For the first time ever, the Saipan Awaodori Team will be traveling to Guam today to perform in the Japan Autumn Festival at the Ypao Beach Park this Saturday.
Sheena Saures will head the Saipan Awaodori Team and will be accompanied by drummers Kimo Elias Osiik, Cassidy Wabol, and Coddie Franco Forbes, dancers Jeafanie Tibong, Marcela Heben, Julianne Mettao, Leon Wabol, and Eleazir Mettao, and bell player O.J. Search Osilek.
Team coordinator Sonia Siwa said the Japan Club of Guam invited the group to perform in the U.S. territory and it was actually postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is the first time for the Saipan Awaodori Team to perform in Guam. Usually it’s always in Japan before the pandemic,” she said.
The Saipan Awaodori Team will fly to Guam this morning and will also visit the Japanese School of Guam and perform at the Guam Premium Outlet.
The team’s trip to Guam is sponsored by Kinpachi Restaurant.
The restaurant’s owner, Misako Kamata, said she has always supported the Saipan Awaodori Team from the start. “These kids are all local kids and they can dance better than other Japanese. …They learned a lot from the team, not only dancing and playing instruments, but even in their personality—proper respect and how to deal with other people. Some who were shy eventually became outgoing,” she said.