Monday, December 30, 2013

What's Doin'/

Wow, Downtown Honolulu really get things going for New Year's Eve. Parties all over the place. Got another one here.

 
Got pieces all over the place. Sounds like a good trip to make.

 
Nevah been thar, may just try it.
 
 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Latin Connection

The social recreational dancer on Oahu became very aware of Latin Dancing in the year 2013. Especially those that witnessed the decline of Salsa and emergence of Bachata.

"Time has no divisions to mark its passage. There is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins, it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols."

The kids and their fad dances have existed forever. Since 1913 there have been over one thousand fad dances in the US. The "animal" dances lasted to the middle twenties. The disco variations exist to this day. Even the diehard Tango dancers that insist on theirs being the real thing. Which one? Many do not know that in Argentina there at least 10 different Tangos taught.


I myself prefer to see the Finnish (now called the Nordic) Tango. Can I see the real differences in the other Tangos? Not really, but what do I know? But we really do seem to have the preferred solid "Latin Dances." The Latin Waltz, Rumba and Cha Cha Cha are very basic to our type of Latin Dance. The Brazilian Samba and the American Tango are a must. And also being accepted as part of the Rhythm dances, the Swing. We like the Music.


Those are very basic and there are enough variations in the types of music in those dances that we enjoy. And we have our favorites, that is, the distinct song we like to dance the particular dance to. DJs have difficulty understanding this because they are not dancing it, and for them it is old hat.  For the dancers it is definitely it. Then with a 30 second break between each song, you have a beautiful evening. I believe Warwick Sargent is the only one that took that opportunity to announce the song and by whom. He may have been before his time, but everyone appreciated that.

"Happiness is too many things these days for anyone to wish ill on anyone lightly.
So let's just wish each other a bileless New Year and leave it at that."
Happy New Year.

 



2014 shaping up nicely

The entire island dance outlook seems to be changing but the challenges are still tough and the status quo has many protectors. Fortunately the entrenched cliques are losing their grasp for many have realized the damage they have done. And we are getting more good people.

"For the New Year, we will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."

New blood (the under 60) is helping us set meaningful targets in terms of measurable goals achieved by some of our local dance groups. With the introduction of intense competition dancing, some parts of our dance world have become indifferent to tradition and past reputations, unforgiving of frailty and ignorant of custom or practice. Our group is slowly defining its type of dancing.

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


Success will go to those individuals, and organizations which are swift to adapt, slow to complain and open to change. There will be an increase in clubs for next few years, in the non International and non Night Club areas. A few may become more democratically inclined and increase their membership. The rest, as we have seen already, will go by the wayside one by one.


The good changes on the Mainland remind us of what is possible in education. And the task for the top people in charge is to ensure that their members and education systems rise to this challenge. In our blogs, a few regular contributors and a couple of Guest Authors will introduce us to Social Media and the hits will go through the roof. If we are missing anyone, please let us know. We want to help all dancers and organizations and they must realize they are getting free public relations.
 
"May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions!"
 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Another Derailment Africa

(CNN) -- A cargo train derailed and crashed into homes Sunday, December 22nd in a sprawling Kenyan slum, the Red Cross said. Rescue efforts are under way to free residents trapped in damaged homes in the capital city of Nairobi, the agency said.


At least fifteen people were transported to a local hospital, Red Cross said on its Twitter page. Kibera -- one of Africa's largest slums is home to an estimated quarter of a million people. -- is filled with rows of homes made from a mixture of mud, tin, wood and concrete. A railway passes through the neighborhood. The search goes on for injured.


People of Kibera, due to the time of year and the time of day, many people were not home, and so casualties may be lower than initially feared. Many of those whose homes were destroyed by the train wreck had either left for church or gone back to their villages for the Christmas holidays. I can't understand it. When it happened 15 years ago they guaranteed that it couldn't happen again.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Jargon 24

From The Bonehead's Guide to Ballroom Dancing Jargon, revised.

As most of the dancers begin to enjoy moving to music, they become aware that they are able to lead and follow most of the Bronze level moves and other basic movements very well, with few mishaps and errors. Dancing with many different partners certainly helps since everyone is different. They can learn to identify no more than 30 to 40 moves that can be led and followed easily in sheer joy over and over again to their favorite music. They remain a respectful distance from LAGS.

"Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on,
with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us."

Then arises the opportunity to dance in a group folk dance in one of the social dance clubs. Formation dancing can be fun, the teamwork, the costumes, the learning of LAGS routines. All enhance the social aspects of recreational dancing. Terrific for all concerned, the dancers and the audience. Follow up photos in the Newsletters, Web and Blog sites, lead to very good social commentary.


