Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Pau Hana Dance

It is now being more discussed among the dancers that live in the West and work in town. There are probably over 200,000 workers and quite a few dancers among them. As long as they are being forced to work downtown, it may help a little to have a Pau Hana Dance in the middle of the week.

"The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right
to pursue happiness.  You have to catch it yourself."


Back many decades back, the "leisure class" would have a tea dance in the afternoon with their afternoon tea. Could last maybe two or three hours from three to six in the evening. After which they would go to their separate homes and have dinner at eight.

"La Media Vuelta" By Luis Miguel

This evolved after the depression to having the tea dance for office workers, but starting right after work about five, to unwind with a little alcohol and a few dances and a little interesting conversation. They could also go home and have dinner at eight or maybe at nine.


After the big war the dance part fizzled out and evolved into the Happy Hour which is only drinking and conversation, and which is being done to this very day. On Oahu most of us are aware of what happened to a large part of the social dancing in the latter half of the century.

"Mississippi Queen" By Mountain

On this island, the social dance converted into a style of competing in International dances. Real social dancing was relegated to the dust heap. And quite a division developed in which the "upper classes" on Oahu were assured of dancing "correctly." Others would acquire the derogatory term "junk dancers." Or quietly sneak off into the darkness.


Very few acquired a real knowledge of dancing and a more palatable definition of the word. One that would include other dances and other styles. Fortunately there are many that are learning now and we don't have to look down on anyone. The revolution is still in process. Just like Modern Dance eventually assumed their independence from the Strict Official Ballet form and has now surpassed Ballet in every market in the world.

"All Fired Up" by Pat Benatar 

As social dancers we can establish our own places to dance in our own style. The competition dancers will be respected for dancing in their own places in their own style.And we can see them when they perform for us and we can clap for our favorites. No hu hu, just a little understanding. And perhaps we may even develop our own style of Mestizo "Latin" dancing.

So I told him these dancers are either ignorant or apathetic. He said,
“Well I don’t know and I don’t care!” Clear enough!

Now if we had a tea dance in town on Wednesday evening, about the same size as Rumours with a floor a little larger -- it would be perfection. For now the nearest thing we have in town to a Tea Dance is the once per month at the Cupola, just a little late. One of these days, Arthur Murray Studio will attempt it again.

Pub's Side Note: A good example of our kind of blogging is the latest blog in Dancing Nights by Guest Author Richie Fun and the Information Contributor being "Marie." Dis da way da go.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Forward

In the 20th century most books took their titles from famous poems or other literary works. I had always wondered about "For Whom The Bell Tolls" by Ernest Hemingway. I liked what I found, he took it from John Donne's epic: Which makes a little more importance for us in learning to help each other.

"No man is an island, entire of itself. - Each is a piece of the continent, A part of the main. - If a clod be washed
away by the sea, Europe is the less. - As well as if a promontory were. As well as if a manor of thine own -
Or of thine friend's were. Each man's death diminishes me, - For I am involved in mankind. Therefore,
send not to know - For whom the bell tolls, - It tolls for thee."


"Somewhere Over The Rainbow" by Bruddah Iz

All Blogs are rolling forward, even if they are not doing as well as they could. Town Dancer is still numbah one. Not much information of the dance world available from the potential Contributing Editors for any of the blogs. Many would rather keep it a secret and it should be respected. But this blog is going to get back in the top three.


Some people wish dancing would happen, Some people want dancing to happen,
some people make dancing happen."

However, there are many that understand the meaning of Public Relations, and would appreciate the help offered. Those are the ones we are looking for. With a couple of steady Contributing Editors, the blogs would double in hits and that means more people interested in dancing. It also happens to be the name of the game for us. More people dancing for the fun of it.

Friday, September 25, 2015

What is Latin Rhythms?

