Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Beautiful Song

"Dancing in the Dark" was a very popular American song in the last century, with music by Arthur Schwartz and lyrics by Howard Dietz, The song was first recorded by Bing Crosby on August 19, 1931 with the Studio Orchestra, staying on the pop charts for six weeks. It peaked at #3, and then it became a lasting standard which has remained in social dancing well into this century. The 1941 recording by Artie Shaw and His Orchestra earned Shaw one of his eight gold records at the height of the Big Band and Big Ballroom era of the 1930s and 1940s.

“The social dancer's mind has a way of limiting what's possible when they give it permission. The dance floor is their stage to enjoy themselves moving to music."


It was subsequently featured in the classic 1953 MGM musical The Band Wagon and has since come to be considered part of the Great American Songbook. In the film it is orchestrally performed to a dance set in Central Park. The song is given a sensual and dramatic orchestration by Conrad Salinger, with the dance choreographed by Michael Kidd and performed by Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. I have it in a song video and can email it to anyone that wants it.

"London Calling" by The Clash (1982)

Line Dancing Anyone?
I have cut it down to five blogs and it is still going up too slowly. I may experiment blogging more often. And the photos emailed to me will make a big difference in the readership. The center for social dancing for West Oahu may be WBDC in Wahiawa and ABDA in Aiea. WBDC may have the edge because the Rail Disaster is not near them and Mililani and Waipio look good. Many of our reader/dancers live in this area or have friends and/or relatives that live in these sections. The Waianae Coast and the North Shore are looking good too.

"If you’re unsure of yourself, dance as though nobody were watching.
If you know you’re good, dance as though everybody were watching."


Friday, November 16, 2018

Meheula Vista II in Mililani

Moved in a few days ago but just got my phone installed yesterday. Nice place and what seems to be a lot of nice people here. Making all the changes necessary, such as a change of address with the post office. I think I did it on line but at the end they tried to sell me things and just cut it. I will get the bank on Monday. Fortunately most items are tied to my Internet and not to my address. My medical people have found me very easily. A few other things and I can now get back to work on these blogs.

“Social dancers know, that when you truly sing, you sing yourself free.
When you truly dance, you dance yourself free.”

Meheula Vista
This blog will continue to cover music and dance mainly on the Island of Oahu. You want to get anything in it about music and dance, email it and I will blog it. You got something going on the Big Island? Why not? You may like your comments in print and whenever you are ready you can get in as a Guest Blogger. Your own blog within the blog. You can open, post text and pictures, save and publish and close it without saying boo to anyone.

With a good sized dance floor they couda had it made in the shade.

“Dancing is surely the most basic and relevant of all forms of expression. Nothing else can so effectively give outward form to an inner experience. Poetry and music exist in time. Painting and architecture are a part of space. But only the dance lives at once in both space and time. In it the creator and the thing created, the artist and the expression, are one. Each participates completely in the other. There could be no better metaphor for an understanding of the mechanics of the cosmos.”
― Lyall Watson

 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Moving

My plans are coming to the time and place where I hope they are done. My friend Calvin is to be here about 11 am on Saturday with his pickup. We can get the first batch loaded and take it to my new residence in Mililani. A new senior complex Meheula Vista. I will have a second floor apartment facing the street. I will not be able to use the bus too much because too many changes. I will go out less often and take the Handi Van.

"Social dancers connect to the world through the right music that they hear.
Then they dance and enjoy the luxury of being themselves.” 
 

The second batch should clinch it and I will be out of here. Hopefully I can have a phone installed without too much wait. I won't have anyway to communicate with anyone and cannot get on the internet. Then it should take less than a week to get everything changed over to my new address and phone number. I will be blogging again.

"Don't Stop Believing" by Journey  (1981)


Wahiawa Ballroom Dance Club will be close by and Just Tacos in Mililani is close by, for a few drinks and some nice live music. Then I gotta look around for a nice dance group nearby and blog'em. I will have to get to the North Shore and case them out. I believe Cholo's Homestyle has live music now and then.

 “Social dancers believe that they should be mindful, be grateful,
be positive, be true and be kind.”

Friday, November 2, 2018

Mililani, here I come.

I have much to do for my Hospital At Home program and I will not be having much time for these blogs plus the extras. I will be moving to Meheula Vista in Mililani, I will be slowing down more for a while. Fortunately, I have a very good social worker, Chad and he is very helpful. I am still going to have the same nurse Carlo coming once or twice a week. And I am still going to have Julia Ann coming in once a week to help me with my house care. I just have the rest to do, new phone, new bank, address changes, blogs and it will take time.

“Social dancers believe that movement to music is the
freedom of the body; stillness, of the mind.”


Once I am installed in Mililani, I know that these blogs will be start to roll! I will have to drop into "Just Tacos" when they have their Salsa. And the Guest Bloggers that we get will know they they will be completely independent. They will have their own blog within the main blog and are not mouthpieces for anyone. They write whatever they damn well please. You all remember the Ventriloquist and he had an additional supplement for which he provided the words, and it was called a d... - well you know. This is not us.

