Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Bossa Nova

By Jacinto Velez, Makapuu Point.
I argue that the invention of the Bossa Nova as a social dance in the U.S. was a major point of arrival in the music’s translation to audiences abroad. Such a translation eventually allowed musicians and critics alike to dismiss it as a dance fad and boon to record sales rather than a sustainable style of popular music. Much of this dismissal has to do with how popular music scholars devalue certain musical practices like dance fads, and dance more generally, while elevating others, such as a musical style’s engagement with politics or musical innovation, to tell music history.

"Social Dancers know that no matter the size of the gesture - a smile that brightens
someone else's day - we can all take active part in making a difference."


The majority of my discussion focuses on the social class construction and presentation of Bossa Nova as a dance and its relationship to other instrumental musical styles from Latin America circulating in U.S. popular culture during the early 1960s; it explores different elements of the dance’s history – there is the dance it self, the act of watching the dance, and then there are the musical components of instrumental Bossa Nova that translated into dance. However, what makes this story worthy of attention is how Bossa Nova was a crucial marker of values for those with a desire to attain an elite social status in the United States in ways that mirror and compliment class aspirations surrounding the music’s invention in Brazil.

"Blame It On The Bossa Nova" by Edyie Gorme


In both countries, Bossa Nova was a genre, a powerful symbol of class aspiration, and a marketing tool for those wishing to capitalize on its success. This paper adds to the many studies of Bossa Nova’s popularity in the United States with a focus on the milieu of social forces involved in the Bossa Nova dance. As the quote above succinctly underscores, many of the cultural conficts surrounding the Bossa Nova dance had to do with who exactly was watching and dancing in terms of their age, race and social class. To date it remains one of the favorites throughout the world.

"Social Dancers love moving to music. Maybe they are not really dancers?"

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Arthur Murray Dance Studio

Nice Friday but many things to do which is OK for a long retired person to look forward to. By noon I was ready to take my walk and go to Walmart about a mile distance. Does me good, physically. Then prepared to get ready for the evening at the Arthur Murray dance social, which is free for all interested parties. Got there early and met some former friends and made new ones -Very nice.


Getting there a little early, there was a lady in front me and she was looking for the party too. The door was closed and I went around in front and met some good friends and we went through another entrance to get into the party. Nice crowd starting up. Giselle introduced me to a nice lady and she took most of the photos we have here. I am too old and hard of hearing so I did not get her name, but let me tell you, she will be well remembered for these terrific photos. I usually get enough photos for a nine picture collage. Lucky, I got enough for two collages here.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Jimmy Borges


They had general dancing by good solid dancers, followed by a few terrific exhibitions. Again general dancing and at the half, a nice lesson in Bachata, all free of charge. But every one certainly got the idea that learning that dance at Arthur Murray would be a good thing. The entire shindig was everybody having fun in a dance environment. I danced one dance, waltz with my nice lady photographer and left at about 9:20. The number 53 arrived about 15 minutes later and I was on my way home. I had my flask of wine and rode home feeling very good.

"Tiny Bubbles" by Don Ho


Here at Arthur Murray, we pride ourselves on changing people through dancing, Whether you are an absolute beginner or someone that has been dancing their whole life.
We would love to make you part of our ohana.
Giselle Shultz.

 "Social dancers believe that small good deeds done are better
than great deeds planned."

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Getting There

Well it took us six months to get a little better order for these blogs. Much jumbled information from the counters, but I am not a nit picker. Close enough is good enough. We are still pretty uncertain of keeping six blogs in our blogosphere, and I have a couple of suggestions as to changing the name of Platinum Horseshoe. So it is imperative that we get readers to comment. This can be done easily enough at the end of each blog. Please do not use anonymous, use a pen name if you do not wish to use your own name, just try to keep the same pen name so that the readers will identify easier.

"Happiness is a way station between too little and too much."


If you like what is happening as a result of your comments you can then decide if you wish to contribute bigger portions of information and even photos for the benefit of our reader/dancers. This by emailing to any of our Guest Bloggers and you may designate the blog of your choice. Of course there is no commitment and you will understand that you are doing good for our dance community. Furthermore you do this only when  you feel like doing it. Fair enough?

"What A Wonderful World" by Bruddah Iz

Trump Kleptocracy does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With their political  system, a small privileged few will be rich beyond conscience, and almost all others will be doomed to be poor at some level. That's the way their system works. We also know that their system will not change the rules for the good of all. Inevitably, we will be forced to change the system by whatever means necessary. Those that are ignorant of history are always condemned to repeat it.

