Jill Tanioka-Ventura opened Dance Junction Hawaii in 2005 fulfilling her lifelong dream to run her own dance studio. As a child, Jill danced for ten years with Drill Team Hawaii and was a member of the select "Showteam." In the ninth grade, she began teaching and choreographing for DTH before moving on to dance as a Rainbow Dancer at the University of Hawaii where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Sociology. Currently she uses her degree working for Hawaii Behavioral Health as she has been invested in working with children with special needs since graduating from college. In 1994, Jill began teaching dance and gymnastics at Iolani School where she remained for ten years. While there, the Iolani Dance Team traveled to Nationals twice and were awarded several national titles. During her time at Iolani, Jill won numerous choreography awards for her work with the dance team. Among her accomplishments are several solo and team titles as a dancer as well as many national and international awards as a director, coach, and choreographer. Jill has performed at the Laker's exhibition games, the Macy's Day Parade, Pro Bowl, Hula Bowl, Aloha Bowl and throughout the United States. She has also studied dance at UH Manoa, Orange Coast College, and the Edge. Miss Jill teaches keiki through advanced classes as well as choreographs for the classes and the company.
Lyndsey Arakawa is a graduate of the University of Hawaii and teaches sixth grade at Iolani School. Miss Lyndsey has been with Dance Junction since the beginning and is now the assistant director. Miss Lyndsey has danced for fifteen years and has been a student of Miss Jill's at Iolani and Dance Junction and is a former UH Rainbow Dancer. She is trained in jazz, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, hula, and Tahitian and has performed and competed with her team and as a soloist winning numerous national championships. Miss Lyndsey has been a title holder twice at American Dance/Drill Team USA and twice at Spotlight. She has also been a finalist at MA Dance Nationals and Miss Dance Drill Team International.
Marisa Takiguchi, a graduate of Loyola Maramount University, teaches hip hop for Dance Junction building upon her college dance training. Marisa was a student of Miss Jill's at Iolani School and Dance Junction. Among several solo titles, Marisa won the prestigious World Championship in Tokyo, Japan in 2007. Marisa is trained in jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, hula, Tahitian, and ballet.
Dance Junction Hawaii has a Sr company comprised of three teams: the silver squad (High School team), the turquoise squad (grades 7-9), and the Pro-Am team (Alums). DJH also has a Jr. company comprised of three teams: the pink squad (grades 4-6), the purple squad (grades 2-4) and the sparkle squad (kindergarten). Dance Junction welcomed the purple squad in 2013 and the sparkle squad in 2015 and also proudly has several DJH alumni still dancing with the company. The company's motto is "Believe." The studio's colors are turquoise, silver and black.
Each team member is committed to excellence both in dance and in their personal lives. Nearly all are on the Headmaster's List in school for having outstanding grades. Many dancers also find time to do community service projects and volunteer work throughout the State. Team members belong to the National Key Club and have received National Merit awards as well as placed in the Jr. Miss Pageant. Several dancers also serve as officers and Student Council members at their schools. Many dancers have taken classes at the Edge Studio in Hollywood, CA as well attending workshops by top choreographers. Nearly all Dance Junction alumni danced at their prospective colleges and maintain as a part of the life.
Dancers also give back to the team by working with other team members and classes when they are not dancing themselves. Thank you to Alia, Sara and Kira for helping with the Saturday classes and being wonderful role models of hard work and excellence! Your time and efforts are greatly appreciated.