Our Islands, Our Future

Madelyne Pascua founded Dance International Production with the intention of perpetuating the Filipino culture on Maui. She continues to do that today, sixteen years after forming her dance troupe. The group’s repertoire also includes Hawaiian and Tahitian dances. Pascua earned a choreographer and director certificate from the Kalihi Palama Arts & Culture Academy on Oahu. She said her passion for dance dates back to the age of nine when she first arrived in Hawaii, learning Tahitian, hula and eventually Filipino folk dance.

She said she prefers an all-female dance troupe, but you need not be Filipino to be a part of Dance International Production. “I always tell my dancers, dance with your heart,” she said. Today, the group has 35 members ages 5 to 22. They perform once a month at the Maui Mall and two to three times a month at Whalers Village Shopping Center. In addition to private parties, Dance International Production has provided free performances at community venues including the Barrio Fiesta, Miss Maui Filipina Pageant, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life fundraiser and the Maui Fil-Am Heritage Festival. Dancers in 2006 traveled to the Philippines to perform in five different towns, and earlier this year they shared Filipino dances at a Barrio Fiesta held at the St. Martin University campus in Washington state.

To be a part of Dance International Production, performers are exposed to dances from several cultures. “This enables the individual to learn and respect different cultures,” Pascua said. In addition, Pascua encourages her dancers to attend college and has awarded $7,000 in scholarships during the last four years to nine of her dancers. Pascua said she hopes to have continuous income from performances so that more college scholarships can be provided. Dance International Production is also aiming to have a studio with a library so that both members and non-members can learn more about world cultures.