Monday, February 27, 2017

The Dance Scene

There seems to be more of our present day instructors that use the "or it can also be done this way" unheard of in the past century. The nineties had only one "correct" way and don't nobody dance it different - ya dumb dodos. In the West I have yet to hear the term "junk dancer." And people are back to enjoying the social dance and that is the name of our game.

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or
consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living
every minute with love, grace and gratitude."


A few years back at the Palladium, a lady was introduced to a famous Dance Instructor from the mainland. He was watching a guy who thinks he is the greatest since Gene Kelly, (But never competes.)

She asked the visitor what he thought.

"He reminds me of Paderewski," he replied.
"But Sir, Paderewski was not a dancer."
"Quite So, Quite So," was the answer.

"Vaya Con Dios" by Les Paul and Mary Ford


The overall dance community on Oahu seems to be back on track. After losing so many dancers in the nineties, we seem to be getting them back. It has been mostly in the West and the night club action. That traffic in town gets worse every day. The Rail Disaster is going to make it worse. Many new clubs and the main thing is the reader/dancers will have more choices. Getting rid of the old cliques has been imperative. So if we are for the dancers, then we must concur that what is happening is a good thing.

 "It Isn't Fair" by Don Cornell


There are so many that are discovering the "new" dance whatever it may be, as the young have been doing for years. However, as per usual, some may wish to ignore us which is their privilege. I must reiterate - I try and after that I must omit. This should then make everyone happy, and I must be on my way. I have an awful lot to do and I am running out of time.

"Great dancers are not great because of their technique,
they are great because of their passion."

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Latin Dancing

Mesoamerica (Mexican) is the only place in the Americas where indigenous writing systems were invented and used before European colonization. While the types of writing systems in Mesoamerica range from minimalist "picture-writing" to complex logo phonetic systems capable of recording speech and literature, they all share some core features that make them visually and functionally distinct from other writing systems of the world.

"To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak." - Hopi Indian Saying


This is true in the fact that before he had the power of speech ancient man conveyed thoughts, wishes, and emotions through actions, just as we do in modern day ballets. However, for our purposes we should consider man to have started dancing when he danced for entertainment or spiritual reasons. And that was when he settled down, at the beginnings of agriculture.

"Tennessee Waltz" by Patti Page

The first records of dancing, is among the ancient civilizations of the middle east and India and among the aboriginal people of the Americas, Australia, and Africa. In studying the First Dynasty of Egypt, (around 3000 B.C.), archaeologists have found relief's showing a kind of dance or body language. And as culture in Egypt advanced, paintings were made showing musicians and dancers. The studies of dancing in the Americas came much later. From the Spanish view they were not very complete or true.

"Adoro" por Armando Manzanero

The people from Europe to Asia, just didn't have dancing until much later. In the Americas, the aboriginal people danced both for spiritual reasons and for entertainment. They would dance for almost everything from a pot luck feast to a funeral. By the time of the Olmecs, they had professional dancers and musicians. They may have been one of the "danciest" groups of people of all time. Their dances still influence world dance today. For example, there have been many ballets performed in North America based on the dance and legends of the Indians of the Mexican Civilizations.

"Tangerine" by Jimmy Dorsey

"Dancers strive for continuous improvement instead of perfection."

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Steady As She Goes

The hits are on all our blogs are stabilizing very nicely. The dilution of the readership by having too many blogs has stopped. The bulk of the readers had been of the Exhibition, Competition and the Spectator divisions of Dancing. The advent of Show business had been quite evident from the opening of the Palladium. But somehow, the dancers have been saturated and the interest seems to be slowing down. But our readership from the strictly social dancers has been increasing daily, even though slowly.

From a competition dancer
"For many of us, competition dancing is good.
Even if we do not win, we do not lose."


So if we are going to get Contributing Editors, they have several choices and they are all different blogs. They may wish to join, once they know which is which. However, the social end is very definitely on the increase, everywhere, and the hits increasing on all the blogs. There is also the possibility of becoming a Guest Author whenever they think they are ready and know what SOS means.

