Monday, February 29, 2016

Latin Music Anyone?

The Latin Music by itself is coming up on all fronts throughout the world. The different beats are beginning to be recognized and enjoyed in the Orient, Russia and Europe. Beats that were established by the Mexican Native Civilizations many millenniums ago.

 “The things we do for ourselves are gone when we are gone,
but the things we do for others remain as our legacy.”
People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_truth2.html
People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_truth2.html

So if  I want the entire enchilada to keep going I need help. I cannot get around as easily as before. I have to be careful with a walker. Suggestions are still welcomed and it would be a good beginning to email me, the name of the club, mention of line dancing and classes specified, teachers and perhaps a name and a phone number for info.

Bear in mind that most of our readers are residents of the island of Oahu so it doesn't have to be much. We should give those that kokua with us the best.

"Adoro" por Armando Manzanero

Later on we can get updated information and opinions on the latest dance party, after the fact, and a few photos of course. Would make a beautiful blog. This blog will be composed as per usual by many and everyone in the area is invited to make use of these blogs. They will be public and anyone can tune in. According to Blogger Stats, only about 80% of our hits are from the USA. The other 20% comes from Europe and Asia.
People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe.
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_truth2.html


"Abrazame" por Julio Iglesias

This blog will also share with Twitter,Tumblr and Facebook, but we are not interested in International contacts. I want this to be an  Island blog for the dancers on Island of  Oahu. This is our home, Hawaii.

“Dancers learn, as we get older, that rules are made to be broken. We could
be bold enough to livelife on our terms, and never, ever apologize for it.
We can go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less
traveled instead of the well-beaten path."

The New View of Blogging

After talking to so many at Tripler Hospital these last two weeks my perspective could have changed.. And I have found out quite a bit about Web sites and Blog sites on Oahu. Dance Web Sites are the equivalent of Magazines in the Publishing fields and are more into advertising and sales. The sale of their club or other dance organizational functions. Dance teachers, dance parties, dance lessons, workshops, showcases, festivity dances, shoes and dance costumes.

"It is not happiness until you capture it and
store it out of the reach of time."

"Live Music somewhere?"

They usually have the info on the top brass easily available. Monthly and even yearly schedules, photo and video albums, club history and other pertinent information of potential interest to their reader/members. Dance Web site members come to a site to look for specific information on Oahu. That information does not need to be new. It just needs to be what the reader/dancer is looking for and they are usually subdivided into a number of complicated pages.

"I Would Have Stayed" by Amy Hanaialii


These tools allow dance clubs to create beautiful sites with compelling content, but they are limited in allowing any feedback from the masses. And even with these sophisticated tools, most Web sites are static creations and most dance organizations view their Web sites as digital brochures. It's very rare for a traditional Web site to be updated more frequently than once every two or three months. The most popular and adventurous of the Dance Web sites is Dance Fever Oahu which is updated regularly and is read by many dancers throughout the entire Island chain.

"If This Was Your Last Song" by Loyal Garner

"No dancer is ever completely pleased. There can be little satisfaction at times. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive in the next dance” 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Harold Lively, Haleiwa

I had a nice weekend and went to work at the office in downtown Honolulu on Monday morning. The usual drag, traffic is bumper to bumper and I'm worn out by the time I get to the office. But I put in a good day's work, there was a lot pending and the ride home is just as bad.

"Doubt may be certainly be the incentive to truth and inquiry leads the way."


Next day, Tuesday, same thing. I got most of the preliminaries done for the week but lots of detail, computer work and phone calls. And then there is Wednesday, just about the same thing. Fortunately, now the middle of the week and I am looking forward to "after" another good day at the office. Some of my fellow workers have agreed to meet at the Pau Hana Dance at the Hinky Dinky at the Razz Ma Tazz Hotel, just a couple blocks down. And of course, other acquaintances will also be there.


"I'm Beginning To See The Light" by Bobby Darin


After work, I wash up, get a little goop on my armpits and away I go. And getting there at 5:30 is not bad, a nice crowd already there and a few people dancing to a good Cha Cha Cha that sounds like the real thing, good DJ music. I order my drink at the bar and carry it over to a table of my friends. And I begin the first of many dances, good conversation and a little chopstick snacking. By six thirty, the place is jam packed. Most have realized that dancing in addition to drink, food and conversation is far better relaxation than just a Happy Hour any time.