"Social Dancers believe that when they dance, they
can enjoy the luxury of being themselves." 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hispanic

This blog has been intended for those interested in Mestizo (Latin) music and the Latin dances on the island of Oahu. As social dancers we must find a common ground where we can lead and follow in a comfortable fashion. This does not necessarily exclude those that are not Hispanic or those off island. Even then it's not clear who is Hispanic. On this island, Latinos are predominantly Puerto Rican, but the Mexicans are not far behind and the rest of the Latinos will be come, Central American more than any other. So it is getting quite diverse.

“Social dancers know they are living moment to moment and their idea of time is related
to those infinitely short moments when they are on the dance floor moving to their
favorite music and being their superselves.”


Also the Hispanic market is multi-faceted, maybe 95% Mestizo, and the mix verges from the almost all European, to the almost all Indian blood. There are also, Oriental and Negro strains and mixes to make it merrier. In Hawaii, there has been and will be more intermarriage with all the ethnic groups available. Some of us speak English only, some Spanish only and some both languages equally well. Some of us were born in the US and others are foreign born. We span socio-economic classes and shades of brown. Many can and do pass for Haole.

"No Sé Tú" por Luis Miguel


There are two peripheral dance groups, Tango and Salsa. many of which are very good dancers. They are part of a larger group that do not want to be part of the ballroom dance scene simply because of the reputation for "correctness." They abhor the rootzi tootzi attitude and they paint the entire ballroom dance scene with the same paint brush. We are not all the same. There are many more real social dancers that just want to enjoy moving to the music of their choice. Should be quite understandable.

"Social Dancers never explain themselves. Their friends don't need it
and their enemies won't believe it."

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Autonomous Vehicles

Jaguar Land Rover is one step closer to enabling its vehicles to autonomously drive through city streets. Recently showcasing a prototype technology equipped on a Range Rover Sport, the brand proved that it might soon be possible to enable their vehicles to operate autonomously through a city, expertly negotiating roundabouts and obeying traffic lights. The technology, called Autonomous Urban Drive, brings Jaguar Land Rover closer to its goal of achieving "level four" autonomy in its vehicles within the next decade.

"Social Dancers know that Good Deeds are done with good intentions,
not for attention."


The Autonomous Urban Drive technology allows passengers to select a location and sit back while their vehicle selects the best route and then traverses it. Customers will have a choice between either fully- or semi-autonomous vehicles, so that every drive feels comfortable, enjoyable, and safe. "Our Autonomous Urban Drive research is Jaguar Land Rover’s next step in our development of both fully and semi-autonomous vehicle technologies," says Tony Harper, director of engineering research at Jaguar Land Rover.

"What A Wonderful World" by Bruddah Iz


"However, we aren’t looking at simply replacing the driver, and making cars ‘driverless’. Future technologies will give the driver more not less – they will assist and ultimately enhance the driving experience." Jaguar Land Rover is leading the way to a bold new future of connected, intelligent and even self-driving vehicles, and its current technologies offer a compelling taste of things to come. Call, contact us online, or visit us in person at 888 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96813 to learn more about them or experience them for yourself.

"Social Dancers know that it is better to do the good deed
quietly without much display." 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Ballroom Dancing

"Ballroom dancing" has referred to traditional partnered dance forms that were done by a couple, often in the embrace of closed dance position ("ballroom dance position"). These include waltz, rumba, swing, tango and salsa. "Ballroom dance" in the past century was an overall umbrella term, covering many developing divisions. Social/ballroom dance forms are important. Many of today's performative dance forms, including ballet and jazz dance, evolved from social dance forms that came first.

"Social Dancers believe that they become in some area an athlete. Practice only means dancing, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire.”


The three main worlds of ballroom dance, social, exhibition and competitive, share the same historical roots, similar step vocabulary and music, so the three forms are considered siblings, related by birth. Yes, siblings are known to fight, but they can also be mutually supportive. American Style of dancing has its fans, the ones that love the dance and socialize as people with the common interest. Many of us in the other styles use their current steps and patterns. Latin Dances too?

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Jimmy Borges


I believe those that wish to dance have the perfect right to do as they please. Social Dance based on the American Style is just a little bit different. It also has its fans, the ones that love the music and dance and socialize as people with the common interest. This is morphing into the largest dance group on Oahu. I am a fan and those that wish to dance for the pure joy of moving to music have the right to do as they please. So the question remains intentionally provocative, and is easily answered. All three forms are valid, each enjoyed by their adherents for good reasons. But it's helpful to know how and why they differ from each other.