"Morning Dew" by Melveen Leed


My physical disabilities increase daily and I have fumbling hands. Fortunately, I get help from several people at each function that I attend. I very carefully take the first picture to make sure the camera is working then look for some help from others. The extra bonus I have discovered is that we get so many different viewpoints in photos. I can usually make two collages of nine photos each. With a few comments from attendees and my write up I can balance it nicely and blog'em.

And the clear and obvious biblical text for this crisis is 1 Timothy 6:9-10:

"But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and
are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires
that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil."

Blacked out on all the bibles at the White House. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Gon Bops

The Gon Bops legend began in 1954 California when Mexican-American Mariano Bobadilla (born in Guadalajara) – would go on to become one of the most highly-regarded conga builders in the percussion industry – started designing and building Conga and Bongo drums. A band instrument repairman and professional trumpet player, Mariano launched Gon Bops in his father’s old wooden garage in a downtown Los Angeles neighborhood. He chose the name Gon Bops because “Gon” was one of the colloquial expressions of the time, as in, “everything is gone, man” – and “Bops” because his friends nicknamed him Bob, which sounded like “Bop” in the Latino dialect.

"Life without music would be a mistake."


While Mariano’s drums remained true to the classic Cuban shape, he was a genuine innovator in the development of drum hardware. He designed the first teardrop crown with rounded counter hoops, developed to protect players’ hands – a concept that is now universally accepted. He also gave birth to the first tunable hardware for congas and bongos in the United States. Having witnessed Cuban conga players heating up drums in their kitchens prior to performing, Mariano decided there had to be a simpler more reliable method to tension these instruments. Other innovations from the young company were Taroles (wooden timbales), the first pre-mounted replacement heads for congas, chromatic tuned cowbells and numerous stands, adapters and other hardware.

"Que Rico El Mambo" por Perez Prado

Congas
Gon Bops enjoyed great early success. And even in the late fifties he had no books. I lived in Los Angeles and began to help in the accounting to get something resembling the real thing and minimizing his taxes. I never set up a complete accounting system with a General Ledger. And I never really appreciated the extent of his genius.

"Moliendo Cafe"
por Azucar Moreno

The instruments were highly sought after by the top players of the era – giants in the Latin field – all of whom contributed invaluable R&D input. I was in Nicaragua by then and Gon Bops quickly became the undisputed leader in Latin percussion instruments and Mariano remained deeply committed to a hands-on role in production and retained complete control of the design and fabrication of all his products.

"Papa Loves Mambo" by Perry Como

Bongos
As a result, Gon Bops instruments were mainstays on the biggest stages around the world, including the massive Woodstock festival in 1969. But the Republican profit makers and the winds of change were sweeping through the American percussion industry. By the time the 1980’s rolled around, all of Trumps rich friends, the major US percussion manufacturers had moved offshore to manufacture their instruments.

"Vaya Con Dios" by Les Paul and Mary Ford.

Cheap Asian labor costs meant greater profits. And we all know now that Trump and his Republicans are in it for the money. It's the bread, Fred. But as manufacturing costs decreased, so did quality, and for that reason Mariano refused to move his production outside of the US. As a result, Gon Bops began to struggle financially. Unable to compete against his larger competitors, Mariano had no choice but to close the doors of his highly regarded company.

"Life is a grindstone, whether it grinds us down or polishes us up, depends on us." 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Do Filipinos Dance?

By Alberto Babaylan, Salt Lake
After the War, I was still a kid in the Philippines but I could see that the spirit for innovation and change was still alive. This could be discerned from the changes Filipinos made in their dance. The restless spirit to break the chains of bondage gave rise to an almost frenzied dancing.

"In a social dance club, service is an attitude. a kind of
caring on the part of everyone in the club."