The music of Latin America refers to that based on the original music of the inhabitants of the Americas. Mainly from the Romance-speaking countries and territories of the Americas and the Caribbean south of the United States. There were literally hundreds of dances and styles of music throughout the Americas.

"Most of us come from the school of thought that there is no such thing as a mistake. And for most of us it is just a great learning experience"


Latin American music encompasses a wide variety of styles, including influential genres such as son, rumba, salsa, merengue, tango, samba and bossa nova. Most of it brought over to the Caribbean from the ancient Mexican civilization which had on their own over 2500 different dances. They were professionals.


Big changes occurred  on the arrival of the first illegal aliens in 1492. The European settlers brought a little of their own music with them.  Then the slaves arrived and they in turn learned the Indian music and made there own changes as they went along. But the biggest influence in unifying the dance was with the sailors of the Caribbean.

"Besame Mucho" by Jorge Negrete


During the 20th century many styles were influenced by the music of the United States giving rise to genres such as Latin pop, rock, jazz. The Latin styles of dance were modified greatly by the teachers in the US and to a lesser extent in Europe. The diversity that we have now makes for a difficult terminology. Many styles are falling by the wayside as Latin emerges on their own.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Not Moving

I have in the past used the term Two Center because it seemed to be the proper terminology that evolved in our blogging. Many have said that they are willing to get their two cents in. However it seems to be a stumbling block in our blogs to establish Social Media. But what the hell do I know?

"People are fond of counting their troubles, but they do not count
their joys.  If they counted them up as they ought to, they would
see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it."


I am willing to try something else. So I have decided to change the term to the official Blogger terminology - Contributing Editor. Contributing as per usual and editing to the extent of editing their own material. A contributing editor has been a magazine job title for decades that has had various responsibilities.

 "Sea Of Love" By Phil Phillips


Most often, a contributing editor is a freelancer who has proven ability and readership draw. The contributing editor regularly "contributes" articles to the publication, but does not actually edit articles, and the title is largely honorary. So come one, come all. In our case, it is a very unique and important position and our Contributing Editor positions are wide open.


Richie Fun in Dancing Night gets some nice stuff with a poster and the text included. So he just posts in the blog and everyone is happy all the way down the line. Anyone of you can do it, just email it in and you can get your favorite place some good public relations.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

La Milonga

Sebastian Yradier: In the 1860s wrote “La Paloma” in France with the staccato beat and it attained some popularity in France. Then it went to the Americas, through Havana and accepted very easily. Along the way, in Latin America, the staccato beat was misnamed as L'Habanera.

 “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”

During the 1860s, in Mexico, it became a favorite of the Empress Carlotta. They changed the music into a Bolero. Some to this day consider it Mexican. Of course many would still swear that it was Cuban and some have gone so far as to suggest that the first tango was created in Cuba, because of the staccato beat.

"La Paloma" por Libertad Lamarque
 
Wrong, but of course, in those days history was recorded by anyone that could write, not for what they knew. During this time other European composers picked up on the staccato action without much success.

"Arrancame La Vida" por Carlos Gardel

In the 1880’s, L’Habanera was still relatively low class music. Sailors looking for wine, women and song were also looking for dance. These sailors reached the poorer sections of the Americas and specially the bordellos of the Rio de la Plata area and in particular La Orilla. French sailors seemed to have a facility for the Milonga with their own variations and preferring the staccato beat. The Milonga with its incessant beat was perfect for the adaption of L’Habanera.

The Guitar, the Bandoneon and L’Habanera melded together into a music and dance never before seen on the face of the earth. And with waves of Europeans still arriving, the music was changing and taking on a more European sound.

  "Nostalgias" por Placido Domingo

There were many attempts to upgrade the Milonga into the middle classes with little success. They brought back the "cat pounce" at the end of a run and changed the name to El Baile Con Corte, (the dance with a stop.) This pattern later developed into the Tango Close.


