Monday, March 20, 2017

Street dancing

From an old Street Dancer,
by Frank Rutherford. New York.

I say I started dancing in 1927 and at the time I was 13 years old. I knew a little just fooling around but I did not really start dancing until the first time I can remember going to a ballroom, where there were kids around the same age that were dancing. Then too it was the first time I actually had an opportunity to dance with a young lady.

"You cannot help people permanently by doing for them what
they could and should do for themselves."


The Lindy hop had just begun so at that time it was not called swing. The youngsters were doing what everyone had all done before, like the Charleston and the dance they called the Breakaway, which was a form of Lindy Hop. They learned most of the basic moves in dancing. But at that time it was swing music, so the dancers just went along with the music.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Jimmy Borges


I never studied any dancing or went to a dancing school or got anything from professional teachers. I loved the music and just went to dances, watched other people dance and picked up what I saw them doing from the music. Jitterbug wasn’t even a name back in 1927. The word jitterbug didn’t come about until the mid-thirties.

"Walk Through Paradise With Me" by Melveen Leed


I didn’t start performing on stage until 1937, which would be 10 years later and I was about 23 years old and I also started teaching at regular dances. Then I acquired my own studio about two years later. I was fortunate to get many good students willing to learn the basics and not many tricks. Many of them eventually became excellent dancers.

He passed at 98 last year.  But is it really possible that he could have accomplished all this without a professional teacher? It Is Unbelievable!

"Making a resolution to change one thing that will make us healthier
is a priceless gift that only we can give to ourselves,
and dancing is one of them."

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Blog Site continued

If Web sites are the Magazines, then Blog Sites are the daily newspapers and most Dance blog sites just furnish information about dancing. The truth is that a blog is hardly the place where you would want to reach for your credit card. Blogs rely on fresh content. It’s evolving in Hawaii that a dance blog should post at least 2 new entries a week. I have mine, each blog every four days.

 "The secret to happiness is to put the burden of proof on unhappiness."


Dance blog reader/dancers visit blogs to get fresh information or insight on topics that are current and important to them. Not the schedule for a month or two down the road, that is fine in a Web site. The most interesting are the less complicated ones with enough photos to make it more interesting. Dance Blogs tend to be more opinion-based than Dance Web sites because they continually ask for dance information.

"I Just Want to Be Your Everything" by Andy Gibb


And we are working on making them more so. They will not be from only one blogger but from many points of view. The real value of blogging isn't the capability of the tool, but the ability for each and every page on the site, each and every article, to invite and display feedback from readers. This is a dramatic difference because it changes a monologue, a "brochure," into a dialogue with the reader/dancers.

"Cavatina" by Maximo Spodek


Indeed, often the most compelling reading on a blog are the comments that others leave and the debate that often ensues as people add their two cents and disagree with each other. We have yet to see much of this in our Hawaii blogosphere because most of our reader/dancers are very polite in public. It will take some time to be recognized and used in Hawaii.

"When social dancers start dancing, they dance like they don't know
they are dancing. They are just moving to their favorite music
and they can let the rest of the world go by."

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Mariachi Music

They had a good one on the Big Island last year and also one on Kauai, but what happened on Oahu? Some of the best music in the world is played by Mariachis. For the last hundred years it has been for beautiful listening but since the 90s it has been phasing over into perfect music for social dancing. Latin Waltzes played by Mariachis are some of the most beautiful in the world today. Danced differently, yes, but easy for social dancers - Rock Step and a Chassé from the old Indian 3 count measure.

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination and life to everything else."


Prior to the arrival of the Spanish illegal aliens, indigenous music was played with rattles, drums, flutes, and conch-shell horns as part of religious celebrations. The Spanish introduced violins, guitars, harps, brass instruments, and woodwinds, which slowly replaced the native instruments. The Europeans introduced their instruments to use during Mass, but they were quickly adapted to secular events. Indigenous and mestizo peoples learned to play and make these instruments, often giving them modified shapes and tunings.

"Ay, Jalisco, No Te Rajes" por Jorge Negrete


In addition to instruments, the Spanish introduced the concept of musical groups - which, in the colonial period, generally consisted of two violins, a harp, and various guitars. This grouping gave rise to a number of folk musical styles in Mexico. In Jalisco, the Mariachi groups developed from these beginnings at the time of the French occupation in the Mexican Empire.