One can clearly see it even to this day. Dances like the Jive and the Swing, for instance, are danced to a much faster music tempo than they are in the US. The independent spirit reasserted it self through new variations and the syncopations of the better dancers which were popularized as other dancers copied them. Street dancing in its essence.

"Morning Dew" by Melveen Leed



However, the main difference was that Filipinos "felt" their way through the dance. They were not consciously developing and inventing new dances as the Western Dance Studios were at the time. Filipinos developed their dances as they were introduced, and innovating as they felt it. Today, the ballroom dance scene is replete with new variations that one would rarely see here. Visiting Westerners to the Philippines sometimes cannot even recognize the dances that their own people developed.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Jimmy Borges



But then that’s the beauty of dance. It is not constant and static. Dance is alive, as long as it is being danced and innovated upon. Filipinos may not have invented the popular ballroom dances, but we surely are contributing our major share in the development of these same dances, by injecting our own spirit and soul into each one of them. By continuously doing so, we are contributing to the world’s dance history.

"Dahil Sa Yo" by Rogelio de la Rosa



In Hawaii, we have been somewhat limited because of the larger, strictly constructed style dance with too many rules and regulations. It is the reason the Social Dancers are developing so nicely in the Western part of this Island. They delight in moving to their favorite music. Have they always been there?

"Dancers don’t ever stop believing in their own
personal transformation for the better."
 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Aloha Dancesport

One of my hobbies is making posters and I am not too complicated. In this case, I just used one of my backgrounds, and made the title special. Then I took the text that I received copied, centered and changed the color. Simple.

"Dancers think less, feel more and let the music do the talking."

It livens up the blog very nicely
The clubs with younger boards will be the ones to take advantage of using the blogs to advance their club purposes. And if it is for the dancers, we are all for it. Some have been so good in communicating that they will sooner or later take the advantage of having a person or persons from their board contributing information regularly to the blogs. Blogs do not consider it advertising. It is communicating to the readers and the readers make the ultimate decision on where to go.

"Por Un Amor" by Pedro Infante


And since it is all free, they have nothing to lose but their chains. Everyone can start by using the comments at the end of every blog. One word would be nice, "fine" or "terrible" but it would be a beginning. You would all discover the power of the "word" on your fellow dancers. Every one has their own unique opinion that no one else has.

"Dancers can build a dance life that solves their own needs
and never stop improving it."

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Independence

The social dancers of Oahu are out there, the ones we need to make this a completely independent blog as Social Media. First, we need more comments on the blogs. You do not have to agree, but you can be civil about it. Of course, Anonymous cannot be accepted. You can use a Pen Name if you wish. Second is the Information Contributors, for the diverse information needed for our diversely  interested readers.

“The future has several names. For the weak, it is the impossible.
For the fainthearted, it is the unknown. For the thoughtful
and valiant, it is the ideal.”


For the Dance Organizations, look into the difference in effectiveness of your Web Site and Newsletters and our blogs. Blogs become an "addition to," not automatically an "instead of." If this situation sounds familiar to you, there are some true benefits of social media that you could be missing out on by not taking advantage. Think about how much effort had to go into interacting with your audience before social media came around.

 "How High The Moon" by Les Paul and Mary Ford


Whether it was a dance event at the Palladium or a Waikiki dinner/dance show, things required a tremendous amount of resource to get started. Reader/dancer interaction is something that is very important in today’s online marketing space because it ultimately instills confidence in your audience, allowing them to look at you in a whole new light. Social media marketing is the ability to carry more than one conversation online at the same time in a variety of locations across our blogosphere.

"The Tennessee Waltz:" by Patti Page


That ability is something that does not come cheap in the offline marketing game. The platforms for the conversations to occur are only growing in strength and popularity and more and more dance clubs throughout the state are really starting to embrace social media. Of course, on this island we have the Oahu Syndrome. We get so much benefit from some of these great people, with their super talent, good looks, fame and fortune, they can choose the media where they wish to bestow their news and goodwill.

