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 29, 2016

Tango

By Percival Gonzales, Ewa Beach

Tango is almost unknown on Oahu and yet everyone seems to dance some Tango to some of the most beautiful music on this Island. It may help to know a little about what it is all about. The Tango did not exist before 1890. Then is when the  Milonga (due to bad reputation) was renamed Tango by the high class people in Argentina. And even then it was hyphenated as Tango-Milonga by the people.

"We can dance the dance that we dance. We don't have to
dance the dance that people who dance dance."


It all began as a cat dance by the Pre-Inca Civilization dancers. And it was quite simple. Several stalking steps and a pounce at the end. The date is unknown but it was well over a century (1300s,) before the arrival of the first illegal aliens. The Spaniards that made friends with the Indians, learned the Indian movements to the dance and made few changes, except that the two count was firmly established.

"El Dia Que Me Quieras" por Carlos Gardel

It became accepted in the bordello areas of bigger cities, and the pimps loved it. These areas were mostly inhabited by the new "Mestizos," persons of mixed ancestry, Spanish and Indian. And this new Milonga was danced a full century before the slaves came in the late 1600s. And there were few changes in the dance until the big arrival of Europeans in the 1860s.

"Nostalgias" por Placido Domingo

The Germans brought with them a small hand held accordion like instrument, The Bandoneon. This instrument, and the influence of the new arrivals change the Milonga movements closer to the tango of today. By 1910 when it was exported, they were developing more differences to the way it was danced.

"La Media Luz" por Julio Iglesias

Today on Oahu, the Argentine Tango is the most important followed by the American Tango, and then the International Tango. We have an added one here on Oahu due to thee large Filipino population. And in West Oahu the Filipino Tango is commonly seen and accepted by all. It may meld with the American Style and evolve into its own Hawaiian Tango.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Ritmo Mestizo waking up.

This blog is not communicating with the right people. The results are not enough hits to stay in the double digit average per day category. Dance web sites get single digit average per day hits and that is alright with us. All of ours are in double digits. But I am trying to get them into the twenties. Fortunately Platinum Horseshoe is leading the way with over one hundred average hits per day. Of course much of it is from search engines, Google, Pinterest, Facebook, and that is all to the good.

"Good gossip may be just what's going on. Bad gossip is definitely stuff that is salacious, mean, and bitchy; the kind many people really enjoy,"


Cloning is not in the social dancers kuleana. We learn the basic movements as in line dancing and then we move according the way our bodies want to move. Now the closest thing to cloning that we have in dancing is the competitions styles. The instructors will stress the "correct" way, but they do this with ample reason. The dancers will be judged and the judges must have some rules to go by. And everyone understands that not all dancers can achieve the perfection prescribed. Should be simple to understand.

"You Belong To Me" by Jo Stafford


Feedback occurs when outputs from our blogs are routed back from the reader/dancers as inputs as part of a chain of cause-and-effect that forms a circuit or loop. The system can then be said to feed back into itself. And we should all learn from it good or bad. It is a very important factor in Social Media, but we have a ways to go to attain it. You wanna say something to your fellow dancers? Just email it in. We all need that to make this Social Media.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Jimmy Borges

A minister is driving down to Honolulu and he's stopped in Kalihi for speeding. The policeman smells alcohol on his breath and then he sees an empty wine bottle on the floor, and he says, "Sir, have you been drinking?" The minister says, "Just water." The sheriff says, "Then why do I smell wine?"

And the minister looks down at the bottle and says, "Good Lord, He's done it again!"

And a happy Thanksgiving to everyone.


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?"

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Bottom

This blog remains the bottom of the pile in average hits per day. When you think that 80% of the dancers on Oahu, dance Latin dances and even many to Latin music. Of course, with all the blogs the rate of increase has slowed down. One person blogging is SOS. The information contributor (the Two Center) is the answer for any of our blogs. And more dance club information.

"Our lives, our choices, our problems, our mistakes, our lessons. May not be your business so mind your own problems before you talk about ours."


With all the blogs slowing down, Platinum Horseshoe is the one to watch for the hits have gone up through the ceiling. Wahiawa Ballroom Dance Club and the sister club, Aiea Ballroom Dance Club have made the difference. Some of the best Latin music on this island by their DJs. All the other blogs are in a plateau. But it is understandable when there is nothing new to report to the readers. Few movements that we know of and few communications from anyone. Many have their own Web sites and believe it is communication - their choice.

