Sunday, August 31, 2014

Salsa On Two, New York

By Aristides Raul Garcia: New York

In general the dancers fall into two categories, by modern definition, "two dancers" and "three dancers". You don’t have to take my word for it. I refer you again to the features section of the magazine and read a report from Marla Friedler (again!) of one of her trips to NYC. She says: "In New York nobody dances on the "One"; they dance on the "Two", or the "Three". She goes on to call "Two Dancers" "trained dancers" and "Three Dancers" "untrained dancers."

"The greatest deception people suffer is from their own opinions."

Yeah, someone taking dance lessons is a "trained dancer"; the people dancing for many years without lessons (dancing to just about anything being played), listening to the music all their lives, people who dance not just in the nightclubs. (untrained dancer?)

They have danced whenever a social occasion (birthday parties, baptismals, dia de santo, having a party for the hell of it, etc.) brings family and friends together; yeah, those are "untrained dancers"… I may be wrong but I think she has it upside down. In any case, I prefer to call "untrained dancers", to any count, "cultural dancers"; they dance because it is in their culture.

"Mi Tierra" by Gloria Estefan

There is a third group of New York dancers, I grant you that it is a dying breed, but it is still there. It is what I can only call "cultural Two dancers". These are remnants of past explosions in the music’s popularity when people simply learn to dance on the dance floor; in their homes with their friends; watching others; stepping on each others feet; going for it. The last such explosion took place in the early 70’s. There was a club called the Cheetah where the New York Latin youth was introduced by the thousands to Salsa by the Fania All Stars.

"No Hay Igual" por Nelly Furtado

People just got into it and learned to dance, without going to lessons. Many people learned to dance like that, some of them on the "2", some on the "3", and others (fewer) both ways. In any case, in New York, if you really want to mingle you have to make some adjustments. Somebody has to. It is usually the man who has to adjust to the lady. Or you tell the lady that you really would like to dance with her, but that you dance different and find it difficult, or impossible, to adjust. She will probably give it a try at adjusting to the leading man's ways.

"No Me Digas Adios" por Azucar Moreno

That is the way it is in New York. Once you dance outside the few places where the dance studio crowd hangs out, you are on your own; you enter the real world of social interaction; no more "lets practice the CBL with the triple combo with side kick and double time shuffle". Or the "the double underarm sniff con tres vueltas en un pie" It is "Social Basics Level One".

Was Mambo "the original dance"? Is there anything preceding the Mambo that we can associate Salsa with?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Country Dancing

By Harold Lively, Kalihi Valley

We don't really know but we are going to find out. In ballroom dancing, many think that the more skillful and technically correct a couple's dancing is, the more satisfying and enjoyable it will be. This is not because it looks better, but because, for them it feels better. However discipline dancing is not automatically better or correct.

"Music, Music, Music" by Theresa Brewer


Many country-western dancers are not that well acquainted with the ballroom hold, and use a common variety of the best hold. Many country-western dancers are not too familiar with the right-left offset and are forced to dance at arms length. They are gradually learning and these people are getting just a little closer to the Social dancer in the American Style. They will merge?

"There Will Never Be Another You" by Andy Williams


The difference between beginning level ballroom dancing and country-western dancing is not large. The basic figures are the same but ordinarily danced to Country Music. But ballroom also includes advanced figures not as suitable for social dancing. The more skillfully the basic figures are done, the more they look like everyone expects ballroom dancing to look; the less skillfully they are done the more they look like everyone expects country-western dancing to look. But many people are beginning to realize that Country dancing is dancing.

"The only time you mustn't fail is the last time you try."

 

Many country-western dancers dance in rubber soled shoes on powdered floors which tends to make their dancing clumsier and less skillful. In addition to the traditional country-western that is true social ballroom dancing, in recent years there has been a newer form of country-western dancing that is not ballroom dancing, and is known as country-western swing. The impression is that it has been pushed by those opposed to ballroom dancing. In a purely technical sense country-western swing is a Latin dance.