"To Watch Us Dance Is To Hear Our Hearts Speak." Indian Proverb

Thursday, July 20, 2017

It's not my fault.

By Darryl McCrea, Turtle Bay
"Don't push me!" "Well, if you would just follow, I wouldn't have to!" Anyone who has been dancing even a short time will recognize this as familiar script. How often does it happen that a dance couple working on a pattern finds that their practice session deteriorates into a disaster of reciprocal accusation and blame, countered by defense. In the heat of argument, the one and only thing to be sure of, is that, "It's not my fault."

"Why be moody when you can shake your booty on the dance floor."


If we were not so busy defending ourselves we would realize that the chance of only one member of the partnership is contributing an error is almost nil. A move may have been "led" correctly in one part but the head or the knee may not have been in the right place. The lady may have "followed" correctly with her feet but her back or arms may not. At each higher level of learning, we find that what was previously regarded as perfect may longer even be correct.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Lisa Ono

But why does the problem have to be anyone's "fault?" It appears that most of us respond as if we believe that the way to solve the problem is to figure out who is wrong, preferably the other. We can blame him/her and tell them to fix it. In reality, however, blaming someone else is the least likely way to find a solution to any human problem. Let's try to have a little understanding.

"Contigo A La Distancia" por Lucho Gatica

Here is the address of the new Dance Appeal Studio: 94-307 Farrington Hwy, in the Waipahu Medical Center Unit A11. (It is across from Max of Manila) Cost of the Social : $15, payable at the door. Price includes light snack, punch & water.

I have gotten all my information of the Dance Appeal Studio from Marie. The information contributors are most useful in helping us share this dance information with our readers and fellow dancers.

"Social Dancers will strive for good deeds, liberty and a bright life,
and wish that goodness and justice will reign in our world."

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Latin Palace

No, not yet, things are going slowly for Ritmo Mestizo blog, averaging too few hits per day. Town Dancer and Platinum Horseshoe are still leading the parade. The comments and the information contributors will make the decisions and they will give us - the reader/dancers. They should make few commitments and just do it whenever they feel like it. Of course, a few good candid photos of our fellow dancers on Oahu would be icing on the cake.

"Nothing ever built could arise to touch the skies unless someone dreamed that it could,
someone believed that it should and someone willed that it would."


We welcome anyone in our dance environment and they may determine how appropriate they should be. Most of the readers are interested in dancing in all its aspects, dance classes and some Nightclubbing. Some are "not strictly" with us and we should respect their preferences. We have too much other ground on this entire island to cover - over 30 thousand possible dancers. Just heard Placido Domingo singing a beautiful Waltz, "Maria Elena" from his album, "De Mi Alma Latina." So the new Latin Palace will have Latin Waltz, that is for sure.

"I'll Remember You" by Don Ho


Ever dance a Waltz using only the rock step and a chaissé? - With Latin Waltz, Rumba. Cha Cha Cha and a little Tango, you have a solid Latin start. Something like "Da Reel Teeng." Latin Dancing has its fans, the ones that love the dance and socialize as people with the common interest. Unfortunately most of us are slow in picking up on the idea. Many consider themselves fans and certainly approve of it. However we seek a more stable definition for our use in Hawaii. There are close to 20 different good Latin style dances and we only need about 6 to 9 different dances with clearly different music styles. The Latin Dance Palace in Kapolei?

Ambivalent? Well ... yes and no."

Cruising Along

This blog still holding on, perhaps it will wake up again soon. It is still too much like Town Dancer, and the comments on either one will determine who gets the hits. Of course we do get a few information contributors now and then and it makes a big difference. This applies to all our blogs, since I am not famous, these cannot be one person blogs. Group blogs are increasing on the Mainland, Golf, Tennis etc. No one famous writing, all just fans of the subject matter.

"Social Dancers know that when they dance they can
enjoy the luxury of being themselves."


We post whatever posters we like from the Internet, copyright or not. If you do not like it, please email and we will delete immediately if not sooner, copyright or not. It helps that people sends us information especially in the West. So everyone stays in the limelight and getting to be known throughout the island. Should be plural, Islands. And the more the merrier so if any of you know of a new dance club or organization, let them or us know and perhaps they can share their information with our reader/dancers.

"Morning Dew" by Jimmy Borges


Tom Peters: I found myself declaiming, full flower, for an hour on the "utmost importance and urgency" of Blogging, telling him in no uncertain terms that, especially in a high-end niche business, Blogging is "the premier way" to have "intimate conversations" with his Clients. Funny thing, I believe it!

