The Meijide-Gentry women - Nora and daughters Corin Gentry-Balding '93 and Candes '95 - are forces of nature. They are strikingly beautiful, deeply passionate about life and the arts, and devoted to home and family.
According to mother Nora, the underlying values of family and education are what make Punahou such "an important part of our lives. What you learn at Punahou lasts the rest of your life and is an extension of home."
For the girls, dance played an important role in their education at Punahou. "The dance program was my school," Corin recalls of her early years in dance class. "That avenue of creativity allowed me to express myself." She discovered that dance held deeper lessons as well: "The more you move physically, the better the brain functions. Movement helps with learning and helps build self-confidence and self-esteem, which is such a huge part of growing up."
When Punahou announced the construction of a new studio for dance, Nora, Corin and Candes wanted to be involved, each making a generous gift toward the completion of the facility.
Candes describes her years at Punahou as defining. "My whole world was Punahou," she says, citing the benefits of a well-rounded education that embraced "the three A's-athletics, arts and academics." She considered herself more of an athlete during high school and is grateful for the support of track coach Michael Georgi and dance program directors Marian Jay Morrison and Charlys Ing '63.
In 1994 Candes auditioned for "The Mikado" on her way to track practice and was stunned to be cast in the lead role of Yum Yum. "I was very shy and a tomboy," Candes says. "Athletics helped me develop confidence and taught me the value of drive and commitment but music is a part of my soul."
Nora, Candes and Corin believe the performing arts connect people at their core. "Music and dance span all languages and cultures - they are universals that touch all people," the women agree. By giving to the new Josephine Flanders Dance Pavilion, the Meijide-Gentry family continues an artistic tradition that allows individuals and communities to flourish. Corin, whose daughter Tasia '19 is completing first grade, says: "I feel that investing in our children's future at Punahou is like investing in the future of the whole community."