"I Remember You" by Don Ho

Because swing was originally a stationary dance, and country-western two step was a traveling dance, proponents of country-western swing feared difficulty replacing two step with swing. The solution they devised is very clever: a traveling swing dance where the man twirls the lady at arms length as they travel around the floor. They like to call this new dance two step. This is not the only example of a term in dancing being redefined so as to capitalize on the fame of the old, while surreptitiously replacing it with the new.

Our dancing world can become more comprehensive and at the same time more comprehensible.

Hal

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What is Latin Music?

We are getting a little closer and find this to be a popular music genre throughout the world. It encompasses a full spectrum of rhythms and styles from Latin America and the broader Latin world including musical fusions by Latinos in the US as well as genres and artists from European countries such as Portugal and Spain. Wow, that is a lot of ground.

"Give every day, the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life."


Latin music is mainly defined by four elements: Music style, geography, cultural background of the artist, and language. Music style includes genres such as Bachata, Rumba, Latin Pop and Regional Mexican music. For the most part, geography refers to Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. The cultural background includes artists from Latin America or artists with a Latin (Europe)/Latino (US) background. Language refers to Spanish and Portuguese.

"Moliendo Cafe" by Placido Domingo

These four elements interact in different ways and very often a combination of only two or three of these elements is enough to place a given production into the Latin music genre. A Japanese band singing Salsa in Japanese language would be missing all the elements previously mentioned except for the most important one: The music style, which would be enough to place their music into the Latin music genre.
   
Music is pretty well accepted by all the aficionados, however, dancing has a definite division. There is Dancing for the young and if it is new, that's them. Reggaeton came and went but there is Zouk and Zumba coming up and there are others in the waiting rooms.

"Cuando Escuches Este Valse" por Vicente Fernandez.

And of course, there is Dancing for the more experienced Latin dancers which includes Valse, Yes very few know what that is but the oldsters dance for the pure enjoyment of moving to the music of their choice.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Specialist

I come across many people and many suggestions. I only wish they could write it down for their own Two Center info or as a Guest Author. Many have good ideas and one that has been offered frequently is the "Specialist." What do they mean?

"We must move on - if we wish, we can just pick up our heads and stare
at the sky or the ocean and we move the hell on."

We need a specialist that simply frequents the dance classes, the weekly dances available and generally knows most of the people in the well known circles.  Preferably not tied down to one specific club. The information they have is of the essence for the reader/dancers of any dance blog.

"I Believe" by Frankie Laine

And the good part is that the viewpoints will certainly differ depending on where you are sitting in the ballroom. The photos will certainly also be an independent opinion. Those differences are social media and it will take time to develop.

"Night And Day" by Frank Sinatra

The night club scene is a large part of the dance environment and they are pretty much against any kind of "International Style" of dance. Another type specialist is one who frequents the night clubs and can convey that the largest part of the regular social dancing outside of Night clubs is the American Style of Dance. And the people of this Island are certainly fortunate to have some of the best teachers of the American Style in the Pacific.

"Dance in the Boat" by The Kinleys

Then we have the Peripherals. Swing dancing, Argentine Tango dancing, Salsa and Bachata dancing, Line dancing and Country dancing. Any information for the blogs is a help to all. In our blogging nobody loses.

"The Dance Is Over" by Aaron Watson

The Two Center will contribute a photo or two and a little info to go with them. The Guest Authors will of course have their own blog within the blog and they will write when and if they damn well please. And they will do this once a day, once a week, once a month or whenever, but that decision is strictly up to them. And we do not need clones.

Monday, August 25, 2014

What's Happening?

We are getting there. Whether motivated by professional standards or by the standards of clear thinking, we need to begin our teaching about civilizations with some analysis and discussion of what they are. Specially when applied to Latin music and dance.

"Some people build others up because they know what it is like to be down."


This topic is highly controversial, thus interesting. Hopefully we can use the perspective of big history to provide sufficient background to support effective discussions at any grade level of what a reasonably value-free understanding of "civilization" might be.

