Sunday, April 30, 2017

Yoichi and Graciela

Yoichi Sugawara was born in 1933 in a middle class family in Tokyo and went to the same schools as everyone else in his class. He was 20 years old when Graciela Susana was born in Argentina to a middle class family and she went to the same schools as everyone else in her class.

"To the ones that still believe in their dreams, keep chasing them."

Yoichi Sugawara took a liking to Latin music and dance. In 1958 he debuts as a tango dancer and becomes a huge success in Japan and later performs in Latin America. In his travels to Latin America he would sing occasionally during these Tango presentations and in the early 60s he got coaching, went into singing seriously, learned to play the Spanish guitar and became a very popular singer.

He also learned to speak Spanish very well and in 1962 he makes his debut with Polydor Records as a singer in Japan. In 1967 his single “Daremo Inai” became a huge hit. He was invited to the NHK event 22 times in a row thereafter. In 1968 Sugawara is awarded the Japan Record Grand Title with an Outstanding Voice Award. He goes on tour to Latin America, Dancing and Singing. Mexico City, Bogota, Columbia and Buenos Aries, Argentina.

"Adoro" por Graciela Susana

Meanwhile, Graciela Susana Ambrosio, born in 1953 and her sister Cristina, when still children, teamed up as the folk duo Las Hermanitas Ambrosio. They appeared successfully in TV programs and made tours of different places in Argentina. As a soloist, in her late teens, Graciela Susana began to sing tango pieces and was especially interested in the new.

"El Reloj" por Gabriela Susana and Yoichi Sugawara

She became interested in Japanese culture and even could communicate somewhat with the local Argentinians of Japanese descent. Accompanying herself on guitar, she appeared nightly at venues and coteries of Buenos Aires. In 1970 she was phoned by Edmundo Rivero who invited her for an audition at the famous El Viejo Almacén with the orchestra conducted by Carlos García.

"La Reine De Saba" por Gabriela Susana

In one of her appearances at the El Viejo Almacén, Yoichi Sugawara and his manager were among the audience. They were touched by that little girl with a privileged voice range, of deep low and fresh treble notes, that interpreted with so much intensity and sweetness and who, furthermore, accompanied herself on guitar. And she also happened to be passionate for Japanese culture and the language.

    (to be continued in part two.)


Friday, April 28, 2017

The Dance Studio

By Jeff Allen, Dancing USA magazine
Dance Instructors Wanted: No Experience Necessary.

A dance studio is a labor-intensive service business and although some offer promotional products, its major expense is labor. In addition to labor, a dance studio has a large number of fixed and variable expenses such as rent, telephone, electricity, advertising, sound equipment and recorded music. The overhead of a dance studio adds up very quickly.

"Most dance teachers help their students find the song in their hearts,
the beat in their feet and a passion for life."


Unless students purchase consistent volume of lessons each and every week, a studio can go quickly bankrupt. Dance studios are under more pressure to make hay while the sun shines than are most other businesses. The peak operational times for most dance studios is between 9 AM and 9 PM and the preferred time in the later part of the day.

"Mano O Ku" by Amy Hanaialii


Because of this very small window of opportunity, it makes perfect sense to provide as many service hours during this peak period. In other words, a studio owner has an economic incentive to put as many dance instructors - experienced or inexperienced - at approximately the same time. Of course, there can be the added attraction of Saturday and Sunday evening party specials.

 "Heart Aching Blues" by Willie K


The evidence that things are changing fast can be seen in the dramatic increase in the influence of blogging. We should be collecting emails as we used to collect telephone numbers and using them to better communicate our message to our fellow dancers. I have three email accounts. My "outlook.com" has been deleted by me, but will not be officially closed until the end of the month.

"Social Dancers don't give anyone the power to put them down,
specially those pretending to be the max."