"Me Has Hechado Al Olvido" por José Feliciano


Many possible information contributors of "Latin" simply are not aware of Social Media. so that is stagnant and no one can make use of it. There has been some rumble in Waikele, Waipio area but not anything we can put our fingers on. And no news on the Patsy Mink Recreation Park, only the rumor is that it will be cancelled because they need the money to help pay for the Rail Disaster. Millions and Millions of dollars in profits are being made daily on what is now known as "the Gravy Train."

"El Reloj" por Luis Miguel


The Legacy Ballroom in Waipio does not have any news anywhere. I haven’t been able to find out when they had the last ballroom dancing. No one seems to know. Can you imagine what dancing joy could have occurred in that beautiful place? But there many "Ballrooms" on Oahu, and the general idea has been that they will wait on you Hand and Foot, but it will cost you an Arm and Leg to dance there. There also does not appear to be any hope of a community center that can be used for dancing, anywhere on this entire island of Oahu. But the best is yet to come.

Blogger's Law Number 28c:
"To err is human, - to blame it on someone else is even more human."

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."

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thanksgiving

Halloween is over and we go happily into the holidays. Most dance clubs are having a Thanksgiving social and that is good news for all of us on this Island of Oahu. Enjoy the dance parties with your friends, neighbors, relatives, and fellow dancers. And many groups are even getting ready for Christmas.

"Dancers know that the rumors you hear about us are as true
as the ones we hear about you."


You will notice that we have some very good Rumba dancers on Oahu. Some in the American Rumba use the alternate basic and it looks very good. But it is fun as long as we are moving to our favorite music. We are also learning and everyone is always helping some one. They don't know? Don't knock it, they are only giving their opinion, and we can all do that, right or wrong. Let us all be just a little bit more understanding.

"I Can Dream, Can't I?" by the Andrews Sisters


"I will see yo'all there, hear? 

Of course, most socials on Oahu have to have line dancing nowadays, even if to the eighties music. The only problem is that many of them get too fancy and the men drop out. For some reason the Electric Slide has been very appropriate and they have their share of men dancing to it. Once you get LAGS (Latest And Greatest Syndrome) into social dancing you are cooked. In Spanish the men say, "Mas Tarde" which means later. And many say "Mucho Mas Tarde" and you can guess what that means.

"Wine may not be just an object of pleasure, but an object of knowledge;
And the pleasure may depend on the knowledge."

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." 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Latin American Waltz

At its earliest introduction from Europe, the waltz was banned in California by Mission priests until after 1834 because of the "closed" dance position. But it slowly gained popularity by the middle classes. In the 1860s, with the establishment of the first Mexican Empire by Napoleon, the introduction of the Viennese Waltz into Mexican high society was received enthusiastically.

"Most dancers seem to know that we should allow our enemies to hate;
they will destroy themselves in the process."


But the Mexican Indians had been dancing to a three count for millenniums, and were now learning to dance it as a partner dance. The Mexican Waltz (vals mexicano) follows the same basic rhythmic pattern as the standard American waltz, but they have three basics and the melodies reflect a strong European influence. Mexico's Juventino Rosas wrote "Sobre las Olas" or "Over the Waves", commonly known in the U.S. as a circus song. Yet only one other waltz vies with the "Blue Danube" for the privilege of being played around the world every day, every hour. It is "Over the waves", the most universal piece among those produced by the Mexican arts.

"Alejandra" por Javier Solis

After the independence of the Latin Countries from Spain, a Spanish Waltz developed that was dance several ways. This Spanish Waltz was a combination of dancing around the room in closed position, and a "formation" dance of two couples facing each other and performing a sequence of steps. The music was of two types, a Viennese kind with a two step to a three count, that is danced with a Rock Step or a Chassé. Then the regular three step, three count as in the American Style of Waltz, a walking step with the accent on the first count.

"Cuando Escuches Este Valse"
Por Vicente Fernandez

The Peruvian Waltz is called and recognized in Peru, Ecuador and Chile as "vals criollo" and is danced mainly with the Rock Step and/or the Chassé. The Cuban (or Tropical) Waltz follows the pattern of the standard American waltz throughout the song. The Venezuelan waltz provides a basis for distinctive regional musical composition. At any rate when we have a Latin dance Night Club on Oahu, we will dance Waltz. And Mariaichis can play some of the best waltzes I have ever heard.

That is what she said,
 "Men are like fine wine, they start out as grapes and it is our job to stomp
on them and keep them in the dark until they mature into something
you would like to have dinner with."