"Begin The Beguine" by Artie Shaw

Just exactly why do we seek a value-free definition of civilization? The word "civilization" apparently first appeared in a French book in the mid-eighteenth century (L'Ami des hommes (1756) by Victor de Riqueti, marquis de Mirabeau, the father of the French revolutionary politician). Since then, it has had close associations with the West's sense of its own superiority. The Spanish deliberately overlooked the large influence of the indigenous population. Others later on found in error many African influences (from Africa.) Maracas?

"Green Eyes" by Jimmy Dorsey

In order to see the past clearly, we must try to avoid this assumption built into the word. By examining the past in as neutral and value-free way as possible, we can see the past as it actually was; then we can use our understanding of it to make value judgments about what to do in the present.

"Adios"
by Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman

Start to look at your own present day view of Latin music and dance. It has the probability of the greatest.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

This Blog Must Get Going

This blog was staying right behind Town Dancer for years then Town Dancer began to surge forward with Richie Fun, Calvin and Debra Ota as Guest Authors. Blogging Hawaii began it's retreat when we lost Richie Fun and the Spin Doctor. Then, just lately, in the reorganization of the blogs, with the help of two new HBDA Chapters in the Kapolei area, Platinum Horseshoe is emerging firmly in second place behind Town Dancer. With just one good Guest Author, no telling if they could overtake Town Dancer.

"Leave your past behind, it is history. Don't live it and feel trapped in it.
Set yourself free, this is a new day."


A person’s measure of intelligence is their ability to adapt when necessary. We believe that through good intentions and mutual respect among the Dancers, the Professionals and the Dance Clubs, an understanding will evolve best suited for this Island and it will be mirrored in the blogs. So our blogs need the opinions of many others to make ourselves understood a little better.


This will be achieved only through effort, study, openness and time. We are in the process of developing the blogs as a tool for bringing together the small contributions of hundreds of dancers and making them matter. Most dance organizations are oligarchies. Our blogs are about people helping one another and people will help if they think it matters. Many of us are learning about democracy and human rights. We just gotta keep going.

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

We are getting closer to the Social Dancing that many of us are hoping for. And we will all dance happily and blissfully unaware that we may have been dancing correctly or incorrectly according to someone else's rules and regulations. It is a different kind of fun. Social Dancing, anyone?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Latin Pop

By Graciela Muñoz, Aiea

Televisa, the large Mexican Television Soap Opera Empire has exported media to many countries. This has allowed Mexican actors to take advantage of their popularity to launch music careers in countries where Televisa telenovelas were popular. Some examples of these actors are Thalía, Lucía Méndez, Guillermo Capetillo and Verónica Castro. Verónica's son, Cristian Castro, started his career and became popular throughout Latin America using this method.

The ones who say "you can't" and "you won't" are probably
the ones that are afraid that "you will."

The most successful singer to combine ranchera, mariachi and pop music was Alejandro Fernández, son of famous singer, Vicente Fernandez. He originally specialized in traditional, earthy forms of Mexican folk and country music, such as mariachi and ranchera. However, his later work was focused on mainstream pop music.

Singers such as Pepe Aguilar, Paulina Rubio, Gloria Trevi, and Aracely Arámbula have also produced songs that combine traditional Mexican music with popular music. Other Mexican pop singers who have had a considerable success in Mexico and the rest of North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia are Gloria Trevi, Thalía, Fey, Paulina Rubio, and Lucero.

"The Master has failed many more times than the beginner has even tried."


The idea of creating a pop band after a telenovela was first explored in 1991 with the cast of Muñecos de Papel (With Ricky Martin, Angélica Rivera, and former Timbiriche members Sasha Sokol and Erik Rubin). In 1999, the same formula was explored with the telenovela DKDA with Alessandra Rossaldo (then member of Sentidos Opuestos), Patricio Borghetti and Ernesto D'Alessio. This formula would be explored again in 2004 with the creation of the most successful group in Latinamerica RBD.