"First Time I Ever Saw Your Face" by Jimmy Borges

Naturally I meet new people and the whole thing has been very pleasant, and I am ready to leave before nine PM, I have had a very relaxing time and I have another work day, tomorrow. So nice to get out of the parking without a big crowd hassle, and then the clear freeway home is a breeze.

Only one thing wrong, it never happened. There is no such thing as a Pau Hana Dance in Honolulu. Then look at Frank's Latest Blog on the Dance for Lucas birthday. Photos will be seen all over the islands they will understand people can be having a ball just dancing.
Hal

El Caribe

By Wes Carsten, Kaleloa

Most of the worlds scientists agree that the Americas had no primates of any kind before the existence of Homo Sapiens. No one has ever discovered any Neanderthal bones in the Americas. Or Ape bones, or Monkey bones. And they all agree that Modern Man crossed the land bridge that was in place of the Bering Straits beginning some 40 or 50 thousand years ago.

"Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly
we pay for its counterfeit."

There were three separate groups, distinguished by the teeth, bones and languages. So the newcomers are the Eskimos, and the old timers are the ones in Tierra Del Fuego on the southern tip of South America. Their looks are quite different too.

Everyone knows that Cuba is only ninety miles away from Florida. Some three or four millenniums back the inhabitants of Florida were still intent on going south and crossed into the Eastern part of Cuba and over the centuries probably traveled to the Island of Hispaniola and perhaps even to Puerto Rico.

"Ritmo Del Bom Bom" por Jubaba

Very little is written that there were other arrivals to Cuba right about the time of Christ. The developing Maya civilization had gone East to Yucatan and from there it is also only ninety miles to Cuba.

The Maya civilization was on the way to developing 3000 different dances by Professionals and they could not help but take a little of that with them to Cuba. And there had to be some kind of meeting and amalgamation between the two groups because more were coming in from Yucatan.

"Que Sabes De Amor?" por Pandora

Meanwhile, the inhabitants of the Americas had kept going south and many to the Guianas in the northern part of South America. These territories later became, British, French and Dutch Guianas. From there it is a stone's throw to Tobago and Trinidad Island and the beginning of the Lesser Antilles going all the way up to Puerto Rico. Many chose to continue south but some chose to go north along the Antilles.


There were big changes in the 1500s with the influx of Europeans and the Negro Slaves. And no one knew the entire region of the Caribbean like the pirates of the 17th and 18th centuries. Those sailors are the ones that spread it around and unified it a little. Now we have evolve Caribbeans with fusions of music and dance that the world has been witnessing for the last half of the 20th century. Too many? Yes, Simple!

"We believe that dancing is for the people, all the people and
they should all have the choice of dancing their way."

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza from Yucatec Maya was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya (Mayan) people of the Classic period. The archaeological site is located in Yucatán State, Mexico and was a major focal point in the Maya from their Classic period (c. AD 600 –1200). The site exhibits a multitude of architectural styles, reminiscent of styles seen in central Mexico and of the Puuc and Chenes styles of the Northern Maya lowlands.

"Good, Better and Best, we should never let it rest,
until our good is better and our better is best."


The presence of central Mexican styles was once thought to have been representative of direct migration or even conquest from central Mexico, but most contemporary interpretations view the presence of these non-Maya styles more as the result of cultural diffusion. They had established a solid professional group in construction, mathematics, religion, music and dance. Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities and it was likely to have been one of the mythical great cities, or Tollans, referred to in later Mesoamerican literature. The city may have had the most diverse population in the Maya world, a factor that could have contributed to the variety of architectural styles at the site.

"Cien Años" por Pedro Infante


"Adoro" por Armando Manzanero (puro Maya)

The ruins of Chichen Itza are federal property, and the site’s stewardship is maintained by Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History). The land under the monuments had been privately owned until 29 March 2010, when it was purchased by the state of Yucatán, and is now, one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico; an estimated 1.2 million tourists visit the ruins every year.

“In dancing there is a vitality coming from your favorite music, a life force,
an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you, this expression is unique."


Friday, February 12, 2016

Makua Alii Ballroom Dancers

Special Valentine Dinner and Dance at the famous Makua Alii dance. Nice people that is for sure. I left home early to get there early and I was there by six pm. Not very many people as per usual but there would be more.


“When we despair, we can remember that all through history
the way of truth and love have always won."

Said hello to most people and I got a few photos of the preliminaries but Kathy had some trouble with her camera. I gave her mine but she was very busy with other things. Most things were going pretty good. I forgot my storage discs but no one missed them.

