Sunday, December 4, 2016

Partner Dancing.

Gender Roles in Partner Dancing: by Gerald Schmidt, Makakilo

Traditionally, partner dancing has been danced in male/female couples with roles assigned based on gender. Men lead and do the simpler, more basic moves. Women follow and they "shine" and usually do the most graceful of moves. These roles require the acquisition of different skills, and the recent gains in liberating women and men from such rigid gender roles in American society at large has done little to loosen the rules on the dance floor.

"Most dancers are never bullied into silence. They never allow
themselves to be made a victim. They accept no one's
definition of their lives, - They define themselves."

While we may prefer that every dancer were required to learn both roles, such a fantasy is not at present practical. If you are male, you will be expected to lead and there is plenty to learn. And on most occasions if you are female, you are expected to follow and of course, it is the most difficult part. So it is best that you spend more time learning the role that is assigned to your gender and enjoy your part in moving to your favorite music. This is being done daily throughout the world. No Hu Hu.

"The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise" by Les Paul and Mary Ford.

But if you think you would enjoy learning the role not traditionally assigned to your gender, all the power to you. Just be aware that someone has to lead and someone has to follow (even if you take turns) - otherwise it's a different activity (perhaps wrestling?)

"The best dancers are not always the best teachers. -
The best teachers are not always the best dancers."

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

December is calling

It seems to be a happy crowd of dancers on this island of Oahu. And Christmas is always an opportunity. There are many plans by different people at different places and at different times. All of it in good clean fun. The blogs will get the information of what is coming up and the good part is when they can report on the happy dancers at play. I have been invited to WBDC and I hope we can make two good blogs on the fiesta.

"Somewhere Over The Rainbow" by Bruddah Iz

Men dancers in West Oahu have been like in other places, but now with the men, our friends and neighbors, finding out that they don't have to wear cowboy boots or cowboy hats to line dance, there is a renewed interest. The results seem to be that in West Oahu, in line dancing, we are developing the equal to the old time street dancers, that means both men and women. And they all learn, the music first, the timing second and then the styling. We are heading into the right direction and will end up getting some of the best dancers on this or any other island.

"We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness,
we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams,
we are the dancers, we create the dreams."

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Men - Women

By Robert Uyemura, Honokai  Hale

NightClub Dancing is about the only place where there is equality in the number of men and women. Though sometimes even more men that women. Regular social dancing has perhaps 60-40 more women than men. And in line dancing it is outrageous with women overwhelmingly present. And in some line dance clubs they have women only, - planned that way?

Most dancers know that,  "Before you spread any rumors about us,
please let us tell you what we heard about you."

"Live Music Coming To West Oahu"

The most popular social cultural ballroom dances seem to be: Cha Cha Cha, Foxtrot, Rumba, Swing, Tango and Waltz, Other social ballroom dances that could be included very easily are: Samba, Mambo, Hustle, Merengue, Two-Step, and Salsa. These are the dances in our Social Cultural dance scene and a large portion can still be considered as learning in the streets. Fortunately in Hawaii we have many good dance teachers to help us in whatever category we need. And so many good dance clubs with reasonable rates for learning.

Bolero, Paso Doble, Quickstep, Viennese Waltz, have become obsolete from the social. cultural dance scene. But they are a must for the "Ballroom" dancers. It is definitely consider part of their "art." That is why they are so uncomfortable when sharing the same dance floor with inferior dancers like us. Though they are getting nicer, I haven't heard the term "Junk Dancer in a long time.

"Devuelme El Corazon" por Patricia Gamero

One of Trump's men passed away and happened to get to the Pearly Gates, but with a heavy suitcase. He was questioned by Saint Peter. "You're not supposed to bring anything with you." The man says "I went to a lot of trouble to get this and I want it in."

Saint Peter is nice guy and says, "OK, open it up and let me see." The man opens up the suitcase and it is full of gold bars." - Saint Peter's jaw drops. "You brought pavement?"

Friday, November 18, 2016

Line Dancing

By Edwin Takahashi, Waimalu:
Despite its associations with cowboy hats and cowboy boots, line dancing originally had little to do with the "Country and Western" scene. It has been danced all over the world since dancing began to be choreographed and most of it was danced by men. Early line dances in the US were performed to disco music, as much as to country and western, and line dancers would dance to whatever was played. As long as they all followed the same sequence, they could still have fun dancing.

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say,
and what you do are in harmony."

Few of the dances even had their origins in country dancing. The 'Cowboy Charleston', as its name suggests, was based on the Charleston, and 'The Barn Dance Mixer' had its origins in Paso Doble. Good thing no one can get a patent on a dance.The links with country and western were forged with Billy Ray Cyrus's 'Achy Breaky Heart' in 1992. The dance to this song was written as a marketing ploy to sell the single, but line dancing to country music soon became a big dance craze.

"Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus

Today, "purists" on the mainland will only line dance to country music, ignoring the previous history of line dancing. Others including most in Hawaii will dance to any tune, as long as someone will tell them the steps. It doesn't matter whether it's Waltz, Jazz, Rumba or the latest chart sounds. You name it, if there's a dance that will fit they'll do it. Line dancing continues to be popular, particularly because it's one of the few dance forms where you don't need a partner, and because it's easy to learn.

One good thing in West Oahu is that men are picking up on this action. Makes for a better looking dance floor. Everyone understands that it is good exercise and another good part is that they are keeping it mostly to the simple dance forms, which makes it easy to weave into the regular social dance scene. Once they get too much LAGS, they will be on the way down.

"The biggest competition for a social dancer is not another dancer and
it is not an instructor, It is us. We continually push our weaknesses
and we test our strengths. We are the dancers."

Monday, November 14, 2016

With Precaution

At one time this blog was second only to Town Dancer, and it has come down in hits because it only has me and SOS. It is getting too close to single digit average hits per day. With just one good steady Two Center it would begin to move again. I have tried to get to Makua Alii twice but just couldn't make it. I have to find another dance group in town and blog'em, it would certainly help. Meanwhile, I will work on the other blogs which are going very well.

"Our dancers on Oahu, try not to associate with those who gossip.
They are well aware that those who gossip to you about others,
are more than likely gossiping about you as well."

In our dancing environment I look for agnostics and I ignore atheists. As a good evangelist I can usually tell if people understand and like a dance style in five minutes. If they don't,  I cut my losses and avoid them. It is very hard to convert someone to a new religion (like, dance) when they believe in another god (another dance). It's much easier to convert a person who has no proof about the goodness or badness of an evangelist's product.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Jimmy Borges

Lucky so many open minds in the Western part of Oahu and I am getting some good readers in my blogs. And anyone can check the other blogs for ideas about what you can do about the entire enchilada to make it bettah. Most of us accept the fact that we are not clones. Each of has a separate and honest opinion on any dancing subject and it is not necessarily right or wrong. What is Social Media? You don't know yet, but it is you.

"Dancers dance because there is no greater feeling in the world than to move to your favorite music and let the rest of the world go by." 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The American Rumba

Most people know this but we would like to make sure it is understood by everyone on Oahu. Early in the last century, Arthur Murray and Fred Astaire who knew everything there was to know about dancing in this entire world, got a hold of the Rumba, mainly the music. Arthur Murray was first and "invented" the basic Rumba. He took the regular box pattern and paced it to slow, quick, quick and established it as the basic for Rumba. Those dumb Indians didn't know anything about dancing it for three hundred years, but he did.

"Our dancers know that our lives are surrounded by gossip people
who judge us in and out. They cannot hurt or break us, but
the key is - To live our own and never mind them."

When Fred Astaire began his schools, he used the same box pattern. And Arthur Murray took Fred Astaire to court for doing it the same. Mr. Murray won and Fred Astaire changed his box pattern to quick, quick slow and got away with it. And then Fred Astaire set up the competitions for the American Style and controlled the competitions, Ha Ha - But there are no Fred Astaire studios in Hawaii, so what do we dance here? Guess!

"Contigo A La Distancia" por Lucho Gatica

The net result for American Rumba in the US has been a mess. The Rumba-Bolero music developed without question into the most beautiful music on this planet. The American Teachers then decided to split the Rumba from the Bolero and invented a new Ballroom dance, the Bolero, which has little resemblance to Da Reel Teeng. We are going to get straightened out on this soon. And Rumba will be the best partner social dance on this planet.

"Adoro" por Graciela Susana

We will continue to allow the fads that have always come in and out of social dancing for the young. But we are going to establish a more standard method of social dancing to facilitate dancing with people from other countries in the world. Very difficult when you consider that there are ten different Tangos in Argentina alone.

"Y Volvere" por Lucero

In West Oahu, the rules are not so strict, they are mostly very good American Style and and social dancers. But many are beginning to use the "alternate basic" in social dancing. Very few on this island of Oahu know what it is. Common on the mainland. So Rome was not built in a day, let us have patience.

"Dancers know that we live only once, but if we do it half way right,
once is enough." 

Sunday, November 6, 2016


No we don't have advertising in our blogs.
Ordinary Communication Media: To whom it may concern, one way, newsletters, newspapers, radio, TV, email flyers, web sites. They do a great job and most people accept it and use it.

"You don’t dance? You were a dancer once upon a time. You just
stopped and you don’t remember when."

The Blogs: Are more personal, direct and current communication, they leave openings for comments in each blog and are receptive to more formal answers and opinions in the blog itself. You may have advertising in a newspaper but in a blog the same thing is "communication" to our friends, neighbors and fellow dancers. Social Media is much different than anything we have come across before.

"I'll Remember You" by Don Ho

So our growing information sources are growing and the "Two Centers" are becoming very valuable to all of our blogs. They are the information contributors that are willing to stick their two cents in and give life to blogging, just by sharing dance information with the reader/dancers. Use the comments section at the end of each blog or email whatever information you have to share. Photos in JPG? Piece of cake.

"Social Dancers do not really have to practice. They turn into
a better version of themselves every time they dance."