"Knowledge is only potential power."

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Learning Latin

A common concern of most dancers in Latin dancing is partners who hardly move their lower body either because they don't shift their weight during the dance or they don't move their feet, this quiet lower body movement (or lack thereof) does not create any observable rhythmic flow for their partners and is a source of confusion for them. That is why line dancing is so good for the beginner. Just move to the music in your own fashion.

"Social Dancers know that putting forward their positive energy
connects them back to basic human values which we all share."


In Line Dancing they cover the Latin music very well and you learn foot moves from teachers that know what they are doing. But the best thing about it is that since you do not have a partner to worry about,  you develop your own unique moves as you enjoy moving to the music. Partner dancers can become out of sync not only to the music but with each other when the other person does not feel their partner's rhythm.

"Adoro" por Graciela Susana


If one of them is not on the beat, developing rhythm starts first with paying attention and listening to the music, recognizing the underlying beat and using appropriate weight shifts. It should be pretty plain for most of us and it is rapidly spreading across Oahu. We must find more places for us to dance and leave the "ballroom" dancer to dance in their ballrooms. Makes sense, they go together like peanut butter and jam. Meanwhile, we "Da Group" are going to have a ball and our bunch is growing daily. Most dancers are able to see it, can you? We Shall Overcome!

"Social Dancers find that dance, music, and literature is how we can make sense of the world and it can push us to think of things beyond what is immediate or convenient."

Social?

By Jonathan Chung, Kalealoa

Social Dancing in Oahu is most definitely "divided" into three different groups. Like most things, good, bad and indifferent - beginner, experienced and wow - Bronze, Silver and Gold. Most people dance one way or another when young. Sometimes it is just prancing around to music. By the time they are teenagers they gravitate to learning stages and there is a "fad dance" that everyone must learn. They get on it with mixed results, some good and some bad and many indifferent to the trick steps.


"Social Dancers know that you should do all the good you can
and make as little fuss about it as possible."

 

But eventually in a few years it is superseded by another "fad dance" and attempts are made to learn the new one and again with varying results. It may even happen a third time at which time it is just too much. The young often say, "Never trust anyone over 30" which is about the right line of division. By the time they are married with kids, and trying to make ends meet, life is not exactly conducive to learning a new fad dance.


"Na Moku Eha" by Willie K


Their friends are going into something else. That is when the interest may arise into what has been referred to on Oahu as the Ballroom Dances, first because there are no teenagers around. And secondly because they realize that many movements become standardized and most people find it easier to partner dance wherever. That Waltz music will always be great and there will be some great new music in every genre.

"At Last" by Amy Hanaialii


The steps and patterns they learn in Waltz will be danced 30 or 40 years later in sheer joy. If they stick to the American Style they will never have to worry about pressure to compete. They can dance just to enjoy the movement to the music of their choice. It’s been party, party, party and in this century, a new more cohesive Social dance group has evolved. And it is the fastest growing dance group on this Island. Can we still admire the exhibition dancers? Of course.

Who said? "I will never allow anyone to do me the injury of making me hate them."

Monday, July 10, 2017

What is Rumba?

So much is written on the Mainland and yet no real answers. This entire Caribbean scene is losing its way except with the new fad dances. Salsa has done very well to date but we all know the Bachata is coming in strong and most know that it is fad.  A strong Latin dancing scene is coming slowly from Mexico, Central and South America. Any one ever heard of the Latin Waltz? The Bossa Nova? If accepted they will not be fads but become established as musical and dancing enjoyment for the social dancers.

"Social Dancers don't just dance. They perform, they breathe,
they watch the rest of the world disappear."


Rumba is in chaos. Too many different versions and the music too, varies too much. Many dances are clearly referring to American rumba, which again is not even in the rumba family. Ballroom rumba is an Americanized version of the Cuban son. This may be highly dubious claim and yet ballroom rumba is in this same family, sharing among other things a similar basic, which is why you can reinterpret figures easily between the dances, Mambo, Cha Cha Cha and Salsa. The dance "cha cha chá" is a clear derivative of the mambo, which is in turn a member of the Cuban "son" family of dances.

