Friday, January 19, 2018

Our Cultural Dance

Traditional Social Dancing
By Peter Renzland, Toronto, Canada

Traditional Social Dancing is a total activity -- it involves body, mind, spirit, feeling. It is personal, intimate, communicative, social, public. It is creative / spontaneous / individual and structured / coordinated / conventional. It has no institutional standards or rules, no corporate hierarchies. Just shared universal principles. And dancing will always be part of living, and combined with other aspects of cultural and social life, such as singing, making music, eating, drinking, visiting, courting, celebrating.

"The more experienced social dancers find that they need
to learn to dance a little more softly.”

It is multi-generational, though the older dances favor the over 30 and includes dancers of various degrees of skill and experience. It is in our Culture. Learning in Traditional Social Dancing should not require teachers, classes, or levels. Instead, new dancers are assimilated and integrated into the dance community, surrounded and supported by experienced dancers, rather than segregated and impeded by other struggling beginners.

"The Music Of Hawaii" by Melveen Leed.

The traditional social dance teachers are not simply instructors who teach as amateur or professionals. They are leaders, community builders, often musicians or callers. They give generously, nurturing and passing on the dance tradition, so that others may experience the joy of dancing. And those others, in turn, will later follow their example -- giving to yet others just as they themselves were given before, leadership.

"Today is the oldest you have ever been, and it is the youngest you will ever be."

Monday, January 15, 2018

This is the Year

At the beginning of the year we have the Town Dancer blog still on top, with a very good and slowly extending readership, Many of the readers were established when Calvin Ota was leading the blog scene on these Islands. But we have many sectors in town that are missing. Most of the dance clubs have their own web sites and feel they need no blog sites. No hu hu, they should make their own decisions. Frank with his blogs does a terrific job for some of them. I hope they appreciate it.

"One must accept the things we can not change. However if there are some things
that we want to change and we can change them, then let us do it."

For us in the blogging spirit it is hard to understand those that hold back. But of course we should try to understand that blogging is a fairly new type of communication. And nowadays, with everyone out to make a buck, you have to careful, it may cost. Most dancers simply find it hard to believe, that our blogging is at no cost. That is nothing, zero, zilch, nada.This blog is what is referred to as social media and is for free to use and communicate with others. We do not advertise but anyone that wants to get in, can get in but it is their choice. We have counters on all our blogs to make sure we are not just beating our gums.

 "Moonlight Serenade" by Glenn Miller

The same thing applies more or less with the night clubs. Most have web sites and feel no need for blog site help. It is their decision and most of them know that the night club business is slowing down. We are very sorry to hear about Rumours. One of my favorite places when I first arrived here. In the Mainland, many are finding other means of income besides the traditional sales of liquor. Food is a natural, and there are many different kinds of snacks available in Hawaii. Chopstick food, and many Juice Bars are being set up in the Mainland. Who knows, it will evolve very nicely this year.

"Social dancers know that there are some Oldies music that are just timeless.
The melodies, the lyrics are still there for us that were there."

Thursday, January 11, 2018


This blog seems to still have most of its readers from the Exhibition and Competition styles of dancing, from the days when Calvin was blogging and the hits were going through the roof. They have come down quite a bit with all the competition.  Platinum Horseshoe is catching up with the influence of Wahiawa Ballroom Dance Club. And I believe that the readers are making the decisions with the hit counter. Therefore, with just one regular guest blogger in this blog that leans toward International, this blog could look forward to staying up on top.

"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." ~ Confucius

The probability is that Town Dancer could run up the average hits per day and I have much to do elsewhere.The Dance Clubs in town are all doing very well and realizing that the days of the Big Ballrooms are over. There are other places where they can enjoy the dance and the Night Clubs on Oahu are doing a bang up business. The entire social dance scene for Oahu looks pretty good. And many dancers are realizing that they can dance to the "sound" of the music or to the "beat" of the music. For the sound you cannot beat the oldies but goodies. For the beat there millions of good songs coming out every day.

"The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise" by Les Paul and Mary Ford

Fortunately we have some of the best DJs and some of the best bands in the Pacific, right here on Oahu. Marketing, advertising and promotion still rely on ideas and only humans have those. That is why we must have our fellow reader/dancers contribute their ideas for these blogs now and then. We must accept constructive criticism and we will all learn the big difference from "destructive" criticism. We will have none of this lying gossiping crap that has been going on for years. Everything will be up front and we will all be the better for it.

"Social dancers think there's something to be said for cutting loose and
having a good time. And hey, people even danced in Bible days.”

Saturday, January 6, 2018

2018 starting good

By Roy Yamaguchi, Lahiana
All of us are a work in process. Of course there may be some that believe they are a finished product. Everyone has a right to their own opinions. If you only utilize the information you learn in class, during class, you will be mostly the same dancer you were when you walked through the door. You will learn many other things and you may learn that dancing is supposed to be FUN! Enjoy the journey and celebrate each new step, we are ALL a work in progress!

