• August 21, 2014

Dinner show Saturday highlights Pacific Rim culture

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Posted: Friday, May 30, 2014 4:30 am

The Pacific Heights Express Dance Organization will present a Polynesian dinner show featuring Hawaiian food and a dancing exhibition Saturday at the Killeen Arts & Activities Center.

Helen Gomez, director and founder of the organization, said Saturday night’s show will feature about 60 people of all ages and represent a variety of nationalities, including Filipino, Hawaiian, Samoan, Japanese and American.

“This group is so diverse,” Gomez said. “We have just about every nationality on the Pacific Rim.”

Gomez started the dance troupe in 1994 when her daughter was young “and loved to dance.”

“It just got bigger and bigger and bigger,” she said.

The group will soon celebrate its 20th reunion.

“This year we’re going to San Antonio,” she said. “Everyone that’s affiliated with this organization is coming and it’s just going to be a good time.”

Gomez said what makes the Pacific Heights group unique is not only its diversity but the fact that many of the younger dancers have never been to the Hawaiian islands due to having military parents and frequently moving. Learning the dances is something they can take with them when they leave Killeen.

“This is one way of keeping up with their culture,” she said. “This is one thing that they can carry on.”

Gomez said some of the high school-aged dancers perform in talent shows and community service-oriented events.

“They apply that to their college, their resume or wherever they go,” she said.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and dinner begins at 7 p.m. The dance show kicks off at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door.

There will be 13 arts and crafts vendors from the Central Texas area from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. This part of the celebration is free and open to the public.

For tickets or more information, call Gomez at 254-338-4807 or email pacificheights@hot.rr.com.

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