Bega says bye with final MAPA performance of high school

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Photo by Hoku Krueger

Kamehameha Schools Maui senior Rachel Bega performs "Magalena" by Sergio Mendes, choreographed by Lee Ann Lawrence at "Moves," part of Maui Academy of Performing Arts' Spring Extravaganza 2012 on Saturday, May 5, 2012 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. She, KSM juniors Sarah Aiwohi and Kamalei Warrington and sophomores Ryan Foree and Mikela Yamamoto danced in the 2-hour long show to end their year with MAPA. This was Bega's last performance with the non-profit organization.

By Hoku Krueger, news co-editor

KAHULUI – Kamehameha Schools Maui senior Rachel Bega saved her last dance with the Maui Academy of Performing Arts for its Spring Extravaganza 2012 on Saturday, May 5, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

Bega danced to “Magalena,” by Sergio Mendes, choreographed by Lee Ann Lawrence with MAPA’s Jazz IV class. She also danced to “On the Floor,” by Jennifer Lopez, with MAPA’s graduating seniors. Each of the 11 seniors choreographed her own section of the senior dance.

“I never thought that I would be in the senior dance,” Bega said. She had danced on and off with MAPA as a young child before committing to dance in her freshman year in high school. She said she had to work to catch up with some of the more experienced dancers at that point.

She plans to continue dancing after high school by pursuing a career in musical theatre.

“Dancing with Rachel has been amazing. I’ve known her since we were 8-years-old. I’ve been with everyone every week for so long. It’s weird that we’re leaving the island and won’t be seeing each other. It’s fun and scary at the same time,” said Rachel Hu, Baldwin High School senior and MAPA dancer.

Bega, along with KSM juniors Sarah Aiwohi and Kamalei Warrington and sophomores Ryan Foree and Mikela Yamamoto performed in Moves, part 2 of the 3-part extravaganza. “Moves” ran two hours and featured 26 dances from MAPA’s Dance Theatre, Performance, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Dance Company, and upper-level Jazz, Choreography & Technique and Turns & Leaps groups. They also performed in segment “Jazz, Tap & Hip Hop,” which kicked the event off on Saturday afternoon.

Aiwohi and Yamamoto also performed in “Ballet,” part 3 of the event on Sunday May 6, 2012, at the MACC, wherein.MAPA’s ballet students performed Alice in Wonderland.

KSM Speech teacher Ms. Camille Romero, who also teaches jazz dance at MAPA, choreographed several of the dances that featured KSM students. She also performed with the other MAPA instructors in “Burlesque,” by Christina Aguilera, choreographed by Katie Talbot in “Moves.”

“It’s fun to work with the KS students because I get to see a different side to them. One is academic and getting work done. The other is more creative and fun. In one place they can call me Camille and in the other they have to call me Ms. Romero,” Ms. Romero said.

MAPA is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing educational and performing arts programs to the people of Maui. MAPA offers classes in drama and dance to people ages 3 and up. It is also involved in partnerships with schools around Maui to teach students drama, literary arts and music and produces several community shows every year.

For more information about MAPA, visit their website at www.mauiacademy.org.