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bossa Nova

Doing the Bossa Nova: The Curious Life of a Social Dance in 1960s North America
The twist was revolting because the wrong people were doing it, and doing it for the wrong reasons. They were watching it, too, or, rather leering at it,and again for the wrong reasons. But that is a matter of history. Bossa Nova, a musical style indigenous to Brazil, was imported to this country, made-in-America dances were devised for it, and weary old twisters found a new fad to release them from the swiveling orbit.

"Social Dancers are those who take full responsibility for their actions.
Non Socials. are those who blame others for their failures."


Some reports describe many of the oppositional relationships involved in social dance, such as those between partners, spectators and participants. Most tellingly, they do this by declaring that a dance was successful with the wrong people or the  wrong reasons, thus underscoring its lost exclusivity due to popular crossover. This preoccupation with Bossa Nova as a dance fad is also ironic for many champions of this music. Bossa Nova continues to be anything but a fad, let alone just a social dance.

"Blame It On The Bossa Nova" by Edyie Gorme


There is a clear gap between performing Bossa Nova as a social dance during the early 1960s and the enjoyment of Bossa Nova as beautiful music for listening that began in the late 1950s in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and continues to the present. We have over sixty years of awesome Bossa Nova, and while celebrations have abounded throughout Brazil and the rest of the world to commemorate these occasions, few critics discussed the music’s many unexpected forms outside of Brazil, though it does show some signs of the dance coming back considering some of the current fads that are disappearing now.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Lisa Ono


Breaking News: I have just been informed that some people have not been able to contact me by using the outlook email. I deleted a couple of months ago, and they give you 60 days to reconsider. They kept losing my folders and to get them back requires a degree in programming. I cannot get in to see if anyone called, because I would have another 60 days to get out. I have three other email addresses. Mahalo.

"Fad dances are an instant gratification, winners and losers gather around.
And very often those who are losing give up after three or four years,
and the fad is over."

 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

From Kirsten Gillibrand

We can't afford to grow weary

To newmartel@yahoo.com
Joseph –

I know that the flood of bad news out of Washington can be exhausting. In just the past couple of weeks:

President Trump signed legislation allowing states to block federal funding to Planned Parenthood, meaning that hundreds of thousands of people could lose access to their doctors just because of where they live.

President Trump has moved to gut the EPA, putting human health and our children’s futures at risk from the devastating impacts of climate change.

"Somewhere Over The Rainbow" by Bruddah Iz

The White House announced that it will no longer release visitor logs – and President Trump still refuses to release his tax returns.

It’s a lot to deal with, but we can’t afford to grow weary.

President Trump is going to keep pushing his reckless, dangerous agenda. That’s why it’s critically important that Democrats retake the Senate in 2018 and build a firewall against his most destructive policies.

Nothing will change unless we all take action. Thank you for stepping up – I’m so grateful to have you on this team.

Kirsten

"Social Dancers know there is nothing to prove but
there is everything to improve."

Monday, April 24, 2017

Blogging

The blogosphere on Oahu is gradually defining itself.  I try to help but the reader/dancers are the ones that make the decisions. For sure the greater part of our readers are social dancers. The rest have a perfect right to dance anyway they wish and we should not degrade them in anyway. We all want to move to music and we all want to do it our way. We are not clones and we all have our own individual preferences. To each his own.

"Social Dancers may not dance because they want to.
They may dance because they need to." 


I am 91 years old and finding myself failing in my physically abilities. I cannot see very well, I cannot hear very well, I cannot walk very well and my memory is faltering. Fortunately I can still sit and do my blogging on the computer. I just need help in sharing the dance information on Oahu with the rest of our fellow dancers. I have counters on all my blogs and they are not perfect. They cannot distinguish between a dancer and a non dancer. I do understand perfectly that if I have blog with 50 average hits per day and another has 25 average hits per day, one is about twice as good as the other. I do not have to get nit picky. The hits are going up slowly but steadily.