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." 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Ranchera Music

Ranchera Music literally translates to Ranch Music. However, Ranchera Music isn't so much a genre as it is a way of life in Mexico, of viewing the world in all its melancholy and grandiose beauty. It should be no surprise, then, that ranchera is considered the quintessential Mexican music genre in a land with a dizzying variety of music. And the real reason it does not translate to dancing any of it in the US.

"Dancers know that gossip is a very dangerous tool and are wary more
of the gossiper than the gossip they are trying to relay to us."


Ranchera embodies everything that Mexicans think of themselves when at their best -- macho, romantic -- backed by mariachis, dressed in splendid outfits, and stubbornly stuck in a myth of a Mexico that never truly existed. There is no corollary for it in American song -- it ain't country music, it ain't Tin Pan Alley, it ain't even Western swing. It's ranchera, damnit. Criteria for the list of the best is not just vocal ability. whether they wrote their own songs, whether they were a pioneer or followed in the footsteps of titans.

"Jalisco, No Te Rajes" por Jorge Negrete


Much of it is played in the US but mostly by Mexican musical groups
such as Mariachis. Can women play Mariachi Music? This large
Mariachi group has 8 women and 5 men. Believe!

They sang and played their own way and many Mariachi groups made it to the top. The lyrics of the "sones" frequently describe country life: in particular, the plants, animals and people of the region. These lyrics are highly suggestive, often using imagery of the courtship of farm animals to describe the relations of men and women. In the dance the movements of the performers often represent the farm-yard courtship described in the verses of the sones.

"Dancers dance for themselves, if people understand that is very nice. If not
then no matter, for they will go on doing what they love to do." 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Advertising?

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."

Saturday, November 5, 2016

La Rumba

The most beautiful music and dance ever created on this Earth. However, that is hard to explain since we have two different Rumbas that co-exist in our dance world. The American-style and International-style. Even in the American style we have two different basics. The Arthur Murray and the Fred Astaire basics. Fortunately, many in the American style are phasing over into the "Alternate" basic which is more like the International style, using a rock step and a slow step.

"Gossip in our dance world is the spreading of misinformation
also known as untruths or lies, through conversations."


And in the Caribbean there are several similar dances with similar type music and all with different names. Most of the basic movements remain the same, no matter what. As they do for all other types of music and dance. Has anyone ever seen a "crossover lead" in Waltz? It has never been prescribed that I know of and it may be illegal. But we all know it in Rumba and I have seen it in Waltz a few times but that is rare. Requires a good street dancer that can lead and of course, most of the ladies are super in following.

"Adoro" por Armando Manzanero


In the US, the term "Rumba" began to be used during the 1920s to refer to ballroom music with Caribbean music themes, particularly in the context of big band music.  The Rumba dance developed in the East Coast of the United States was based on the bolero-son. During the 1940s and 1950s, the Mexican and American film industry expanded the cultural appropriation of the term Rumba as Rumbera films became popular.

"Contigo A La Distancia" por Christina Aguilera


In the 1970s, with the emergence of salsa as a popular music and dance genre in the US, rhythmic elements of Cuban rumba (particularly guaguancó) became prevalent alongside the son. Like salsa, Rumba would then be danced to salsa ensembles instead of big bands. By the end of the 20th century, Rumba was also danced to pop music and jazz bands as seen in TV shows like Dancing with the Stars. And it is still considered some the best music and dance in this entire world.

"Madam, may I have this Rumba?"

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Social Rumba

I was hoping to get neighbor island stuff in this blog but it ain't easy. But we have plenty of dancing on Oahu and plenty to see. I have been fortunate to see the rock step being used in Social Rumba in West Oahu. On the mainland it is referred to as the  "alternate basic." The men have learned how to lead it and the women (bless them) follow it easily. Makes us all doubly fortunate. The English long ago learned to use it in Rumba and consider it "correct" in dancing International Rumba.

"Because things are the way they are, 
things will not stay the way they are."


The rock step: the man steps forward with his left foot (called the break) and rocks back on his right foot, then a slow step on his left foot. To complete the other half of the pattern, the right foot goes back and the left rocks forward and then another slow step on his right foot. All the other moves are the same. Cross body lead? Try it and you will see the ladies follow perfectly.

"Con El Alma En Mil Pedazos" por Luis Miguel


This sequence is used in Mambo, Salsa, Son, Montuno, Danzon, Beguine, Calypso and perhaps fifty other dances in the Caribbean, The Rock Step and a Slow Step. The present American Rumba basic will remain the same box step, invented by the Arthur Murray school, slow, quick, quick. The Fred Astaire school will have their box step, quick, quick, slow. Is one of them correct? How you figure?

"There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them."