 
It certainly isn't in any way a parent dance. Congolese rumba, also known as Rumba Lingala, is a popular genre of dance music that originated in the Congo basin during the 1940s, borrowed with strong similarities to Cuban son. The style gained popularity throughout Africa during the 1960s and 1970s. It is known as Lingala in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania after the Lingala language of the lyrics of the majority of the songs. In Zambia and Zimbabwe, where Congolese music is also influential, it is still usually referred to as rumba, but they know, that it is Caribbean,

"Social Dancers can stop feeling sad and lose the pain, they let go and smile.
No, they do not just dance."

Our Dance Scene

I came across a Playlist from the mainland of 40 years ago. I have never seen one in Hawaii. Does anyone use one for our dances in some way? We do appreciate the efforts of our DJs in providing us with a good variety of musical styles and tempos, anyway.

"Try not to become a person of success but a person of value."



What is a Playlist in Hawaii?

Brown Eyed Girl - Rumba

Cerezo Rosa - Mambo

Georgia On My Mind - Fox Trot

Heartache Tonight - Swing

Hernando's Hideaway - Tango

I Get a Kick Out of You - Fox Trot

I Just Want to Dance With You - Rumba

I've Got the World On a String - Fox Trot

I've Got You Under My Skin - Fox Trot

In the Midnight Hour - Cha Cha

In the Mood - Swing

It's Now or Never - Cha Cha

Jalousie - Tango

Jimmy Mack - Swing, __ Kansas City - Swing, __ Kokomo - Rumba

"Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing." Salvador Dali


Town Dancer is still number one, Platinum Horseshoe is number two and Dancing in the Dark is a far third. The rest are in the "also rans." The bottom one, Extrava Danza, for the Live Music on Oahu could not cut it. I will phase it out, and see how much use I can get while doing so. The Comments at the end of each blog is what will do it. I am learning, but on this I am sure.

"Social Dancers would be ashamed should their deeds not match their words."

Friday, July 7, 2017

Makua Alii

Tough day. Many things to do, all my medications, blogging and including a clean bandage on my knee. The Handi Van pretty much on time and got me to Makau Alii by 6.30. No one there except Tad. Class starts at 7 to 7:30 International Fox Trot, free.


At 7:30, they start with the Electric Slide and then General dancing begins with a beautiful Waltz. And of course, everyone loves the Waltz.  I got a lady friend to take some pictures with the new camera but I must have done something wrong in the set up. Nothing came out.


The dancing goes on and I left at 8:30 but the Handi Van did not arrive until past  9 and with pick ups and deliveries and I did not get  home until after ten. Not too bad.

"Social Dancers know that talking isn't doing. It is a kind of good deed to say well;
and yet words are not deeds."

Latin Waltz

By Sergio Martinez, Lahaina

So, what is Latin Waltz? It's not something I invented and we know that the Waltz music is loved World Wide.  In Latin America it is seeing a revival of the old time three count music and dance. I've never seen a class on it, but it's a classic folk dance and it is going to look really obvious once it gets started. Basically, it's a hesitation waltz danced to Latin music. A Rock Step is easy to learn if you know the rhythm, and from there, you can learn to apply the Chassé.  There is a ton of great Latin-American and Spanish music written in 3/4 time, with a fairly fast tempo.

"Good deeds should be done with intention and not for attention."


I taught a single class in Latin Waltz up in Palmdale, California not too long ago and it was a big hit.
Many of us have had fairly hideous experiences trying to dance Viennese Waltz socially. Many floors are small and crowded, and at these speeds, collisions are inevitable. Many dancers sit these out altogether. Also, unfortunately, many dancers who attempt Viennese Waltz do not have the speed or strength to dance continuously nor the floor craft to make the way for those who do.

"Cuando Eschuches Este Vals" por Vicente Fernandez


Latin Waltz is a legitimate way to dance to slow, medium and fast waltz music without becoming a hazard on the dance floor and without exceeding your own abilities. I would like to see dancers challenge themselves and have the maximum amount of fun. But just as drivers have to be aware of, and able to react to, everything happening on or near the road, dancers have to be aware of, and able to react to, everything happening on or near the dance floor.

"Alejandra" por Xavier Solis


Fast social waltzes can be dangerous. I have seen three scary falls, and know of others where people were really hurt. If you have any doubt at all about your ability to do continuous turns, take it easy. This is also your chance to get in first with a Latin style that I think could really catch on. Dance floors aren't getting any bigger, but there are more and more social dancers in Hawaii. Which I think is awesome. Let's break in a new approach to the faster waltz that's ideal for the social dance floor and I'm looking forward to it.

"Social Dancers think that with a vision based on doing good deeds, positive thinking and affirmative choice of words, feelings and actions - we can enhance goodness in the world."