Pub's Side Note: There have been two groups in town that have consistently, over the years, produced the best International Style dancers on this island. By the same token there have been two groups that have consistently produce the worst International Style dancers on this Island. Who? Ha Ha! We are talking competition here are we not? That is the name of your game.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Now, More Than Ever

Due to my physical failings, I cannot get around much any more. So it is imperative that I get some help for this blog to give the reader/dancers the regular updates on dancing including the various dance functions around town with photos and all. I do get some Two Center info now and then but not regular enough. The guest author is crucial. Just look at how well, Richie, Calvin and Debra are doing in Town Dancer.

"Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow."


As a guest author, blogger creates your own blog within this blog. You can get in, post photos, write whatever and whenever you damn well please and all under your own name and without saying boo to anyone. If you want to write every day. Your choice. Once per week, once per month, same thing your choice. You are in charge and you can accept suggestions only if you wish.


Meanwhile, the entire dance scene in town is developing very nicely with the Dance Studios becoming very prominent. The Night Clubs are stuck in the "Alcohol Mode" and there us nothing anyone can do about that. The Rail Disaster is doing a great job of goofing up an entire commercial district, from Pearl City to Aiea. Salt Lake may survive and people will move away from the horrible noise that will be created.


The Plaza Hotel may move to the new Kalealoa Airport area covering inter island travel. This could also mean a Ballroom to be used for Ballroom functions. Many others will be aware of the terrible noise even three or four blocks away from the Rail Disaster. And not many speak of it, but it does mean that the Kalealoa - Ewa Beach area is destined for a more compatible night life for the West and no need to go to town and go through that traffic anymore.

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner

Same thing is also happening on the East, West and North Shores, except more slowly. People are discovering that they can do without Honolulu. And the Rail Disaster is what brought it all out. We can live, work and play in our own Paradise in spite of the Present Rail Party and their traffic congested area.

Pub's Side Note: Check out Richie in the latest Town Dancer blog. That's the way to keep up.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mambo? Anyone?

By Aristides Raul Garcia, New York

To talk about Puerto Ricans doing the Mambo is not as easy as it may seem. The fact is that in the mid 50’s you had a diversity of clubs catering to the different musical tastes of Puerto Ricans. Catering to the Mambo oriented there was, practically, only one; the Palladium. At the other end of the spectrum, you had the Club Caborrojeno, and the Happy Hills Casino (to mention two) providing more typical Puerto Rican music, what many call (in a derogative manner) "Jibaro" music.

"You were born an original. Don't die a copy."


The fact is that El Jibarito de Lares, Ramito, Cesar Concepcion, and a little bit later (late 50’s) Cortijo y su Combo were outselling the Mambo bands in NY. Yomo Toro had been a legend in that circuit (also derogatorily known as the "cuchifrito circuit’) long before he played with the Fania All Stars.


 "Facts do not cease because they are ignored."

For Puerto Ricans not born in the US but of an urban background, Mambo was also not the thing; for them it was the music of Bobby Capo, Mirta Silva, Daniel Santos (the last two, both Puerto Ricans, were at points in their careers lead singers for the Cuban Musical legend, La Sonora Matancera, in fact Celia Cruz was a replacement for Mirta Silva), Arsenio Rodriguez, etc., etc., etc.

You gotta dance on two? OK!

Pub's Side Note: You wanna keep up? Check Richie's latest in the Town Dancer blog.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

What in the world?

I just read something the Republican Attack Dogs have never ever seen:

"The human race has few (if any) problems that couldn't be solved by massive wealth. And we are literally surrounded by it, like a fly in amber. Now if we only had some brains ..."


The wonder all around is how good the American Style of dance is reestablishing its proper place in social dance on the Island of Oahu. We can dance in comfort making all the mistakes that people are prone to. And since no one has the qualifications to judge our kind of dancing it can be quite enjoyable. "Junk Dancer" and "Ala Wai Dancer" are terms to be used elsewhere by OP. (other people.)

"After the Dance" by Hugh Moffatt


There seems to be more stress on the basic movements in dance and not to execute but to enjoy them better and easier. We are not interested in cloning. Quite a different point of view from the "looks" department. Of course we should try to have an understanding of these OPs, no hu hu. Just understanding of where they are coming from. We could try to find other places to dance away from Town and of course, the New Nightclubs in Far West Oahu.