"Young At Heart" by Frank Sinatra


We have no recourse but to ignore these for we just don't have enough time to cover all. Specially for the fact that we are also in the process of creating new VIPs, although no one is aware of that yet. Fortunately, that field is wide open and this year is going to show some big changes. I am curious to see the first independent dance blog. That just may be someone's hallucination.

"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection."

Monday, February 13, 2017

Break, on one or two

By Ricardo Gomez, Turtle Bay

They are still having fun with the one and the two count in town. That's nice. And many do not know that modern 20th century Latin dance was originally danced on the two count - because the music was accented on the two count.

"Art is either plagiarism or revolution."

The Rumba in the 30s by Xavier Cugat was a famous example. Famously followed was the Mambo in the 40s by Perez Prado and which was also accented on the two count. The Latin dances do not usually break on the man's right foot on the one count like the English. They start on the break with the left foot on the accented beat, which originally was the two count.

"Perfidia" by Artie Shaw

But then these Indians just were not aware that had been dancing this stuff for centuries "incorrectly." Then too most music is not composed for dancers, it is composed for listeners and that means a sound that composers seek. And the DJ's responsibility may be to find the danceable kind of music for their clients. "You can dance a Cha Cha Cha to it" is not the same as "you gotta dance a Cha Cha Cha to it."

"Green Eyes" by Jimmy Dorsey


With the advent of Salsa, the composers in the US increasingly accented the first count. So that the dancers accustomed to breaking on the accented count began to break on the One. Mambo dancers never worried about the count. They danced to the music. But this became very important to Salsa dancers and there is where the complications began. Many do not even know where the one count is, they do know where the accent is and that is where they break. Salsa dancers have been known to break on the one, two, three and four. But nit pickers will nit pick.
Ricardo

"Maria Elena" by Benny Goodman

And we shall dance in the streets
Pub's Note: And the women on Oahu, bless them, are just wonderful, they can follow a reasonable dancer on any beat. They are good and look great which is the role of the follower. In Latin dancing the leader just leads and does the basic most of the time. Let us accept that the leader and the follower dance differently and the follower is the star of the show.

"Cuando Escuches Este Vals" por Xavier Solis


The beginnings of the Mexican Indian use of the guitar was in the Even beat when the Spanish Guitar was introduce to Mexico in the 1700s. That is just strumming the guitar and changing the sound with the chords in the left hand. This method is still taught to the kids and they do very well with it. They can get some nice music out of this and it naturally evolved into a couple of guitars soon enough. It also acquired additional rhythms. Then there was another very natural addition, the Trumpet that came with the Europeans at about the 1800s and the music centered in Jalisco.

"Ay Jalisco, No Te Rajes." por Jorge Negrete

The groups evolved into big Mariaichi bands and they began to have at least three guitars, two violins and a couple of Trumpets. By the time of the Revolution to eliminate the Mexican Empire set up by Napoleon in the 1860s, the Mariachis had bands with three guitars, three trumpets and three violins. And the rhythm section came into prominence, with the famous Huapango beat.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Michigan Democrats

Received from, Brandon Dillon midemparty@michigandems.com

Dear Joseph --
I want to share something with you I believe is extremely important, in light of Donald Trump's deeply shameful decision to single out fellow human beings, based on their religion and country of origin, and ban them from coming to our country.


State Senator David Knezek proudly served our country in the Iraq War. He has a deeper connection to the human face of conflict and a stronger understanding of humanity than Donald Trump could ever possibly know or even hope to grasp. I asked Senator Knezek if we could share what he wrote today on Facebook about his experience in the Iraq War and his relationship with the Iraqi people during that time. He humbly agreed.

"For those that voted Republican: Please allow yourselves
the uncomfortable luxury of changing your minds."