Each blog is set up for a different audience of readers. And many people are beginning to see the difference. The leading blog at the moment is Platinum Horseshoe, over 100 average hits  per day, which mostly covers dance action in West Oahu. The two leading information groups being Wahiawa Ballroom Dance Club and Aiea Ballroom Dance Association. Their members are the biggest contributors to hits on this blog. This is the first blog I am going to get rid of. The junk blogs will remain mine to the end.
 

Ritmo Mestizo is mainly covering Latin music and dance and near the bottom of the pile in hits. There are many fans of this section but they just don't know what they can do. We just need Latin dance information to share with our Latin music and dance fans. I just cannot get out that often. If you have something special, let me know and I may be able to blog'em. How about a club specializing in Rumba, Cha Cha Cha and Bossa Nova?

"Social Dance Team: Coming together is a beginning,
keeping together is progress, working together is success." 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dis N Dat

In West Oahu social dancing is becoming more clearly understood. And fortunately, in West Oahu most dancers take pride in it. Even though it has been somewhat imposed upon them by the upper levels of dance society. I tried to get the latest on the Dance Pavilion at the Patsy Mink Recreation Park, but for sure it has been lost to pay for the Rail Catastrophe. Somebody is making millions and millions of dollars there and Hawaii has to pay for it. Went from five billion to entice everyone and now up to ten billion and still going up.

"Social Dancers know that they cannot always choose the music life plays
for them, but they can choose how they dance to it."


It is expected to hit 15 billion. Lucky people in Hawaii are all rich and can afford it. We don't even hear it much from the line dancers. Maybe we need a good dance craze in the area. How about reviving the Bossa Nova. Some of the best music that exists to this very day. And what we do is move to our favorite music and we call it dancing. The pros screwed up the Bossa Nova something awful and then the old Samba dancers resented the new music and dance. It became a fad dance and went out of style. But that music is still one of the best. no matter how you slice it.

"Sh-Boom, (Life Could Be Dream)" by the Chordettes


Perhaps the most significant of all the early 20th century crazes originated in Argentina and the tango swept the world in the late 1910s and early 1920s. It sparkled a worldwide craze that was fanned by its use in Hollywood movies, and the style was soon appropriated to become part of the standard dance repertoire. But that's why we resist even calling blogging a medium; it is a means of sharing information and also of interacting: It's more about conversation than content ... so far. we think it is equally tiresome and useless to argue about whether blogs are journalism, for journalism is something else. Blogs are whatever they want to be. Blogs are whatever we make them. Defining "blog" may be a fool's errand.

"Dancing is like taking a mini vacation from the stress of everyday -
and you have to be in the moment."

Friday, April 21, 2017

Lisa Ono

Lisa Ono was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1962 but moved with her family to Tokyo at the age of 10. From that time on she spent half of every year in Japan, and half in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her father had business interests in both countries. She learned to speak, read and write in Japanese and became a Brazilian popular music ambassador in Japan. Lisa began singing and playing the guitar at age 15, and her debut as a professional Bossa Nova singer was in 1979 when she was 17.

"Social Dancers know that when they dance to their own rhythm,
life taps its toes to their beat."

Her natural voice, rhythmic guitar playing, and her charming smile led her to a huge success and popularized Bossa Nova in Japan. She has performed with many top musicians in Brazil. She learned English in addition to the Portuguese and Japanese and performed enthusiastically in New York City. Her first album, Catupiry, was released in 1989. She has not stopped recording since then, releasing one disc a year, mostly in Portuguese since it is her preferred tongue. She soon became famous in Japan after appearing in several TV commercials. In 1991 her album Nanã won the "Grand Prix Gold Disk Award for Jazz" in Japan. The 1999 album Dream sold more than two hundred thousand copies in Japan, and since then she has established a determined position in the Japanese Bossa Nova community.

"Girl From Ipanema" by Lisa Ono


Not much is known about her personal life. She had several relationships in Japan and in Brazil. She was 40 years old when she married Satoshi Ishikawa in 2002 and they had two children. Continuing her exploration of new material, in the summer of 2001, Lisa released Bossa Hula Nova, which as the title name implies, includes some new and classic Hawaiian songs done in a bossa nova style. My personal favorite which I have in a song video is Fly Me To The Moon, in that beautiful Bossa Nova style and a terrific band for back up and she sings it in English.