The new Gauchos arriving to the big cities were more European, better educated than their rowdy great grandfathers, had more money, wore real tailor made clothes, polished boots (no spurs) and the Spanish hat. They could arrive on business on the train and they were being accepted easily into the middle classes. Their introduction of the Milonga to the middle classes was aided by the new barrel hand organs which were out in the streets and anyone could hear the music. But it was still rough sledding to be an accepted dance in "High Society." Hence the search for a new name for La Milonga.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Socialism

Let’s talk about socialism. I think it’s very important to bring back the idea of socialism into the national discussion to where it was at the turn of the last century before the Soviet Union gave it a bad name. Socialism had a good name in this country. Socialism had Eugene Debs. It had Clarence Darrow. It had Mother Jones. It had Emma Goldman. It had several million people reading socialist newspapers around the country.

Socialism basically said, hey, let’s have a kinder, gentler society. Let’s share things. Let’s have an economic system that produces things not because they’re profitable for some corporation, but produces things that people need. People should not be retreating from the word socialism because you have to go beyond capitalism.
—    by Howard Zinn


The Present Rail Party? No way.

But we will continue to dance all over the island of Oahu and we shall overcome. Yes, we heard, no Dance Pavilion at the Patsy Mink Recreation Center. The money has to go for the Rail Disaster. Millions and millions of dollars in profits for the Fat Cats of Honolulu. It's the bread, Fred. Now I have to find a dancing place in town so I can blog'em.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Makua Alii

Nice days and I had some things to do but got ready early and left in time to get to Ala Moana Center by five pm. Talk a nice walk over to Walmart and delivered the order number to their customer service. Then took my leisurely walk to Don Quijote and bought a nice cake for the dinner/dance.

“Truth never damages a cause that is just.”


Got to Makua Alii and there were a few people there already. Tried to convey to the people that I could not eat, but I bought a container and they could put a piece of that cake in it. They misunderstood and gave me a little of the food available but no cake. So I had to do with what I got.


Most of the regulars were there, and a few new ones were there. Nice to see Bill again and then even nicer was that June was there. I hadn't seen her in ages. And she enlighened me with the use of Meclizine for my Vertigo. I have been neglecting this drug. I want to kick my walker and perhaps I can get around just using a cane for help.

 "Ku`uipo" by Loyal Garner


"Panini Pua Kea" by Bruddah Iz

Choo was also there and she suggested dancing a Cha Cha Cha with the walker. It worked just fine. Tad mentioned on the Mike, that it was the first time he had seen anyone dance with a walker. Throughout the evening I  felt so good I had a dance with Rose and with June. Hey, got a little dizzy but the ladies were just fine and I was rolling.


There was plenty of picture taking but most of it was private. I saw an iBox for the first time and it looks pretty nice. I will have to check it out. Left a little before 8, took the short cut shown to me by Betty last week. I had a nice leisurely walk and got to Ala Moana in 20 minutes. The bus was early and I got home in a little over one hour. The Rail Disaster is never going to beat that in a thousand years.

Latin Dance for Beginners

We have discussed the original, even step which can be used in the two count measure, the three and four count very easily. And used by the Indian Civilizations in Mexico a few Millenniums ago. We have discussed the evolving of the rock step, simply when the dancer took a step back at any time. It has developed into its own very nicely. The real fancy stuff can be left to the real fancy dancers.

“The Two Centers will be the ones who communicate their ideas to our fellow
dancers. Whereas others may want to communicate but aren't quite
sure how, or even if, they should communicate them.”


The third movement came about rather fast in the professional set  up of Indian Civilizations. The Chassé, which was merely an extra clip in the even step. The dancer would step forward just naturally and then bring the other foot almost to the front foot, then step forward again with the lead foot. The second half would be stepping back. Very predominant in Brazil when the first illegal aliens arrived and not as precise as it is in the present dance disciplines.