The Jargon continues:

Syncopation: A variation or enhancement of the regular occurrence of the accented beats within the framework of a basic rhythm pattern. That jazzy sound and feel.

Tangero; A fanatic on Tango and usually applied to those with preferences in the Argentine Tango and Milonga.

Tap Step: The free foot taps the floor and remains free.

Tempo: The speed of the music, expressed in measures per minute (MPM) or beats per minute (BPM.) The tempos differ in most dances and even the same dance under different sponsors.
 

"Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" by Bruce Springsteen

Theatrical Dancing: Exhibition type dancing done in Musicals, is also Cabaret Dancing when done in Night Clubs.

Timekeeper: A fairly good dancer who has learned many step patterns in classes and has fairly good timing but utilizes only one style of dance. Usually a foxtrot.

Timing: The blending together of the dance movements to the beatof the music as a unit.

Ton: Unit of weight of the woman with whom you will perform a lift.

Tone: the conditions of the arm and hand resistance in in the partners while dancing.

Trick Step: LAGS and/or Novelty Steps. Nice for exhibitions. Some are carried over to the social dance floor. Be careful.

Triple: Three steps to two beats of music. A chassé which can also be danced to three counts of music.

Pub's Side Note: Fortunately, I am meeting more people that have good speakers on their computers. With some good speakers you can play music that may sound better than your high class stereos. Or a good set of Earphones. I can give them some of my music.
`
 

 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Spanish in the Philippines

The Spanish influence in the Philippines brought about many dances that use a Maria Clara dress (a character in Noli Me Tangere) and an embroidered long-sleeve shirt made from pineapple fibers for their costumes.

The Filipinos adapted these Spanish dances by using bamboo castanets and Asian fans. Carinosa, which means lovable or affectionate, is a dance that is known all through the Philippines. The dancers "flirt" using a handkerchief or fan, by playing hide and seek with them.

Part of a wedding ritual, the sabalan lulay, is a dance that begins with a man dancing around a woman (his partner) until she consents to dance with him.

For most of us, this is just gingerbread, an introduction. We will have more than 99% Universal type dancing coverage in future blogs.

The Jabbawockeez are at it again, as the California-based hip-hop dance crew of masked dancers are traveling across the world for a series of shows in the Philippines. The Jabbawockeez have had lots of exposure on TV since their debut two years ago.

Q: What do cows like to line dance to ?
A: Any kind of moosic will do!

"Dancing Queen" by Abba

Social media refers to interaction among people in which they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. Newsletters, Web sites, newspapers, radio and TV are information "to whom it may concern," and most of ours remains the same too.

Social Media has been defined as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content." I have proven to my satisfaction that the success of these blogs will be in the Guest Authors.


Furthermore, social media depends on mobile and web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms through which individuals and communities share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content. They introduce substantial and pervasive changes to communication between organizations, communities, and individuals. We have a ways to go.





 
 
 
  
 

Tango

So much mythology on the Tango that it is no surprise that there are so many versions danced all over the world. I read something from a Korean publication stating that they got the Tango from the Chinese and it was from a city named Tan Goh. Ha!
 
"Yes, this is my life and I fully realize that it is ending one minute at a time."

It is much simpler than that, it was originally called Milonga, a cat dance by single men, in which they almost ran about six to eight steps and then made a pounce like movement like a cat. The Fox Trot by Harry Fox has something like that, a running eight step and then a stop. In the US, it evolved into the Fox Trot (slow) and the Peabody (fast.)

In Argentina, during the first hundred years the poorest of the Spaniards would drink with the Indians and learned to feel happy moving to the incessant beat of the Milonga. And the Indians had never seen horses before the arrival of the illegals. They were ignorant but certainly not stupid. In the 1500s, a few Spaniards who were good horsemen came to live with the Indians and that was all that was needed. The work Gaucho comes from the Guarani Indians, a derogatory word meaning without a known father (hijo e' puta.)

On the Great Pampas, the Indians were hard to catch and even harder to hold. Then with the increase in the Mestizo (the mix) the Spanish were forced to develop political, social and economic characteristics far different that with other mestizo groups in the big cities.

"Nostalgias" por Placido Domingo

The Milonga music with its Indian roots for centuries was now changing. With the influence of the developing Spanish Guitar and Violin, the music became increasingly Andalusian (Southern Spain) with Moorish overtones. In two centuries, the ancient Milonga slowly evolved into this new happy music.

The Spanish also brought cattle and developed big herds. But due to laxity, many became strays and wild cattle and horses were in abundance and seemed limitless. By the 1800s, this pasture and wild animals had produced a race of mounted nomads and hunters that resembled the Mongols of Asia or the Plains Indians of North America. This abundance of grass plains created the existence of a free and undisciplined people. And they danced the Milonga.



Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wine, Wine

Is Wine the increasing choice of drink for dancers? You just sip, sip and sip. Many seem to know the different classes of wine and even the differences in smell.
 
"I got started dancing because I knew that was one way to meet girls."
~ Gene Kelly (1912-1996) American dancer

Wine has a long history dating back about 8,000 years (along with agriculture) and is thought to have originated in present day Georgia (Russia) or Iran. It took about 1500 years to get to Europe. It became very common in classical Greece and Rome. In early Greece, 20000 Greek men and wine in the afternoon, evolved the entire Western concept of ethics that we know today.

Wine has also played an important role in religion since ancient times. The Greek God Dionysos and the Roman God Bacchus represented wine. Wine has played an important role in ceremonies in the Christian religion such as mass. And wine was drunk at the Last Supper.

Thirty years ago, I could see empty hard liquor bottle at some of the social dances. And always a few beer cans but no evidence of wine. Now. not many drinkers at the socials but it has become apparent in Night Clubs and Da Big Shows in Waikiki. There must be other reasons why wine is becoming "acceptable.'
 
From the Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam, one millennium ago.
 
Come, fill the cup, and in the fire of Spring
Your Winter garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To flutter - and the Bird is on the Wing.
 
Good News from California that I must share:
 
 
"May their marriage be filled with love and delight.
May they have great happiness day and night.
May their life be filled with much laughter.
May they both live a long life and happily ever after." 
 




Monday, December 16, 2013

Competitions Anyone?

Bye-bye, ballroom: It's time to cancel "Dancing With the Stars." The glitz, sequins and the mirror-ball trophy still sparkle, but "Dancing With the Stars" has lost a lot of its shine over the past few seasons. In fact, this might just be the right time to bid farewell to the long-running ballroom bash.


Sure, after 17 seasons, the celebrity dance competition is a TV staple, but longevity isn't enough to earn it a permanent spot in the prime-time lineup. "Dancing With the Stars" has seen a fairly steady decline in ratings in recent years, hitting a low on Nov. 11 (12.5 million) after peaking with 24 million viewers in 2010's season 10 premiere

It's clear that despite a rotation of fresh stars and seasonal shake-ups, the ballroom bash isn't offering fans the show they deserve anymore. Just look at some of the show's missteps: Change, but the problems stay the same Each season brings something new to the ballroom, and change is good. It's exactly what viewers have been clamoring for: Bring back fan-favorite pros! Ditch the ringers! Infuse some new life into the judges panel! Replace co-host Brooke Burke with someone — anyone — more suited to the task of live Q&As!

But those aren't the changes the powers-that-be have rolled out. A big makeover in season 13 saw the addition of a lighted, orchestra pit-spanning staircase that splits in two — an unlikely item on any fan's wish list. And when season 17 kicked off, in addition to the elimination of the Tuesday-night results show, the judges' table was moved from stage left to stage right with much fanfare — another change no one really cared about and the show certainly didn't need.

“DWTS” has had one of the better judging panels on reality TV, because former dance pros Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba know their stuff and entertain. But after 17 seasons, viewers also know these judges — and their biases and weaknesses — a little too well. Put a hunky athlete on the dance floor, and Inaba will go gaga regardless of his dance ability. Choreograph something a little too modern? Sticky-wicket head judge Goodman will get annoyed.

Not only that, longtime fans have learned enough to know when a dance lacks the proper moves — and even worse, to notice when the judges don’t call out infractions and the scores are totally predictable (not to mention confusingly high). The show did a smart thing this season by bringing in some guest judges — especially former pros Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Julianne Hough — to shake things up. But unless the stand-ins bring strong opinions along with them (ahem, Cher), there's not much point to it.

One of the biggest boo-boos was not bringing Maks back as a pro dancer for the last two seasons. The bad boy of the ballroom was fiery, passionate and rarely held his tongue when he disagreed with the judges. Sure, his comments often generated drama, but his love for dance just added to the fun of the show. And his passion for his work was obvious, as he's choreographed some of the show's best routines. (Maks and Mel B.'s spicy paso doble, anyone?) During the all-stars season in 2012, the contenders acknowledged this fact by choosing to perform three of his past dances for "Iconic Dance Night." Beyond that, if the show's going to have a golden boy (Derek Hough, who has now won five mirror balls), it needs its bad boy to balance things out.


The case against the glam-filled reality TV competition seems like a solid one, but the truth is, there's still hope. Even with the overall ratings dive — which has actually inched up ever so slightly in recent weeks —and the other ongoing woes, "Dancing" still gets an impressive share of viewers thanks to the part of the original formula that still works: taking celebrities out of their comfort zone and making them seem a little more like the rest of us as they stumble through new challenges — and sometimes, they even succeed.