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner

 The two on the left were from Kathy's camera, the ones on the right were from mine.
We are going to get some good pictures one of these days.

I had a tooth ache so I left before eight to get the 8:15 bus at Ala Moana. It was late so I did not get home until 9:30. It happens sometimes. I am lucky that I live so much closer now. I hope to get more contacts soon, now that I can go to events more often and blog'em,

 “Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your
 dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings.
Make today worth remembering.” 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Latin dance

By Ricardo Martinez, North Shore.

Yes, it is true, the DJs are learning more about what makes Latin music, Latin Music. They no longer say, "But you can dance Rumba to that." Now they know when a piece must be danced to Rumba. - Big Difference. The percussion instruments of the advanced Mexican Indian Empires of 2000 years ago.

"Life may be like a dance and you can learn as you go.
Sometimes you lead and sometimes you follow."

I have read that Maracas were from Africa. But there are examples of metal maracas in early Mayan culture. So it is reasonable to suppose that the earlier Toltec civilization had them too. These had evolved very nicely 2000 years ago into two rattle like gourds (tuned) with the right amount of seeds to give the right sound.

The player fronts the band with maracas in hand in animated motion. In Central America they are sometimes made out of small metal juice cans, filled with sand, welded three or four and painted with vivid colors. They are heavy and passed around to newcomers that want to join in.

"Contigo A La Distancia" por Belinda

The Cowbell, which is just that, a player striking it with a stick.  The cowbell came into use six or seven decades after the arrival of the first illegal aliens. There had been no cattle in the Western Hemisphere until brought in by the newcomers. This is also played in American Country music.


"Tangerine" By Jimmy Dorsey

The Guiro, normally, a long notched gourd. The player makes scratching sounds, scraping it with a round stick. It can be scraped  with an even count sound or it can quick, quick, slow as in Rumba or Mambo.

It was used in the Mayan culture, long before the Aztecs took over and then went to Cuba and the Caribbean. It attained more popularity in the Dominican Republic than anywhere else and in the Caribbean, it is generally believed to be Dominican.

"Adoro" por Armando Manzanero

The Claves, are usually two round pieces of mahogany about an inch in diameter and about five inches long. They are played by holding one loosely in one hand and struck by the other five times in two measure phrase.

A holdover from the Mayan five count measure, where each clave "Palito" was hit in every other beat. Very easy there. Not so when trying to do this in a four count measure. Not many profess to do this "correctly."


These are now being omitted more and more in the music that passes for Latin or Mestizo. It helps to know that the Mexican empires from the Toltec to the Aztec had professional dancers and musicians and very proficient in many percussion instruments in addition to the drums. The drums came into existence right after the appearance of Agriculture throughout the world.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Competition

By Frank Purcell,, Los Angeles:

Before I sound hypocritical (as I have been involved in competitions as a participant and judge), let me make a few points about how I think competitions can be done in a positive manner. Make them light-hearted. Don't make people feel like the "best dancer" or "new teacher" award goes to the winner.

"He said he was sorry if you did not like his honesty, but to be fair he did not like your lies either."


Judge based on what people care about in the dance. I personally avoid the non-social based competitions such as showcase and the like and stick to Jack and Jill and Strictly Ballroom competitions.Try to figure out how to avoid as much of the subjective nature of judging as possible, as well as any appearance of the subjective nature of judging. For example, if you have a local dance competition, find judges from outside. 

"Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)" by John Lennon/Yoko Ono

Consider audience judging if you can do it without it becoming a popularity contest. Be clear about what you are judging on, have standards and then adhere to them regardless of what you may feel. If you are entering a competition, embrace the Tao and let go of any desire you have over the outcome, as best as you can. And most of all, be sure to go social dancing afterwards.

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner

The competitive dance business largely consists of competition production companies, they conduct regional competitions at stops along their annual, nationwide tours. Dancers who compete at these regional competitions are usually students in the communities. Competition dance schools  arrange for their classes to compete as groups.  Competitions typically begin in January and end in July or August.

"Life may be like a dance, sometimes we stumble but we can always get back in step."

Friday, February 5, 2016

Makua Alii Center

Nice afternoon and got ready for the big trip to Honolulu. Had to get a lot of little things ready. The two discs, the camera and a few other details. I left my place at ten after six and the #53 bus was there promptly at 6:30. I arrived at the Ala Moana Shopping Center a little after seven. A nice short walk and I was there by 7:25.

"Truth is powerful and will always prevail."