"Moliendo Cafe" por Azucar Moreno


Now with the emergence of Latin Pop, the most basic step used is the Chassé. You can do the basic, forward and backward and it very easy to lead it into the side left and right basic. From there the left and right turns are easy to negotiate. Cross Body Lead? Of Course.

"La Media Luz" por Julio Iglesias


A basic with Rumba, Mambo, American or Salsa is the Cross Body Lead. This was probably done several centuries ago with the introduction of partner dancing  Then there are the underarm turns, in all three, exactly the same way. Now Salsa has a lot more arm action which was brought over from the old disco style. But let us stay basic.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Making Plans

Well, on Thursday, I hope to be at Makua Alii, 48th Anniversary dinner/dance. Hopefully I can get some good photos and perhaps a few comments from the attendees. There is no truth to the rumor of six cases of champagne, but it could turn out to be a nice blog.


Elsewhere I gotta contact Debby about blogging someone on or about the 24th. Since I have a shindig to attend on Monday, the 28th. Getting out once a week is about right for me. Away from home about six hours and then get back refreshed after having some good walking.

"More Than Just a Song" by Loyal Garner


And I am looking for a perfect spot for the mid week dance for the town crowd that likes to dance. And what could be more perfect for those that live in the West and work in town. The Pau Hana Dance will be coming up soon. Early, from 5 to 8 or 9. Plenty of chopstick snacks to go with the liquid fare.


Keiko, Titi, Sharon (Host DJ, Profesional Dancer, Teacher) and Gayle  Found this photo in
one of my blogs of four years ago. Taken at the Ilikai Dance, about six in the evening

You may stay a little longer at work, go to the Pau Hana Dance, have a drink or two, some good snacks, a few dances and a little socializing with your friends. It is over by nine, but anytime before that is fine, for the freeway going home will be comfortable.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Dance Blogs in Hawaii

Mainly on Oahu, dance blogs are becoming an alternative major dance group for facilitating dancing in Hawaii.  It is not one more dancing organization, it is a new approach to consolidating the thinking among the social and commercial dance clubs. A new strategy of development, a new philosophy of dancing business,

"Most of us could learn from our mistakes,
if we were not so busy denying them."


Creation and popularization of a free dance market without prohibitions and limitations. Helping to conduct really open teaching for dancers of every organization. Providing all possible support for existing open competitions in Hawaii. Promotion and development of new dance studios. Peaceful and constructive cooperation with all dance organizations for the benefit of the dancers. "Dream On Dancer."

"What A Wonderful World" by Bruddah Iz


So far the most solid group for this blog is Salsa No Ka Oi at the Dream To Dance Studio. We are going to pick another one up somewhere. The hits are showing very well. Two Centers are most welcome if they are willing to share dance information with our fellow dancers.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Dance in Europe

Apparently ballroom has not been exciting enough in England for the new generation of dancers. The young, learning to dance find International Style of Ballroom dancing a little stuffy due to the restrictions it comes with the permanent body contact being the main one. For that reason they often prefer Latin dances, specially Salsa, and they even go for disco or jazz instead. And of course, it has spread throughout Europe.

"There is no more terrible sight than ignorance in action."


There has been an easy way to make Ballroom more exciting for people of all ages in Europe. And it has been the way they dance it in the US. American Smooth can be best described as a form of ballroom dancing with an enhanced repertoire of easy to perform, yet exciting steps. They have most of the basic principles and the technique of ballroom dancing still apply, however partners are not required to maintain a continuous body contact.


"Green Eyes" by Bob Eberly and Helen O'Connell

This American style allows the dancers to perform steps such as: lady under arm turns, spins, shines, side by side positions, parallel turns, dips, drops and other variations that would never be allowed in the traditional International in England. Anyone who has ever learned ballroom dancing will find American Smooth very easy to learn, yet refreshing due to its interesting, rich syllabus.