"Cien Anos" por Pedro Infante


No discussion of Mariachi dance would be complete without mentioning the famous Jarabe Tapatio - the Mexican Hat Dance. Associated with Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco, it has become the national dance of Mexico. It is highly stylized, with prescribed movements and costumes. The male wears the classic outfit of the Jalisco horsemen or Charro, while the female, la Cheenah, (means dear in Spanish) wears a hand-woven shawl and a bright sequined skirt.

"Our good dancers know that to be ourselves in a dance world
that is constantly trying to make us something else is
the greatest accomplishment."

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Robots

An autonomous car (also known as a driverless car, auto, self-driving car, robotic car is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input. Many such vehicles are almost fully developed, but as of February 2017 automated cars permitted on public roads are not yet fully autonomous. They all require a human driver at the wheel who is ready at a moment's notice to take control of the vehicle.

“Dancers make the world a better place by making daily improvements
to become the best version of themselves.” 


Autonomous cars use a variety of techniques to detect their surroundings, such as radar, laser light, GPS, odometry, and computer vision. Advanced control systems interpret sensory information to identify appropriate navigation paths, as well as obstacles and relevant signage. Autonomous cars have control systems that are capable of analyzing sensory data to distinguish between different cars on the road, which is very useful in planning a path to the desired destination.

Single Passenger Vehicle
A report from one of the testers:
He left the night club before midnight but he knew he had had a little too much to drink. He staggered over to his vehicle "Robby" and was able to unlock the door and insert the key to awaken the car. The speaker said "ready, chief." He buckled his seat beat and replied, "Home, Robby." And the speaker said, "right, chief." The car started out and stopped at the street, then no cars coming, it went into street and found its way to the freeway. He fell asleep on the way and woke up when the speaker said, "We are home, chief." He was inside his garage. He replied, "Thanks Robby and Goodnight." He thought, good thing they couldn't get him for drunk driving. He wasn't driving. Went inside and passed out on the couch.

Just got notice of a new dance called the Trump dance. All you have
to do is take three steps forward, two steps backward, then
side-step, side-step and turn around. Yeah, that's him.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Frank

I just read one last one on Frank's blog and in my grizzled old age, I must say that is what dance bloggers do, they spread the word. However his blogs will be losing hits slowly but surely. No blogging results in no hits and I have removed the "Pages" in my blogs. So I offer to him Guest Author in any blog of his choice. He can say whatever he wishes, whenever he wishes and he will have ready made reader/dancers. Although Frank has never mentioned it, he was the father of blogging on these islands.

"When you're really happy, the birds chirp and the sun shines even on
cold dark winter nights - and flowers will bloom on a barren land."


When I arrived in Hawaii I was a street dancer and I learn a lot of my American style dancing from Frank and Lani. Then he is the one that discovered the secret of blogging. He already had two blogs when I read him and I learned from him. Of course, we all go our separate ways and learn different things and it is normal. I started out too much in "niche blogging" which is specializing, like a Dance Club Web site. He had a much wider spectrum, and which I later found out is called "content blogging." Today most of us are into content blogging.

"Let's Dance" by David Bowie

 

The neighbor islands are beginning to develop their own blogs too. However if they are too much "niche blogging"(like a Web site for their club only,) they will be slow. With a counter you can see how many people are tuning in to you and your fellow blogger's words. Most dance media is in the single digit average per day hits. The one very good thing is that none of us are experts at blogging and we can sure learn a lot from each other and that's the point.

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner


One thing I want to see is the development of a completely independent blog of several Guest Authors. Platinum Horseshoe is the leading blog in hits and the one most indicated. My best blogs must go and the junk blogs will remain mine. To make a long story short, I want to say to Frank, Gracias which of course, he knows enough Spanish to understand. I could say Muchas Gracias, and it may make him smile a little. In these case I must say, Muchisimas Gracias. (no translation necessary) Have a happy retirement.

"A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance."
From the Bible - Ecclesiates 3:4

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Paso What?

By Colin Hillary. Las Vegas, ten years ago.

This article is not intended as a dissertation but rather to marvel at the phenomena of world wide acceptance of the five Latin dances as the criteria for International Competition. I mean, does anybody in our industry, which is not that old, know why we include the Paso Doble? Don't get me wrong, it is one of my favorites and I would be devastated if it were deleted, but talk about obscure dances! It is easily justified now as the dance to observe a couple's ability to dramatize and theatricalize, but its closet-link is Spanish Flamenco, although we incorporate hardly any of the "authentic" movements from this dance form.