Well, there's that and host Tom Bergeron, who continues to be a boon for the ballroom. But it's going to take something more to turn the "Dancing" trajectory around. What the show really needs is another makeover, one that addresses fans' complaints, before cancellation chatter goes from mere suggestion to reality.

Is it time to cancel Dancing With the Stars?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Chinese Park Dancing

This is what she wrote in Dancing in the Dark, the mini-zine:
After sitting through the treacherous dance class, I decided to go and watch the social dancers/exercisers to calm my nerves. The man who I had interviewed before asked me to dance and I delightfully accepted. Here was my chance to experience the street dancing from a participant's point of view! At first I stumbled a bit, trying to figure out what was going on. I thought I learned International style! Doesn't that mean I should be able to dance wherever I go? WRONG.


Just as we have an American style of dancing here, there is Chinese style of Ballroom Dancing as well. The music that they dance to so different, so they must change the steps to accommodate the music. It makes sense once you think about it.


After tripping for a while, I finally got the hang of it, and had a great time! I danced from 5:30 until 12, when the dancing ended (as it does every day) and thanked my new friends for the experience. So now you know. The infamous street dancers are not just a myth! And if you want to travel 20 hours on an airplane and wake up at 5:30 in the morning, you can see them too.

“ Rap is to music what Etch-a-Sketch is to art.”


"Watching The Detectives" by Elvis Costello

Most of our readers already feel they are members of our own “Dance Community.” They think in terms of the whole and wish everyone the happiness and fun in dancing that they are having. They do not consider themselves members of the little cliques that live in their little caves, lie and snarl at the world.

These developing dancers in the West will float to be the cream of the crop and will take a back seat for no one. It is just amazing. what I have seen in the last five years. Some are just really great natural dancers. And I have been living in Nanakuli for only three years.

"We've put more effort into helping folks to reach
old age than in helping them enjoy it." 


Salsa classes in the Park. On Oahu?
 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Posters

We have had fewer posters than I had expected but the reader/dancers are getting Akamai. By next year they will learn the value of posters, photos, and little snippets of news of the dance landscape in blogs. This will keep the clubs in the news and it is called Public Relations also known as PR.

 
Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board meets at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at Kapolei High cafeteria, and Ewa meets at 7 p.m. Dec. 12 at Ewa Beach Library. These are developing into real thinking people for the good of their communities and not for the big bucks. Da Present Rail Party ain't goin' li'dat.

"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world.
Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves.
All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people."
 
 
You can learn to dance by just dancing and enjoying the movement to music.
You can also learn to live by just living and enjoy life in the easiest way.
The principles are the same.

 
 

Pub's Side Note: Ordinary Communication Media: To whom it may concern, one way, newsletters, email flyers, web sites. They do their job but nuttin' like a blog.

 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Photos

Midweek has gotten on the bandwagon of giving the readers, "photos." But they must be the right kind. One person is nice for that person but most publications want to communicate to the maximum amount of readers. The results are there. Photos with four, five or more people. That hints of a crowd attending and many people enjoying the festivities.

Who said that? "I love criticism just so long as it's unqualified praise."

The biggest reason for us is the social communication between our people. This is our kuleana, our area, our dance environment and it is not for the entire world, it is for us. Any one else wants to tune in, fine, we don't mind. We are happier if we recognize our own personal friends in social media of  our own making.

Facebook gets 3000 photos per second. Ha! That is over 250 million photos per day, now you know how many people are going to see yours. And their inventory of photos is over 20 billion on hand. Does that make anyone happy. I try not to think about it.

"Stand By Me" by Ben E. King

Now Frank's blogs cover many places we do not, that's normal. But plenty people are anxious to see the photos in those blogs. And these are our people, our friends, our neighbors and fellow dancers. Anybody out there picking up on this action? We are not there yet but we will develop the most effective Social Dance Media on these Islands. When we start to get the Two-Centers we will be rolling.


Hawaii also has the highest cost of living. The median monthly housing cost for renters also puts the state at number one nationally. For the whole country, the median cost of a month's rent is $884, while in Hawaii in 2012, it was $1,379. As soon as the Federal money for the Rail Calamity runs out and at the rate the Present Rail Party is going, it will be soon, the Property Taxes will double. The rents will increase and guaranteed more people will be leaving Oahu than will coming in.
 
"Stranger In Paradise" by Tony Bennett

Everyone talks about traffic when building new bedroom communities and they are correct. More traffic will be going to the Mecca (Honolulu) in spite of the Rail Catastrophe. And there is big difference for those living in Paradise and getting home in 20 minutes. Somebody has continually overlooked at that very important part of the equation. A ten billion dollar Rail Fiasco is not the solution.