"For Social Dancers, dance is not an option, it's who we are."

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What's doin'?

Yes we still have the problem, American vs. International Styles but it shouldn't be a problem. The problem has been in dancing "the right way." They each have a point and each has the perfect right to say that in their style, theirs is the right way. Stands to reason. The problem arises when one of them does not qualify it, and if you are not dancing it their way, you are dancing "incorrectly." Wrong, wrong , wrong.

"Dance is like life, it exists as you're moving to your favorite music,
and when it's over, it's done."


A biggest difference between the styles is that the American style of dancing is competed and taught predominately in the United States whereas the International style is competed and taught all over the world. Therefore the International is more well known. The International people also consider their style to be more of an art and the real ballroom dance and many tend to agree with them. Hey, it is should be up to the dancers.

"Hey There" by Rosemary Clooney


The American style of dancing evolved independently of the International style, but is often considered more simple and easy to learn. they use more basic moves from centuries back. which is why dance studios may prefer to teach it instead of the International style. The American style of dancing is understood to be more of a social style of dancing and is the style that most people will be dancing on Oahu. And it readily merges into what has been referred to as Social Dancing. The most accepted style of social dance in this century.

"Life may be like dancing. If we have a big floor, many people will dance.
But some will get angry when the rhythm changes. We could accept
that life is changing all the time."

Monday, April 17, 2017

Tango

There are so many different tangos that it is difficult to choose just one. The Argentine Tango danced today is not the same one that took Europe by storm a century ago. But for some it is so personal it is almost like a religion. And to complicate things further there are several Argentine Tangos in Argentina. Which one should you try? Don't ask me, I sure as hell don't know.

"Music may be something that helps us escape and be
totally free from anything, then we can dance."


The American Tango is easy to learn and has a nice rhythm to it. The exhibitions of the American Tango by most Professionals are just spectacular and considered real exhibitions, They are very much appreciated by most Tango aficionados. They phase over very nicely into Cabaret dancing. My favorite to this day remains the Finnish Tango even if I don't know that much about it. The Finnish Tango has been spreading to Scandinavia, Northern Europe and Western Russia. and in this century it is called the Nordic Tango.

"El Dia Que Me Quieras" por Carlos Gardel


Many say it is closer to the original Argentine Tango than any other. Would be interesting to see it in Hawaii. Most of the other Tangos are based on one of these Tangos. For instance, Filipino Tango is based on American but has a lot of Argentine Milonga in it. The British (International) is a far cry from the original Argentine Tango. But the British consider it the "correct" way to dance the tango. What the hell do Argentine people know about dancing tango?

"For Tangueros, tango is not in the feet - it is in the heart" 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday Night

There is still a need to define "blog." I doubt there ever was such a call to define newspaper or television or radio or book -- or, for that matter, telephone. A blog is merely a tool that lets you do anything from change the world to share your shopping list. Our dance blogs are developing very nicely into their own and our dancers will use them however they wish. And it is way too soon in the invention of uses for this tool to limit it with a set definition.

"Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long
after the excitement of the moment has passed."


I plan to go this evening to the Anniversary dance of Wahiawa Ballroom Dance Club, at the Halemano Camp 808. The Handi Van will pick me up at home and get me there before 6:30 and pick me up at the dance at 8:45 and bring me home - Nice. I plan to take some storage discs with a movie on each. But the most important help for me is in taking the photos. My hands are not steady and I dropped the camera once. I am very careful now and I take the first two fotos to make sure the camera is working.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Jimmy Borges


Then I pass it around. Not only that but I have discovered that if I can get several people to take four or five fotos each, I am presenting different "opinions" to the readers of the blog. I try to make two collages of nine photos each. I also try to get an opinion, a sentence or two from the dancers to print and add text to the blog. Makes good social media and I can flesh out the rest. I have a hit counter on each blog and the hits on Platinum Horseshoe will go through the roof.