"Looking back on a happy life, one realizes that
one was not happy all the time."


The wonder of it all now is that, not only does the number of countries which subscribe to this "style" of dance increases, but that no matter whether you're Australia, Finland, Taiwan, Lithuania etc. ... all with divergent cultures, the dances are instantly recognizable and comparable. Since I have listed countries where competition dancing is well established and flourishing, you will note the absence of Latin American countries. The remaining countries which will never allow "couple" dancing are mostly Moslem, Hindu or too poor to entertain such frivolity.

"El Cid" by Rene Touzet

The irony is that, the ethnic authenticity, legitimate origins and hence arguable connection of the so called techniques of the Latin Dances is indefensible intellectually. The very inception and adherence to the art-form world wide by individuals and worthy organizations, has created a certain legitimacy of these dance forms and their characterization of ethnic cultures historically. Danced well, the present style certainly conjures up images of what we could like to think of as representative of an earlier romantic time and place. This, in turn has been subliminally implanted by the "Hollywood Magic."

"Malaguena" by Placido Domingo


The only people who might be upset about this and perhaps have the right to be, are the people from the very cultures who, for the most part, only express astonishment upon observing this style of dance and what it supposedly represents. But in the absence of something "authentic" to replace what we presently have, it is inevitable that time will only reinforce this popular misconception of the ethnicity of our competition dances. To quote the definition of "Image." It is not what truly exists, nor is it what the informed know to be accurate. Image is simply what the people generally "believe to exist."

Robot Cars are coming to Oahu. We may have less need for Traffic Police, The cars would be programmed not to break laws. More Bicycles? If self-driving cars are safer than human drivers it may be less dangerous to bike on the road. There may also be an opportunity to create wider bicycle lanes and better infrastructure. Of course, the Present Rail Party will try to stop them. Its the money, Sonny.

"We are FREE, not bound like a Tree. We can Move,
We can dance and We can take a Chance!"

Saturday, February 25, 2017

New Dance?

By Frank Palomar, Honokai Hale
Yes, we have been get new dances for a thousand years and each is invented by someone new. There were over one thousand new dances in the 1900s. And yet there have been no new movements from the original 100. The Even step (the walking step) was danced 10000 years ago, don't try to tell me you invented it. The Rock step was a little later and the Chasse came in a little after that. These stupid Indians in Mexico were dancing these moves a long, long time ago.

“It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers.”


The presence of people in Latin America is generally thought to date back about 20,000 years. But it may date much farther back than that but not too far back. They have never discovered Neanderthal bones anywhere in the Americas, they were all homo sapiens. The people that settled in Mexico encountered a climate far milder than the current one. In particular, the Valley of Mexico contained several large lakes surrounded by dense forests - Paradise.

"Moliendo Cafe" por Azucar Moreno


Dream on fellow dancers.

Bison, deer and other animals roamed in large numbers. Such conditions encouraged the pursuit of a hunter-gatherer existence for some 12000 years. Mastodons and Saber-toothed Tigers still existed too and they had to be careful. It took a while for these people to learn how plants grow. Then about 10000 years ago, same as most other places world wide, Agriculture was uncovered. Indigenous peoples in western Mexico began to selectively breed maize plants from precursor grasses.

"Adoro" por Graciela Susana

And with it came the first hints of dancing and drums in the Americas, over a thousand years before India. The point in time where people started to dance is very hazy, in fact it is more like a cloud than a point. Indeed, there are some people who believe that man has danced since before homo sapiens, 35000 years ago? Perhaps some rudiments of movement to rhythm, but not really dancing.

"Contigo A La Distancia" por Christina Aguilera

The diet of ancient Mexico included corn (or maize), squashes such as pumpkin and butternut squash, common or pinto beans, tomatoes, peppers, cassava, pineapples, chocolate, along with splashes of meat now and then. At the time of the arrival of the first illegal aliens in 1492, no one in the civilized world had ever eaten a tomato. How about a pineapple?

"Tiny Bubbles" by Don Ho

Pub's Note: My email account with Outlook.com is no more. They have the old information and I cannot change it because I cannot get in, and I cannot delete the account either. The Complicaters are doing a good job of complicating things. I have three other email accounts, you can use any one of them.