Monday, January 16, 2017

Ballet by Rupert

From Rupert Pennefother: Seattle, Washington.

I'm naturally athletic and I have always loved pushing myself to the maximum. At school my reading was slow because I'm dyslexic, so I'd spend hours in the classroom unable to concentrate. My legs would fidget constantly and I'd disturb the other students  But when I got into the dance studio I could release all that energy and express myself without words.

"Dancing is the primitive expression, similar to religion and love." 

Ballet is about control and I enjoy the idea of perfecting every single position. It sounds strange but all the work happens when I'm training in this studio, when I'm on stage dancing in front of 2000 people, that's when I relax and enjoy the moment.

"The Long and Winding Road" by The Beatles

Dance Pavilion in Waikele? The Present Rail Party says no.

I'm happiest in the middle of a performance - it's my escape. The stresses of everyday life go out of my head for a short period of time, and I lose myself. My main goal is to get the audience to experience a similar sense of escape. One mistake, though, and they'll suddenly snap out of the magical world that they're in.
"How High The Moon" by Les Paul and Mary Ford

Dancing is like meditation for me. Or rock climbing, that's the only other time I have experienced the same feeling of being so focused on what you're doing that all other thoughts vanish. You're just living in the moment.

The correct URL for Dancing in the Dark is

Dance Clubs do not normally rely on newspaper, radio or TV ads as a source of advertising. In fact they do very little advertising except through their newsletters and their Web sites. If you’re spending any money on advertising what kind of results have you seen? Does your target market still look in those places when making a decision on dancing? The same goes for the phone book. They are all one way communication. What is Social Media? and Blogging?

"All dancers have to know for themselves what they are capable of."

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Oahu Blogosphere

by John Hashimoto, Manoa

For sure the Dance divisions on Oahu are coming to accept the "other" styles and not feel so "threatened" that they must talk stink about the other. Dancing is for the dancers, not for the organizations. This group of people dance this way, and those others dance a different way. We should accept that, that is the way they want to dance, let them. And of course, we certainly have the right to dance our way. So we don't accept anyone telling us, we are dancing incorrectly. we should do as we damn well please.

"Most dancers know that gossip is based on lies and someone wanting
to feel better about themselves, by hurting someone else."

Of course there is the Spectator division, which may or may not be dancers. This cannot be mistaken when the "showcases" in Waikiki, empty soon after the "show" is over. Perhaps it has always been Show Business, I don't know. I have always submitted that the bulk of the dancers are not show business but dance for the sake of dancing. A very simple fact even though many out there would like to make things a lot more complicated.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Jimmy Borges

Go to any night club that has dancing of any kind and you will see people moving to the music of their choice in their accepted manner. Granted, mostly the young will have another fad dance next week. Let them have their fun. And night clubbers have always tried to disassociate themselves from Ballroom Dancers. Why? They have painted the entire ballroom scene with the same brush. We are not exhibition or to be seen dancers. We can dance for fun too. And we are closer to them than to the Rootzi Tootzis.

"Paniolo Country" by Melveen Leed

People on Oahu, outside of Honolulu are beginning to realize this more than anyone. We need more "public" opinions, ones that can be written in the blogs by Information Contributors and Guest Authors. Then the entire enchilada will form much faster for the good of everyone. The rootzi tootzis have always insisted that they are a world apart from us common dancers. I concur, no hu hu. We just have to find a nice way of keeping them out of our kuleana and staying out of theirs. Then we can all be happy. Wouldn't that be nice?

"Bottle Of Wine" by Willie K

New Year's Eve at our local Pearl City Bar the announcement was that it was time to get ready. At the stroke of midnight, they wanted everyone to be standing next to the one person who made their life worth living. As the clock struck 12, chaos erupted as the bartender was almost crushed to death.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Show Business

Exhibition Dancing
By Franklin McCarthy, Kahala

Some social dancers who become proficient in their own eyes, (besides others,) will agree to perform in a demonstration or exhibition. Exhibition dancing is more similar to competition dancing than social dancing because there's a strong emphasis on choreography and performing a specific style and type of dance to a more perfect level.

"Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined
with doing good is it useful."

Like competition dancing, of course you will have practiced well with your partner, the dance, the level of choreography, and the music that you will dance to, over and over again until it is almost perfect. On Oahu, you can see by the newsletter reviews and the blogging and it is commonly accepted that all of the exhibition dancers are at exactly the same level. However, the "judges" are the audience, and that is not under anyone's control. While our audiences may not know that much about dancing, dancers seek to please the audience with their own unique style, dance moves and the music. And they do very well indeed.

"I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)" By The Electric Prunes

Exhibition dancers like the opportunity to perform and get a response from the audience when they dance. They all offer something nice to the public and their friends. Exhibition dancing is doing a controlled thing (choreography) in a somewhat uncontrolled setting (before a live, minimally dance-trained audience) for reasons the audience will define as (entertainment value). We on Oahu are fortunate to have so many good exhibition dancers in our dance community. And of course there will be show business on Oahu as long as we have the Spectator Division in Ballroom Dancing.

"Be an opener of doors for those who come after you,
and do not try to make the universe a blind alley."

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Where are we?

"January 1st is the first blank page in a 365 page book for each one of us.
Let's make it a good one."

From the Rubaiyat, by Omar Khayyam.

Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and - sans End !

Ballroom dance on Oahu used to have a wide definition, to almost any type of partner dancing as recreation. However, with the emergence of Exhibition and Competition dance sport in modern times, the term has become narrower in scope. International seems to think it is theirs and the American Style is half way there, trying to think that way too. The two styles, while differing in technique, rhythm and costumes, exemplify core elements of ballroom dancing such as control and cohesiveness.

"Blind Man In The Bleachers" by Loyal Garner

Of course, the ordinary dancers, overwhelming in sheer numbers, are purely social and mainly involve natural movement learned on the social dance floor with plenty of help from amateur instructors in the non profit dance clubs. Street Dancing? They have learned to dance among members of their kind of dancing - to the music of their choice. The Social Dancers are finally coming to the forefront and they will continue to dance up a storm. This year will define this a little more clearly.

"The Hukilau Song" by Don Ho

Many have gotten good teaching from our terrific American style teachers and developed into beautiful dancers with a natural flair and feel for the music. It involves in the main, what everyone considers themselves - beginners, intermediates and advanced and no one makes that decision for them. They don't dance in ballrooms, they dance in gas stations, malls, school cafeterias, district parks, community centers and even in night clubs. Only 4 per cent of the population? That is 40,000 social dancers on Oahu and they are having more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

"For social dancers, dancing is an art form and it defines them."

Many of our readers could look into Dance Fever Oahu site and Frank's blogs, they cover the famous Palladium and much territory not available to us. You can see more information in the "pages" - just below the header of this blog or you can just click the name in the side bar and it will appear like magic on your screen.

The New Year fireworks in Pearl City were out of this world.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

New Year

This coming year most social dancers will be less critical of International dancers,  The Internationals like to dance their way and we should understand that they have the perfect right to dance anyway they choose. We do not have to judge them, they do that by themselves very nicely. Social dancers just need to be resilient and flexible when they are dancing with other dancers and instructors in the smaller clubs will teach their students how to adapt when dancing with others.

Social dancing is not about following a particular style rather it is about interaction, communication and most importantly adaption. Unfortunately in the biggest clubs you will find many dance instructors who teach only prescribed steps. It follows quite naturally that most dancers who have learned only one way to dance are under the belief that everyone must dance a certain way.

"Stranger In Paradise" by Tony Bennett

The even step. just left, right, left ... is used in five or six hundred dances and danced hundreds of ways. Yet somebody will come along and tell you that their way is right and yours is naturally wrong. How about American Waltz, even step? Yes, but do you dance it the right way? Ha!

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Holidays

This blog at one time had a lot of interest by and for the performance style of dance. They consisted of specialists, that are meant "to be seen" and can be considered "Show Business."  Somehow that interest has fizzled out of this blog. Actually the group consists of several subdivisions; Competition, Exhibition, Cabaret, and Acrobatic dancers and there may be others. And each has a good reason for their existance and can be reasonably figured as a necessary part of our dance environment.

May this Christmas season bring you closer to all those that you treasure

in your heart. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!

Another necessary subdivision of the "to be seen," group, is the spectators on the other part of the spectrum. Many are dancers but many of the spectators have not been dancers of any kind and from the peak of interest in the nineties, they are losing it. But the spectators have always been a must, from long ago since the days of the Olympics in Greece.

"Jingle Bells" 

The social dancers have always been interested in the show business part of the social dance environment. And generally they admire and make good comments of the performers. But of course, they resent the implication of the term "junk dancer." That is definitely unkind from that supposed level of expertise.

"Yes, it is time to get into the Christmas spirit - Wine, Rum,
Whiskey, Vodka and whatevah else you got."

Friday, December 16, 2016

Year End, Looking Good

Just looking over the stats for the month of December and things are developing so good I could pinch a grape. My estimate with the stats at hand is that all of the dance blogs on Oahu will have a good amount of readers available to make the blogs viable. Our first need is more Two Centers to share more dance information with our friends and neighbors. From there we should get some Guest Authors willing to do their own blogging within any one of our blogs.

"Those who expect moments of change to be comfortable and
free of conflict have not learned their history."

With a few Guest Authors the hits will go through the roof and the best blog will be able to become "independent." And I can resign as administrator. As the year end holidays approach, things seem to be getting clearer. In exchanging comments with others that are aware, the best thing has been the newer emergence of the different styles of dance that have been evolving over the last 80 years of Ballroom Dance on this Island.

 "My Cup Runneth Over" by Max Bygraves

The introduction of new styles to the original social ballroom dance scene led everyone to believe they were all dancing BALLROOM. We wanted to be a bigger group and unified. Naturally, the ones that assumed that they were "top levels" gradually began to look down their noses at the "lesser levels." Who hasn't heard the term "junk dancer?" Though we hear it less often nowadays. The definition for our social kind of dancing has been slow in coming, but in 2017 it will certainly become clearer.

Whatever the dancers on this Island will prefer to call "ballroom dancing," may be not be resolved soon, though the Internationals want it and they have a perfect right to it. Most of us social dancers don't dance in Ballrooms. We dance in the streets, in Gas Stations, in Malls, Recreation Centers, School Cafeterias, District Parks, Community Centers, and even in Night Clubs. We consider ourselves fortunate to have these "Good Times," just let us get this straight and we don't have to look down on anyone.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.