‘So grateful’: Hawaii dancers reflect on performing in Super Bowl halftime spectacular
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Now that the NFL season is over, football fans are already counting down to next year, but many in the entertainment industry are still buzzing over Rihanna’s halftime show spectacular.
Of the near 300 dancers involved in the Super Bowl performance, three were born and raised in Hawaii.
Summer Waikiki, Sienna Lalau, and Dezmond Soliven all are longtime friends and each moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in dance.
Those aspirations turned into an opportunity of a lifetime when each handpicked to join Rihanna on the big stage after previously working with her longtime choreographer, Parris Goebel.
“I’m so grateful that I even got to be in the room and be a part of it and even be considered for the job because there’s so much talent here in L.A. and everyone would love to do Super Bowl,” said Waikiki, who grew up in Kaneohe.
The preparation for the February show started back in November and the training was intense with hours-long sessions stretching into the early morning hours.
“I think it would be from like 3 p.m. or 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the morning.” said Lalau, a Waipahu native who moved to L.A. about five years ago. “Every day, just going at it, going at it, trying to perfect this 13-minute show.”
An emotional mix of excitement, nerves, and chicken skin for a show they’ve since re-watched hundreds of times.
“Being a part of the puzzle, you don’t ever get to see how what’s really going on because you’re so focused on doing your job,” said Soliven, who grew up on Oahu’s North Shore. “So it was really cool to sit back at home and see all the shots and see all the camera angles.”
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