 "All She Wants to Do is Dance" by Don Henley


And we all know that anyone can run away from them, it’s super easy.  It is very good that we are facing issues and working through them makes us strong.  Most of us are focusing on our dreams, not our problems.  It’s not too late.  A hundred disappointments in the past can’t equal the power of one positive action right now.  Talk is cheap; action is priceless.  Go for it!  Give yourself another chance. The dance floor is yours.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Search for Latin

They are trying to find it everywhere. UT musicologist Caroline O'Meara has been giving us a clearer picture of how people of New York City have made Latin musical history. But it is only a small part. Within a history marked by cultural encounters and dislocations, music emerges as the powerful tool that negotiates identities, enacts resistance, performs belief, and challenges received aesthetics.

"Somehow we must trust a part of the journey,
even if we do not understand it."


The music of the peoples of South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean has never received a comprehensive treatment in English until lately. Taking a sociocultural and human-centered approach, Music in Latin America and the Caribbean is only now gathering the best scholarship from writers all over the world to cover in depth the musical legacies of indigenous peoples, creoles, African descendants, Iberian colonizers, and other immigrant groups that met and mixed in the New World.


For social dancers in the more civilized countries, the Latin division has been pretty clearly defined in the disciplines. And most will dance those dances very comfortably. However in the last 30 years with the decline of disco, Latin has emerged for the young. Mambo swiftly morphed into Salsa, Then Reggae came and went, Now Bachata, Zouk and Zumba coming in. And there are a few others waiting in wings, most of which are professionally induced. In Spanish the young can repeat "Zapatos Viejos" which means old shoes.

"The Shadow of your Smile" by Tony Bennett

The young that really enjoy moving to Latin music are finding the oldies but goodies are still good. We are still a Work In Process. Comments section are opened and sometimes closed when we get too much comment spams. Those programmers are a uncivilized lot, they just don't care. They are now open again in all the blogs. Anyone can comment.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Contact, Mainland

We finally made it. We found some people on the Mainland that are interested in dancing and willing to share with us in the Hawaiian Islands., We thank the Dance Studio and specially Christopher Spalding for willing to share this with us.


We need to be happy? There are two ways of being rich:

One is to have all the things we want, the other is to be satisfied with what we have. We could accept and appreciate the things we are receiving now, and we’ll find more happiness in every moment we live. Happiness comes when we stop complaining about the troubles we have and offer thanks for all the troubles we don’t have. And remember, we may have to fight through some bad days in order to earn the best days of our lives - and let's keep on dancing.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Luis Miguel

Luis Miguel super-stardom began in the late 1980s, but in 1991, his career went to even greater heights and earned him the respect of a wider audience with the release of Romance, an album of romantic boleros, most of them oldies from the 1940s and 1950s.

"Dancing is the World’s Second Most Popular Indoor Sport."

Despite singing boleros from years past, Luis Miguel has also been recognized for reinventing the bolero into pop mode for modern audiences.The album Romance, which became his most successful material ever, eventually sold 15 million units worldwide.

Luis Miguel has performed successfully pop music, bolero, mariachi and romantic ballads.. Best known for his technically skilled and smooth crooning vocals. He has won four Latin Grammy Awards, five Grammy Awards, and has sold an estimated 100 million albums.

 His most famous event was his tour of the US in the 90s, where he took all his good friends. They made millions of dollars in salaries from the Corporate Income, all expenses paid, and a one year vacation for all.  "El Concierto" was made into a composite DVD of all the shows and made millions in sales there too.

He is known in Latin America and Spain as "El Sol de México" (The Sun of Mexico) For decades he has been linked to various women in the US and Latin America but he has never married. He has several children and the latest two with the famous singer Aracely Arambulo. On the right from the cover of the magazine, Hola.

Pub's Side Note: For all those Latin Dance Groups out there, what better place than here. A photo of the dance gang, location, occasion and first name. What an introduction. Email it in.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Let It Roll.

Over the years, in our dance world, we have developed a set of beliefs based on what we have read and what others have told us. The problem is, many of these "facts" were not true. Wherever we were, people were merely repeating the little, seemingly innocent lies someone else once told them.

