the Guinness World Record for the largest ballroom dance class in the world!

I would like to thank everyone who has volunteered their time, talent & resources – both big and small – over the years in support of my dance vision for Maui. I am so proud that my dance dream became realized through the Academy and it was more than I could have ever imagined! A special “Mahalo” to Academy students Keoki Sousa (15 years of service), Julie Katz, Dean Feldman, Terry Hans, Daniel Kruse, Marty-Jean Bender, Charles Dougherty, Juan & Cindy Dawson, Jenifer & Dennis Goss, Karina Scarborough, David & Nancy Fairclough and the Academy’s co-founder, Brian O’Connor, and others, too numerous to mention.*

“Mahalo” Mayor Alan Arakawa & the County of Maui Park & Recreation Department for supporting our community-based programs. A special thank you to the South Maui Kihei Parks & Recreation staff’s support throughout the years!

DANCE INSTRUCTION: I continue to teach & coach solo students & couples for social & club dancing, wedding “First Dances,” competitions & performances through PRIVATE IMAGE DANCE STUDIO, Kihei.

With Deepest Gratitude,

Rita CoverGirl Photo by DanielKruse May2011

Rita CoverGirl Photo by DanielKruse May2011

Rita O’Connor, N.D.C.A. professional license #5546

Aloha Ballroom Dance Academy


* Additional notes of gratitude to: Fran Oshiro, Bob Straub, Mike Mathias, Mary Kielty, Jeff & Lydia Cruz, Jason McGuire, Alexandra Schaub, Celine & Ed Janisewski, Donnalee Singer, Kachina Palencia, Mitch Irwin, Lisa Kemp, Larry Zolezzi, Art Sumabat & the late Flossie Sumabat, Les Grimes, Lynann Nicely, Mike & Nancy Mateja, Barbara Flowers, Jeanne Doerr, Sandy Ward, Jim Dupree, Stephanie Chasagrande, Terri Williams, Ron Rinaldi, Ron Baybayan, Charlie & Cheri Ridings, Dale & Jackie Webster, the late Julie Claire Holmes. My apologies to anyone’s whose name I might have missed.


What Students Say About Aloha Ballroom Dance Academy:

“An asset & great benefit to the community!”

“This program has helped me love life again!”

“Great time with great people!”

“I love this class and I got to meet both of my loves in it: my boyfriend and ballroom dancing!”

“A favorite date night for my husband & I!”

“Great way to be a part of the Maui community!” 

“We love this class! We drive all the way from Kula!”

“Rita’s classes are a life changer!”

“After a hard day at work, I look forward to Rita’s dance classes!”

“Rita’s the best teacher of ballroom & latin dance on the island & I have taken from them all!”

To read more about Rita & her teaching, CLICK ON “Kind Words & Testimonials.”


MUSIC Suggestions:

Salsa – Rita’s friends/Maui’s Own: Neto Peraza & Barbara (; Rita’s friend/John Legend Band Horns Director Stephen Tirpak (; Lou Bega’s Mambo No. 5 (slow)

Cha-Cha – Marc Anthony’s “I Need To Know”; Santana/Rob Thomas “Smooth”

Argentine Tango – “Tango Lunaire”; “Santa Maria”; “Milonga De Mi Amor”

Rumba – BeeGee’s “How Deep Is Your Love?”‘; Dusty Springfield’s “The Look of Love”

East Coast Swing – Madonna’s “True Blue”‘; Michael Buble’s “I Want To Stop & Thank You Baby”

Hustle -BeeGee’s “You Stepped (Into My Life)”; Britney Spear’s “Hit Me Baby (One more Time)

Samba – Sanatana’s “Maria Maria”; Enrique Iglesias “Bailamos”

West Coast Swing – Blues, R&B, Soul, Contemporary – Variety of Smooth Grooves

Bachata, Bolero, Night Club 2 Step – Slow Ballads…Latin Club Style, Ballroom Latin, Smooth Open Club Style (respectively)

Waltz (Slow) – Nat King & Natalie Cole’s “Fascination”; Eagles “Take It To The Limit”

American Tango – Various Artists: “Hernando’s (or Fernando’s) Hideaway” or “La Cumparsita”

Foxtrot – Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Nancy Wilson songs

Viennesse Waltz – Celine Dion “Surprise Surprise”; “Blue Danube” “My Favorite Things”

Quickstep – “42nd Street”; “I Get a Kick Out Of You”; “Let’s Face the Music & Dance”

Maui’s PREMIERE & MOST QUALIFIED Professionally-Instructed Ballroom & Latin Dance Classes featuring Rita O’Connor, National Dance Council of American, LATIN & BALLROOM PROFESSIONAL with almost 30 (THIRTY) YEARS Teaching EXPERIENCE from New York City to Maui!


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