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner

Next week, I have been lucky enough to be invited to the Anniversary dance of Aiea Ballroom Dancer Association. I hope to get the Handi Van and I hope to do the same thing there as in Wahiawa. I sure got some good photos last time. Faith was specially helpful. I hadn't seen her in a very long time. And I will take some storage media for anyone's computer with a few song videos in digital format. Not CD or DVD - Computer only.

"Our Blogging, the entire enchilada, in the middle of the Pacific is rolling."

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cinco De Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration held on May 5. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. He had about 2000 men and were outnumbered two to one by what had been considered one of the best military forces in the world.

"Dancing with the feet is one thing - dancing with the heart is another."


In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico. In the U.S. the date has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. In Mexico, the commemoration of the battle continues to be mostly ceremonial, such as through military parades. In Hawaii it is party, party, party and celebrated on all the islands.

"Sabor A Mi" por Luis Miguel


El Jarabe Tapatío: better known internationally as "The Mexican Hat Dance", is a popular Mexican dance, popular throughout Latin America, specially in Cuba, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. It is typically a folk dance for show and has come to symbolize Latin America both domestically and internationally.

"Social dancers know that the only dancer they should compare
themselves with is the one they used to be."

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Latin Music and Dance

Social dancing is an expression of your soul. You don't need to know complicated steps to dance. You don't have to sashay across the room or spin your partner with finesse. If you enjoy moving to music, you will be able to find your feet. Dance to the rhythm of your heart, and you will feel happy, guaranteed. It doesn't matter whether you like jazz, waltz, jive or rumba. What matters is that your (literally) heart loves moving to music.

"We are all humans and God's children. It is our choice how we
conduct our lives and choose to live the commandments
according to the dictates of our own conscience."


Dancing is one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise. But dancing also helps the release of endorphins, the so-called happiness hormone. Even if the only time you can dance is when no one's watching (possibly the best time of all), these writings in blogs can inspire you to let yourself feel the freedom of dance whether in your living room or on the dance floor. Now, if we could get a little feedback from the readers, WOW!


Driverless Vehicles are coming. Public trials have already begun for this ambitious plan to outfit a sprawling UK city into an autonomous wonderland. The cute little LUTZ Pathfinder vehicles have been like taxis on city streets. There is an on-demand, publicly run system of 30 to 40 driverless two seater pod cars, which allow residents to travel between any two points in the city’s downtown without navigating or reacting to obstacles themselves. The system should be fully up and running by end of the year. Needless to say the Rail Disaster is obsolete, right now.

"Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though
EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer.
And stubbornly refuse to fit in.”

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Rail Disaster

The Present Rail Party continues with it's lies. I just found out they went to the same schools as Trump and his racketeer friends. Remember when the rail project would cost $5.29 billion? Now the estimates are going to 15 billion. Triple the amount. The taxpayers wouldn't mind a billion or two but now at 15 we know it will go even higher yet. The Present Rail Party calls it "Easy Money." They spent ten million lying about Ben Cayetano but they have made ten times over that right now.

 We coulda got 100 of these babies for less than one billion dollars.
Only not much profit for the Present Rail Party.

They promised that the rail project would be built on time, that it would create 10,000 local jobs and it is just a joke now. And more - the rail ridership numbers were grossly inflated. People were promised Rapid Transit (notice it has not been mentioned lately.) Many know now that they can get the #93 in Makaha at 6 am and be at Honolulu Hale by 7:30. An hour and half, and when "Rapid Transit" is done, it will take over two hours. They know the people are stupid. When it comes to bullshit these guys take the cake. Good thing the property owners on Oahu are rich.


Beautiful Business Park in Nanakuli at no cost for the taxpayers, voted down by the Present Rail Party. And "I coulda got home in 20 minutes."