His words make me proud, as a Democrat and an American, because they reaffirm what we believe and reinforce what our nation was founded on. America is a country that looks for the best in people, and it's our people that make us great, whether they are born here, immigrate, or simply hope to someday call themselves Americans. Democrats will never waver in our commitment to upholding our nation's values of tolerance and acceptance and protecting the rights afforded to all citizens by our Constitution. What Donald Trump has done is un-American, unconstitutional, and a slap in the face to the very values that make us great, the values that Senator Knezek fought to protect, and the values he experienced firsthand in Iraq as having no borders between fellow human beings, whether American or Iraqi, Christian or Muslim.

So please, take a moment to read Senator Knezek's story, and consider sharing it with your friends, family, people with whom you agree, and people with whom you do not.

Sincerely,
Brandon

"Most dancers understand perfectly, that honesty is an expensive gift,
don't expect it from Donald Trump, he cannot buy it."

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Rumba Anyone?

by Juan Solis, Pupukea

Rumba, Mambo, Cha Cha Cha all developed from the same dances in the Caribbean. The original was a combination of a many different native dances which became the Son. Not well documented but most America records say Afro meaning from Africa and contrary to popular opinion, it is not true. The slaves were not picked for their musical and dance abilities. Most of what they learned was in the second and third generation in the Americas. And they picked whatever they liked from the native music and dance which was much varied in the Caribbean.

"Most social dancers practice the philosophy of continuous improvement.
Just get a little better every day."


It is well documented in the US, that Jive and Swing did not come from Africa. It was developed by third and fourth generation Blacks based on their interpretation of the Native Indian music and dance and the Marches of the day. The entire slave population in the Americas developed certain preferences that were alike.  And one them was syncopation which was applied to whatever native music that was around them. A little more syncopation and perhaps they had something new.

"A Dios Le Pido" por Juanes


The Son is what was exported to the US in the 20s as the Rumba. The old Rumba was relegated back to the sticks. And it still had the old standard of the Caribbean, a rock step, on 2 & 3 and a slow step on the 4 & 1. And since the music was accented on the 2, they broke on the 2 count. Same as all the other dances. Then this old Rumba music in Cuba evolved to a faster beat in the 1930s led by the native Cuban musician and composer Arsenio Rodríguez.

"Oye Como Va" por Tito Puente


With a little more syncopation it became the Mambo and made popular by Pérez Prado and Benny Moré. In the US it became more standardized and most of the moves were exactly as the American Rumba. And it drove the fans wild. Enter the slower paced Mambo to make this music more appealing to dancers.

"Volver" por Carlos Gardel


In Havana in the 50s, the melody slowed and was marked strongly on the first downbeat, on the 2 and the rhythm was less frantic. It was soon noticed that the dancers were doing a chassé instead of the slow step. Thus improvising their footwork and producing the sound "cha-cha-cha". The new style came to be known as "cha-cha-chá" and became associated with a dance where dancers perform a chassé. And new music evolved from there.

Now where did the Salsa come from? Oh Boy.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Blogging on Oahu

We can certainly regret that we have lost two of the best dance blogs in Hawaii. Frank and Lani Sierra can rest assured that they have left a beautiful legacy. Meanwhile, Dance Fever Oahu remains as the best dance Web site in the Pacific. We get mentions from as far as the Philippines. Anyway, dance and web blogs are arriving in the State of Hawaii regularly and some will make it and some will not. It will depend on the reader/dancers, they will decide it.

"Social dancers know that they don't really dance because they want to. They dance because they need to move to their favorite music."


Most dancers are beginning to acknowledge that they have to start somewhere and the best place to do this is in the comments section in every blog. You can just say, "good" or "bad" in the beginning and gradually get up to a full sentence. You can use a Pen Name, but you will get used to seeing your words in print and they can be seen by anyone in the entire World Wide Web. From there you have no where to go but up.

"A Song For You" by Jimmy Borges


From there it would be easy to become a Two Center, one willing to contribute their 2 cents of information for their fellow dancers. And when they feel ready they can become full fledged Guest Authors and have their own blog within the blog with ready made readers. And I promise everyone, the hits will go through the roof. I have counters on all my blogs so I have to know if we are not just beating our gums.