“Many street dancers stop thinking about the steps. There were no prescribed
moves in the music, only movement. They listened to the music, the sways
become steps, and without even realizing it, they were dancing.”

There will be time when your partners may compliment you. You will realize that all of the work, practice, effort and willingness to take constructive criticism, apply it and come back for more was worth its weight in gold. It will make you want to improve even more. You will know that you are trainable! You will know that with good instruction, an open mind and a willingness to be critiqued you can continue to improve your dancing.

"Morning Dew" by Melveen Leed

So, if it is your goal to become a better dancer, be trainable. Whether you are taking a group class or receiving private instruction, listen, be willing to make changes and apply what you learn. To improve your dancing you must take what you learn during class and bring it to the social dance floor, and dance and dance and dance and enjoy every step along the way.
Q: How many dance instructors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Five!…Six!…Seven!…Eight!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Nice that I keep hearing about a new dance club in the making in the West, but nothing concrete. A studio too but I have no idea where. Several good areas are wide open, Kapolei, Waianae and the North Shore. But they must have fans who are satisfied with the old structures but it would be nice to have them close by. We must give the dancers what they want, which may be different than what we think they should have. Let us know and we always try to help the dancers, whoever they are.

"Social dancers believe that only a world with dance
can have a life that has been lived."

I am having fun with my computer because I am limited in moving around. I am gradually polishing some nice blogs and the average hits per day are going up. I hope to get rid of the best ones to the right people. The Junk blogs will remain mine. I also have Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google Plus and Facebook to funnel public relations of my regular blogs.

"Young At Heart" by Frank Sinatra

The Dance situation in town seems to be doing just fine and certainly needs no help from me. The Night Clubs seem to come and go in a period of ten years or so. Rumors will be closing down after 34 years. In my time, one of the best. Perhaps I will have more opportunity to witness the goings on and blog'em. Like all of our social media, the solution to most problems in our dance environment is the feedback. The kind of public feedback where anyone in the dance community can read it and that is blogging it.

I exercise on my walker full time now, everywhere I go and I wear a helmet. I like to walk - it lowers my blood pressure - it makes my heart stronger - it is fun - it is cheap and 100 % fat free.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year

The New Year brings us new hopes, new promises and new reasons to dance. The New Year is a time for celebration of love, music, dance and of life. It's the time to thank God for our wonderful friends, and to bring to their lives as much music as they bring to ours. Life is a banquet and too many people are starving to death. Perhaps on this Island the dancers will be a little happier.

"Social dancers know that dance music will always be around. People around
the world love to dance and it is much, much better with dance music."

This coming year will mark the beginning of a year of dancing pleasure and discovery for us all. We have accepted most changes in our dance scene very gracefully. Each day will hold something special that is wonderful and new. This new year will adorn our lives with many beautiful things and sweet memories of dancing to cherish forever. And the care of those whom the heart holds close.

"I Can Dream, Can't I?" by the Andrews Sisters

Perhaps it will be a better than any New Year has been, better than any joy known or to be known, Better than any wish realized or to be realized - that's how this New Year should be for us. We will have no time for those that talk stink about others. And we can hope that every one of you has a great new year dancing.

"Social dancers find that music and dance helps to make sense of the world.
It pushes them to think of things bigger than life's daily routines."

Thursday, December 28, 2017

What am I dancing?

By Ron Misaki, Manoa.

I am a very independent dancer, running around all over and getting into the many clubs by mistake. So I am still learning and many of my friends do enlighten the rest of us. Many of the young seem to have some sort of the old disco dancing apart style. They may call it partner dancing but it sure ain't. Each one does their own thing and it seems as if they do some prescribed tricks. However, it does look to me like a likely good first step if they enjoy the movement to music and would like to be dancers in social dance environment.

"Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why
it is a comfort to go hand in hand."

The second most logical step would be to get into line dancing. They can learn short routines, with the natural music of most of the ballroom and perimeter dances. They do not have to have a partner and they can learn most of the beginning line dances in a very short time. Beside learning the rhythm of the different dances, they can develop their own styling too, no matter who they try to mimick. And line dancing seems to know no age differences. From there it is only a hop, skip and jump to real Social Dancing and it is recommended to the over thirty. This is where men learn to lead and women to follow and understanding the "equality," in the differences.

"Love Me Tender" by Elvis Presley

I think most women can out dance men simply because they must learn to follow, at least when they get past the beginner's stage. There are over 500 documented step patterns in every dance. The syllabi of the American, Country and International have each about 50 in their Bronze, Silver and Gold Divisions. So there are literally hundreds of simpler, more basic movements that can be learned easily. You can also lead and follow much easier and will be moving to music in a manner which is more like Da Reel Teeng. Once you get past that stage you can be ready to decide if you wish to go into competition dancing. It is wide open for those that can develop the discipline. It is just not the same fun anymore and you will have a different goal.

"Social Dancers can just look into a mirror and know, that's their competition."