The cost of the rail project was poorly estimated from the beginning, and has been severely mismanaged. There has been very little accountability and as of this day, HART has refused to provide much needed answers even to the Honolulu City Council, various members of the Legislature, and even to the FTA. Even after two separate audits, there is still no transparency. The People of Hawaii deserve real and complete answers, and deserve to be told the true facts. We do not appreciate being told nothing. And when there is something to be told, we do not appreciate half-truths, twisted information, PR, white lies and smoke and mirrors.

And Caldwell has a nice little part time job making a over 200 thousand a year. How about that? It's the bread, Fred, its the dough, Flo. And how many people know that the "Gravy Train" is obsolete, right now?


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Latin Scene

In this century the Marichis are well known in the Pacific region. Although the roots of the Mariachi go back hundreds of years, there are no Bachs or Beethovens in its early history because Mariachi music was the music of country people and they danced it. Until the 1930's Mariachi groups were local and semi-professional. They were almost entirely unknown outside their own regions.

"Dance may be an art form and the body an instrument.
Learn to play the instrument and master the art form."


During WWII. they became very popular in the Southwest USA and in concert they developed a following of listeners. After the War, they expanded around the world. New groups established themselves in the US and were composed entirely of American citizens. They even allowed women into what had been reserved for men only. Honolulu is overdue for a good local Mariachi group.

"Hay, Jalisco No Te Rajes" por Jorge Negrete


On Oahu, Bachata and Salsa are leading the way in Latin Dance, but close behind are the permanent dances like Rumba, Cha Cha Cha and Samba. They will be danced by the more experienced dancers well into the next century. Most of the ones coming in will be long gone and new ones will be coming in. We will see the Latin waltz with it's unique moves come in soon. Rock Step and a Chassé? Try dancing the next Viennese Waltz using the Samba Chassé, - EASY.


We all determine for ourselves what is right and what is not right for our own lives and how we live God's commandments. We are not judges and we should never judge anyone for the decisions they make unless they are causing harm to another individual.

"Dance may be like wine; it matures with every performance."



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Not Overnight?

By Robert Ishikawa, Waimea

Social Dance, may not change in terminology for long time because the dancers on this island will probably make that decision. The appropriate music that goes specifically with a particular dance style will remain the same. Some slow foxtrots are used for Rumba, but are not really Da Reel Teeng unless they got the beat. Musically we have some very good movements in the right direction here. The DJs are coming into their rightful prominence.

"Metronome: A clockwork device that beats time at a determined rate
used for people to maintain a regular tempo. Also a term for people
that do not phrase their dancing. Just be aware."


Foxtrot is radically different: The International Foxtrot is slow and elegant, but the American Foxtrot is upbeat and sprightly and can be smooth. Social dancers may still use International elements, but add to it a jazziness and show dance quality that is not appropriate (or even feasible) in International Foxtrot. And you can do an underarm turn. Socially it may be just beautiful.

"Stranger In Paradise" by Tony Bennett


Rumba and Cha Cha Cha are in process of change and standardization. There are more American style basic moves and less of the LAGS* stuff. Whereas most Bronze had been a dozen or so steps in the disciplines, recreational dancing has a Bronze of 20 or more movements. And about all you need to enjoy a social dance with a stranger. Easier to lead and easier to follow which is the name of our game. Few of our kind of dancers will go into the Silver, (more advance movements.) And if you want to go into the Gold, you can no longer be considered a recreational, cultural dancer. You will automatically convert into a Ballroom Dancer and there is nothing wrong with that, it's your deal.

 "Sh-boom, Life Could Be Dream" by the Chordettes

 

The regular Waltz is the dance which is most similar in interpretation to the International, but again, with the ability to break apart, it can look different as a whole. Whether Country or American it is still appreciated for its music by the more experienced dancers. Did you see that guy do a back flip in that Waltz? Just beautiful, - no, he wasn't over 30. Let's just enjoy the changes as they come along and be patient. Our particular part of the entire enchilada is evolving very nicely Meanwhile, keep on dancing

LAGS* Latest And Greatest Syndrome.