"You can endure all those heartaches and backlashes you have suffered in life, because
it is better to have made bad decisions and learned from them than to feel as if
you had no choice and become resentful of the turns your life takes."


Some of biggest gossip groups in dancing on this Island have been completely based on untruths and many have accepted without any proof necessary. Now, these false beliefs that have been ingrained in our minds are impeding our potential and holding us back from the life we’re capable of living. Fortunately, our dance world is spreading out and we can look around and easily see, those that are really having fun.

So his wife turned 60 and he thought he would have a little fun. "Wow, I have never had sex with
a 60 year old." She replied, " Oh, I have, and it's not that great."

Most of them are not fancy dancers. So what do they do? They move to their favorite music in their easiest, most comfortable and enjoyable movements. And at the end of the dance they can smile at each other knowing that they "danced" and they can really and truly say, "thanks for the dance." If we are looking for Social Dancers these are them.

"Little Things Mean A Lot" by Kitty Kallen

Meanwhile, this blog can stay at this same level of hits because there is only me. In Blogging it is referred to as SOS. As soon as we get a different person with their own unique viewpoint, it is not SOS. The blog becomes more Social Media and we await the first person willing to share. Tune in on Platinum Horseshoe blog, the write up on Kapolei Chapter HBDA and the posted photos are good for the entire dance environment. If others can see the results then others will follow and we will define "Social Media" for Dance Blogs.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Derailed in

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – A Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light-rail train that partially derailed in San Jose Monday morning has been placed back on its tracks and was expected to be operational later Monday afternoon, a spokeswoman for the transit agency said.


The incident, which occurred at about 7:30 a.m., involved a two-car train at the Baypointe station near North First Street and Tasman Drive, VTA spokeswoman Brandi Childress said. There were 12 passengers on board but no reports of injuries, and the cause of the derailment is not yet clear, she said.

The train, which was serving the 901 Alum Rock-Santa Teresa line, was back on the tracks by 2 p.m. and the VTA hopes to have it operational by 4 p.m., Childress said.The derailment affected service on two light-rail lines, the 901 Alum Rock-Santa Teresa line and the 902 Mountain View-Winchester line. The 902 line was fully operational by noon.


The beautiful Articulated Bus. And I coulda got it right around the corner.

When it happened ten years ago they guaranteed that it couldn't happen again. The VTA is continuing to operate buses between the River Oaks station, located at River Oaks Parkway and North First Street, and the Milpitas station. We, on Oahu, are so fortunate that the Present Rail Party guarantees that it cannot happen here. Meanwhile they will make Billions and Billions of dollars in profits.


Hawaii Business Park, in Pearl City. The residents that work here worship the very ground. They can be home in 20 minutes. That is living a little closer to Paradise. Hundreds of cars missing to and from the freeways to town.
Downtown Traffic, Ha!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Selena

By the Early to Mid 90's, Selena was starting to become a big name in music. Selena was a Grammy Award winning Tejano singer, who also sang many varieties of music genres. After bypassing all the Tejano barriors she quickly earned the title "Queen of Tejano Music." Selena became the first Latin artist to 4 number ones in one year back in 1994.

The four were Donde Quiera Que Estés, Amor Prohbido, Bidi Bidi Bom Bom and No Me Queda Mas.


After her success in Spanish and winning a Grammy Award, Selena decided to work on her very first English album. Unfortunately, Selena was murdered in March 1995. Selena only recorded 4 songs for her crossover album and was scheduled to have 13 songs in English for her album.


The crossover album titled Dreaming of You was released in the summer of 1995. It quickly became an International Success. Selena's songs Dreaming of You and I Could Fall In Love quickly became Mainstream hits and the album became among the "Top ten best-selling debuts of all time" along with being the "best-selling debuts for a Latín Female artist" and Selena became the first Latin Artist male or female to have ever debuted at No. 1. This career achievement helped create the Latín boom in the late 90's, consisting of music and dance from other parts of Latin America aside from the Caribbean.