"Never Say Never Again" by Bryan Smith Orchestra

The music used for American Smooth, Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz and Foxtrot is basically the same as that used for Ballroom as they know it in Europe, with the exception of quickstep, which is not danced in the American Smooth style. The closest you come to that in the US, is the Peabody, which is becoming obsolete. In other words you can surprise your friends by dancing a totally new American choreography to almost any ballroom dance music.

Pub's Side Note: I have just deleted one more blog. The two dance blogs have now been combined into one and will be my personal blog and I will use it to recap the entire dance blogosphere bi-weekly,.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Moving Good

Have you ever met a person who didn't dream of something better? Me neither - we all have dreams - we all have hopes. But sometimes it's really hard to hold on to those dreams. Sometimes it's really hard to continue to have hope. Specially if you are having a hard time getting started in dance. Fortunately most of our people have plenty of help available, including some of the best teachers in the Pacific.

“Still true, that much of what is said in our dance circles does not matter,
and that much of what does matter has not be said.”


Strangely enough, the Merengue is developing very nicely, not only in the Night Clubs but also in the social dancing we have throughout the Island of Oahu. Merengue is an even step style, and danced to an even rhythm. That is, left, right, left, right and so on. It is a style of Dominican dance originating from Merengue music which has a predominant even rhythm.


"Moliendo Cafe" por Azucar Moreno

The Merengue is danced in a closed position. It is most likely to be danced with the well know basic moves. The basic, going forward, going backward, side ways and left and right turns. It is also known for intricate choreography of twists and turns, with the dancers hands forming into conjoined shapes. It is thought that the Merengue comes from the Haitian Merengue. In social dancing, the typical style is often replaced with Cuban hips, while in the ballroom it is more formal.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cliches

Defined as a trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse, - as sadder but wiser, or strong as an ox. In fact, anything that has become trite or commonplace through overuse.

" We can believe those who are seeking the truth but be careful of those who say they have found it."


"Into each life a little rain must fall." Most everyone understands what that means and that is the success of it. Of course some cliches are opposites, which is true in their use. "Look before your leap" is a word of caution to someone. However, "He who hesitates is lost" is another that conveys quite the opposite, but nevertheless true. So I accept anyone who uses a cliche for whatever his or her reason. I don't expect any of us going for the Pulitzer.

"The Tennessee Waltz" by Patti Page


The "cliche" bothers some people, but I consider the use of it now and then, just another use of a word. I need to communicate using words without getting too complicated. And if I can use whatever I want to communicate it shouldn't bother these "journalists." Everyone knows what can happen when a person has too large a vocabulary.

"Crazy" by Linda Rondstadt


In our blogs which are meant to be social media, we just want the facts. Simple and to the point. We can throw in a few flowers now and then but we keep it to a minimum. And we try to tell our reader/dancers what happened last night at the big shindig. That's all.

Monday, September 7, 2015

So What's Doin'?

We will be losing another blog by next month. I think it completes our blogosphere and I don't plan on getting more or less blogs. Da Dance Blog MW will be deleted by next month when the hit counters tell us to. The Two Centers will remain of the utmost importance because of the information they may contribute for the benefit of all the reader/dancers. Also for the fact that most Guest Authors will be coming from the ranks of the Two Centers. There it is for anyone to take their pick.

"Take the selfishness out of this world and there would be more
happiness than we would know what to do with."


Latin Rhythms will be in a little more solid when we make more connections with the Salsa-Bachata sector. They are the most logical base to begin because they are already there. And we are getting there, it is just that I don't have enough time or the physical ability to get around much anymore. The Two Centers will certainly be a big help. You get the information first, then you get the readers. Simple?


 "The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are
ever the same. So we should all know, that our  lessons
  come from the journey, not the destination."

The simple addition of Rumba, Cha Cha Cha and Tango to the present Salsa-Bachata sector will certainly establish the place for Latin Rhythms to define themselves. Line Dancing? Of course and all of it to Latin music. The addition of the Latin Waltz will be the topping on the cake.