"Cruel Summer" by Bananarama  (1984)


Latin music and Latin dance go together, better than peanut butter and jelly. They are not really a part of ballroom dancing, they are a separate function with their own kind of music. Even in our esteemed International Competitions, there is a long intermission between the Ballroom Division and the Latin Division. Changes of costumes and attitude are much in evidence. Dancers that dance to dance, are one kind of people. Dancers that dance to the music, ah? That is a street dancer, Da Reel Teeng.

From the song: Imagine
“You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us.
And the world will live as one.” ~ John Lennon


Friday, October 26, 2018

Ballroom Dancing, the disciplines

Ballroom dancing originated in England in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in which dances, such as the waltz, were performed by the upper and elite classes of society in balls and parties. They distinguish themselves very nicely from the folk dances. The traditional ballroom partner dances of today include: Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Quickstep, Viennese Waltz, Rumba, Cha cha, Swing, Jive, Samba, Mambo, Bolero, and Paso Doble. Most of it is in the International Style of Dance. Some of the dances may be obsolete except for exhibition or competition dancing.

“Many social dancers were afraid of the dance once, too. But they learned to love the music
and embrace the dance and accept the mistakes they would make."


Non-traditional dances also include: Country 2-Step, Night Club 2-Step, Argentine Tango, Merengue, Polka, West Coast Swing, Lindy, Salsa, and many more! Peripherals, that specialize in only one dance are very popular in Hawaii. The five most popular Ballroom dances in the world today are Foxtrot, Waltz, Rumba, Cha Cha, Samba, Tango and Swing. Dancers skilled in these dances can dance with partners from any part of the world. And these are the music and dances preferred by the social dancers, much of the music dating back.

"Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi  (1986)


The dances covered in the Ten Dance are the five (Standard) dances: waltz, foxtrot, quickstep, tango and Viennese waltz, along with the five International Latin Dances: rumba, samba, paso doble, cha-cha-cha and jive, as defined in International ballroom dancing terms. The most important difference in style is between the modern or standard dances and the Latin dances. American Smooth refers to a category of dances in American Style Ballroom competitions in the waltz, quickstep, foxtrot, tango and Viennese waltz. The Latin dances are the cha-cha-cha, samba, rumba, paso doble and jive. Social Dancers are something else.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”  ~ Oscar Wilde




Sunday, October 21, 2018

Bachata

A couple of decades ago the Dominican group Aventura was probably the best known bachata group worldwide with its single "Obsesion" having dominated for a long time radio play both in Latin America, US Latino markets, and countries as distant as Italy and Sweden. While Antony was superseded in the international audience by Aventura, for the Dominican audience, the most popular of the modern bachateros was undeniably Antony Santos. And there have been many other artists of note too.

“Social dancers believe that silence may be the language of God, but so is music.
This is why we dance, we become loud in our silence.”


The basic footwork of plain vanilla bachata is a series of simple steps that produce a back and forth or sideways motion. A schematic footwork would be as follows: starting with the right foot make a chassé to the right on counts 1,2,3. On 4, touch the left toe beside your right foot (alternatively, tapping the left toe in place, i.e., apart from the right foot, make an upwards jerk with the left hip). Then do the opposite from your left foot. The character of the dance is achieved through sensual hip and body movements.

"Ven Devorame Otra Vez" por Azucar Moreno


For Bachata Tango you basically incorporate the bachata footwork to the Tango music.  We don't know yet what will develop with this. But regular Bachata started out like it could be just be another flash in the pan. They have done very well in town, and West Oahu is picking up. It has become much more than just accepted in the Salsa venue in town. And it seems to be accepted in our social dances as well because of our up to date DJs playing the music.

"Social dancers think that the ones who are crazy enough to
think they can change the world, are the ones that do."

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Dancing

West Oahu is at present about 60-70 percent American Style of Dance, much higher than Honolulu. However many still have the idea that International is a much more advance dance culture than the American. Wrong, wrong, wrong. It is just a different style and lends itself very easily into high class exhibition and competition dancing. If you are interested in competitions this very well could be your cup of tea and no one should hold you back.

“And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, they danced by the light of the moon.”
― Edward Lear, The Owl and the Pussycat


But to dance for the pure joy of moving to the music of your choice is a horse of a different color. The Fox Trot box step in Rumba introduced by Arthur Murray, with a slow, quick, quick was changed by Fred Astaire to a quick, quick, slow and has always been the biggest drawback of American Rumba.

"Begin The Beguine" by Artie Shaw

Those that are using Mambo steps to Rumba music, with Rumba styling are the berries. And on the mainland they are accepting the rock step and slow in the basic as a very good alternative. Fortunately, in the Pacific, we have some of the best teachers of American Style of Dance right here on this Island of Oahu, let us appreciate them.

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner

Several years ago, they had a competition on the mainland between International and American and the American style won. Since then the International people have not been interested in another competition between them. The Internationals had advanced in the last century throughout the world but in this century they have shown drastic results of slowing down.

Pictured: Billy Bob, my niece, Yvonne and seated, my sister, Beatrice.

“Social dancers believe that without music and dance, life would be a mistake.”