I went around making my greetings to all that I knew and even those that I did not know. I tried to get someone to get some photos, but many are shy. I even danced a couple of dances and I was surprised that I could do it. Of course the ladies are super wonderful and that helps.

 Plenty of room to dance to the good music of Tad.

A small crowd but they still have plans and I hope to help. They will be having a Valentine's Dance on Thursday, February 11th. And I made a nice poster for them.


It began to get empty before 8:30 and I thought I may as well leave early and I got some ice for my mix "for the road." I would have enough time to go to Walmart and get a new Mouse and Keyboard for my computer and perhaps something else. I got to the Bus Stop with plenty of time to sip a little of my mix and the bus was there promptly at 9:20. By the time we got on the freeway, I was getting that old feeling that "life is just bowl of cherries." I was home right after ten pm. Not bad at all.

"Dancing can enable you to lose yourself and find yourself at the same time."

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Mexican dance

By Frank Palomar, Turtle Bay:

The first movement to dance was the step, step, step, constant and consistent, to some kind of rhythm and/or music. throughout the world. The same movement still being danced by Blacks in Africa as they have done for centuries. You can see them on TV all the time. Just jumping up and down consistently to the rhythms.

"When neither their property nor their honor is touched,
the majority of people live content."

In the Mesoamerican Civilizations, a thousand years before all the others, the accent was developed along with different beats per measure by the Professionals. The one - two beat being the easiest to acquire. They also developed the accent, either ONE - two, or one, TWO. This occurred also with the development of the three, four, five, six and even seven count measure.

Somewhere at the beginning of the Olmec civilization, these professionals developed the first variations of dance movement, along with different musical scales and favoring the pentatonic scale. (five notes)

"Soy Como Soy" por Tierra Seca 

The Rock Step was one of the first variations, followed by the Chassé, a dance movement that has evolved in many dances and in many variants, all of them being triple-step patterns of gliding character, steps going basically in the same direction, step-together-step. The terminology was applied in late writings and came from ballet terminology.

As per usual, there are a basic six as in the Rock Step. But there is a huge variety of them in many dances. Timing and the footwork may vary, mainly due to preferences of modern dance disciplines.

"Devuelme El Corazon" por Patricia Gamero

The direction may be sideways, diagonal or even curving. Sizes of steps may vary. This also concerns the second, "together", step: the moving foot may land right beside the standing foot or leave some space, or even barely move from its previous position.


How about line dancing in Mesoamerica? You can bet your boots on that, the term chassé is used for a triple step sequence. For instance, if the chassé is to be done to the right, the right foot steps right, the left foot is placed next to the right, with the weight being transferred to the left foot so that the right foot can complete the chassé by stepping to the right. The call is usually: "step, together, step". The step is often called the side(ways) shuffle, as the shuffle is also a "step, together, step", but is done either forwards or backwards. Samba anyone?

"Moliendo Cafe" por Azucar Moreno

The Mayan civilizations developed the chassé in at least half of their known 3000 different dances. The Rock step has been mentioned before very often. If you combine a rock step and a chassé, what do you have? You got a Cha Cha Cha! And you think you just invented something? Ha?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Competitions, Part One

By Philippe Chan, Waipio:

Yes, I am aware of the talk around here of "clean" competition dances that we might have had at the new Dance Pavilion. Interestingly enough, though, it is my understanding that even in the world of Ballroom dancing, the competitions are filled with politics and nepotism. If they aren't able to remove these problems from an objective goal, then what hope did we have? Ir has been cancelled now to pay for the Rail Disaster but there may be another.

"Everyone wants to succeed; some want to succeed so badly,
they are willing to work for it."


"Strangers in the Night" by Tony Bennett

Then we have the problem with the rules and regulations laid down by the powers in International Competitions. It would be easier to just restrict dance competition at the new Dance Pavilion to American and Country Style of dancing and go roughly according to the American style of regulations which are not as strict. Competitions bring up huge emotions. Whenever you have a winner, you have one or more losers. And if the losers have lost because of a subjective judgement, they generally will have hard feelings about this.


"Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" by B.J. Thomas

Maybe they did a better job and the judge wasn't fair, maybe not. Either way, chances are they will feel ripped off. And to some extent, it doesn't even make sense to say "better job" because we are talking about a subjective dance. Some people will think they did a better job, others won't. You're almost guaranteed to have dissatisfaction, though, especially if the stakes of the competition are high, whether in monetary gain or bragging rights.
(to be continued)

"Our entire dance scene is slow going but quitting won't speed it up."