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner


And in all these phases we have our rules: There is no registration and there are no admission fees. There are no annual or monthly meetings or dues. And there are no commitments on what you can blog and when you can blog. You can do as you damn well please. We like to run a tight ship here.

"We can dance for ourselves,  if someone understands, good. If not,
then no matter, we will go on dancing the way we love
and let the rest of the world go by."

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Da Rail Crisis

The New Dance Club in the West will almost certainly have to find a good Community Center, One that they can also help by having an occasional Center Fund Raiser. We wouldn't mind having to pay for a new Dance Floor as long as we can use it.


In China, when it happened 5 years ago, they said it wouldn't happen again. Plenty killed but good thing it did not fall on a lot of people the way it will in Honolulu.

According to the 2012 Texas A&M Transportation Institutes's annual urban mobility report — a study of 498 urban areas in America — road congestion is a problem plaguing each segment of society. It results in wasted time and fuel costs, more damage to the environment and increased frustration.



Ten times cheaper than rail, five times more efficient. 100 cars missing right in
front of each bus. (drivers in bus, sitting down) And I coulda got the bus right around the corner where I always got it. Shucks, Now I gotta buy a car.

Yet on Oahu, they insist on making public transportation uncomfortable for the users. At one time it was a pleasure to take the C bus to town and leave the car home. Now with the Rail Crisis having need for the money, they cut back on the bus service converting them to "cattle cars" and it is back to driving the car. With a good bus service, it would be a great beginning. Yes, we know, it the dough, Flo.


The industrial park like the one in Waipio. Those smart people got in just under the wire before the Present Rail Party got control of the politics. Valuable to so many citizens of the community. "I coulda got home in 20 minutes." But now industrial parks have been continually voted down by the Present Rail Party. 3 maybe 4000 less cars on the freeway to and from town. 4000 less cars in Honolulu traffic. But it's the bread, Fred. Huge Profits in the Rail Mess. Honolulu in the hole already for 26 million because of the Rail Tragedy and you ain't seen nuttin' yet.

36% of City Tax Revenue to go to Rail
"So either you raise taxes, you cut services, or you do a combination of both," Cayetano told KITV4. "I think that the mayor and the City Council are going to have to deal with that."

Friday, February 3, 2017

You dance it on the 2?

by Aristides Raul Garcia, New York,
The Salsaman AKA "El Intruso."

In Salsa one hears so many reasons as to why dancing on the "2" is the "right" way to dance, that at first it seems impossible to show that it is simply another way of dancing, a social contract, if you will, among a particular group of people. Nothing more, but nothing less. To be able to show this I have to take every piece of argument which the Two-natics put forth and show them for what they are; half truths meant to impress the ignorant: the new enthusiast looking for the "right way to dance."

"You can make your world so much larger just by
acknowledging everyone else’s"



It is also a financially rewarding, well polished product. It is teaching "a la franchise". I have been collecting the reasons to "2". They come from a variety of sources, and they are all selling credos from the Land of the "2." There has always been and will continue to be, that kind of teaching. Salsa is Mambo, Ha! The "original" dance (Mambo) was danced on the "2" by the Palladium dancers - (everyone is selling dancing on the "2") - New York Latinos have been doing Mambo, Salsa, longer than anyone else. Therefore, they know how to dance it better, or in any case know more about it (one of the main dogmas of the Church of the "2").

"Moliendo Cafe" by Azucar Moreno



Only people dancing on the "2" are with the Clave beat, with the music. He He - All the other dancers just aren’t with the music. This "2" is called the New York "2", the Cuban "2", the Street "2", etc., depending on the audience and the seller. Dancing on the "2" compliments the Tumbao which has an accent on the "2" (all sacred dogmas from the same bible stompers).

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

"Cerezo Rosa" By Perez Prado
  
The original instrumental version of the song that was later called
"Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" in English