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Students dance at St. Catherine School Carnival

LIHU‘E — A packed house at the St. Catherine School Carnival on May 6 on the campus of the Kapa‘a school was also an appreciative audience with all of the live entertainment planned for both nights of the annual gathering.

Among the acts were several dancers from the Garden Island Dance Academy. They performed ballet, flamenco and several other numbers.

There were lines for food, rides, rock climbing and games, and people waited patiently for 30 minutes or more for certain items, said Jennifer Schwartz Bell-Grey, academy co-director and co-founder.

“It was actually great time to catch up and bump into people you haven’t seen in years,” she said.

The dancers who performed are ages 3 to 13, and included one dancing mom, Jill Eriksson, who accompanied her 2-year-old daughter Caia.

Jennifer Lynn Teal, who was in the audience, wrote in a note: “I sure enjoyed watching Miss Jennifer’s dancers. Miss Jennifer is simultaneously professional and poised and gracious with her students. She delights in their growth, development, their freedom and joy! We could all benefit from having a Miss Jennifer dance us through our days!”

Bell-Grey celebrates her 25th year teaching on Kaua‘i, and travels to different locations to hold lessons. The main studio is a combined studio and theater space in Nawiliwili.

“It also was great to see students shine on stage and get that much more confident performing for so many people,’ she said in a statement.

Summer classes are open for enrollment, as well as early enrollment for 2023-24. There is a limit of 10 spots in each of her classes, and they fill fast.

The big show at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e is Feb. 3, 2024, and is called “Pearl.” This is an ode to Bell-Grey’s teacher, who in 1958 traveled with the Royal Ballet Company to Australia and New Zealand. It was a feat for any dance company, and in those days they had to go by ship.

• Info: Bell-Grey, 808-823-9588,
Source: The Garden Island

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