Thursday, June 28, 2012

Real Dancing

By Frederick Aoyama, Palolo Valley

Nobody seems to know what real dancing is. I suppose there are many different kinds of "real" dancing. Perhaps ten thousand different dances throughout the world. To find a real dance would be the easiest thing in the world or it would be quite impossible. Each person has to find their own.

"In Hawaii, dance blogs are enabling hundreds of dancers to express their opinions with
reduced political risk simply because of the sheer number of like-minded opinions online.
Facing these independent voices, the old clique machine starts to crumble."

Men are in short supply in our Universal or Traditional dancing. We don't have to worry about the other dances, they can take care of themselves. But first we must be able to convince men, because they don't know, that our kind of dancing is not an International type of dance like Paso Doble, Viennese Waltz or Quickstep. That is for different people and for a different purpose. We don't have to say anything bad about them, it is just not our cup of tea.

Meanwhile we have several others dances immediately at hand, in which you can look like a male dancing more to your liking. And the ladies can look feminine more to your liking. The American Style of dancing and specially the Latin dances are a very good beginning, Although men have learned Salsa on the dance floors of night clubs on Oahu and many have done very well, they have also found it necessary to take lessons with a variety of Salsa dance teachers. You must have a great passion for the dance to learn without lessons.

"The Godfather Waltz" by Percy Faith

They just don't play much variety of Latin music in Hawaii Night Clubs so we have to take what we can get. The young are more into acrobatic bop, hip hop, do wop and disco type which is always non-stop. So this means that you can only find our kind of danceable music in the various social dance clubs about town with a little breather in between dances. Most are in public buildings such as District Parks and Community Centers such as the Golf Course Ballroom, Any man interested in dancing would find any of these places good to start to gather information for the learning process.

The most basic movements to music are in disco styling in night clubs, free style and not partner connected. From there you can proceed to line dancing, again without a partner. But the movements are programmed in sequence or a routine for each dance and you must follow it because everyone will be doing the same thing. The main thing, of course, is to listen to the music and then allow your body to move to it. The music first and then the movement. Not the way it is usually done in formal teaching.

"With Pen In Hand" by Vicki Carr

But line dancing can be very crucial to relax and learn the timing and the rhythm of each type of dance. Second, it is the easiest way to learn to move routinely to the music simply because you do not have a partner. Not the hardest, but the easiest, most relaxing way to move to music, which is the best way. And it is entirely up to you how much you exaggerate each move. Now you can really enjoy moving to the music alone. And that movement to music is what the body seeks when it hears music. And that is dancing!

From there it is downhill and easy all the way. You would naturally be ready to learn to lead and partner dance. If you don't get in a hurry and just enjoy each stage of the game, you will eventually be a very good dancer. Hell, I know people that have been dancing for forty years without ever being in a competition. They must be having fun and that is the name of our game.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Respect Your Readers

by Patti Stafford, Chicago

In the writing world we often speak of targeting your audience and writing for the reader. Another facet to get readers returning to your site to read your material is to respect them. E.B. White said, “No one can write decently who is distrustful of the reader’s intelligence, or whose attitude is patronizing.”

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and, not everything that counts can be counted."

You never want to talk down to your readers. Readers visit sites for entertainment and knowledge. If they are there to gain your knowledge and learn something you have to teach, they will know if you are talking down to them and writing as if you think you’re smarter than they are.

Readers do not like condescending remarks or a cynical writer. Be respectful and simply relay the information to them as they are an intelligent reader. Another thing you want to avoid is confusing the reader. This will also set a thorn in their side and they will not return to your site.

"There Will Never Be Another You" by Andy Williams

Many writers have been guilty of thinking of their audience as subordinates and less smart than they are. While a reader may not have your depth of knowledge in the subject material, they are very much aware of when they are being chided and talked down to.

In the world of blogging you don’t have the privilege of having an editor to spot and correct the mistakes when you’ve been condescending or rude to the reader. For this reason it’s extremely important that you pay close attention to the manner of your words and language and how you deliver the information to the reader. The job of blogger is not only to be a great writer but to also be a great editor.

In publishing, it’s the editor’s job to look out for the reader, to be the reader’s advocate so to speak. With blogging, it’s your job to look out for your readers and their best interest. Always put yourself in the reader’s seat and write in a manner that you would want to read.

When visitors feel like you respect them and their intelligence, they will return and also share your information with others, so remember to always put the reader first and put yourself in the reader’s position.

Pub's Side Note: Fortunately, most of the Information Contributors and Guest Authors we will be getting are just from our friends and fellow dancers.



Friday, June 22, 2012

Good Guys vs. Bad Guys 2

by Anthony S. Natale, PhD. New York
from Dancing USA magazine, 2000

Why is it that comments stressing the fun part of dancing while minimizing the importance of "good dancing" always seem to come from individuals who are not qualified to speak on the subject and/or are not truly educated dancers?

"Keep steadily before you the fact that all true success depends at last upon yourself."

Do they believe that if they improve their dancing their pleasure would stay the same or not be enhanced? Certainly those who have experienced the highs from "good dancing" know better. it is too bad we do not have those "before and after" pictures or video to prove the point.

Those of us who are educated dancers, who love and enjoy ballroom dancing, of course, do it for fun and satisfaction it provides. This all comes about from having skill and proper attifudes. Over the years too much of all kinds of "bad dancing" has been passed off to the public. Some of it has been damaging!

So as not to be misunderstood, the word "bad" is used primarily for effect. To this author's mind, being a "bad dancer" is inept, unskilled, poorly trained, not well -educated, perhaps ill-mannered or  poor in performance.

"The Song Is You" by Frank Sinatra

In the hopes of making progress toward a society of better dancers, we must continue to pontificate, educate, disseminate, demonstrate, promulgate, adjudicate, and sometimes placate, tolerate and even castigate. *  *  *  *  *

Pub's Side Note; We are beginning to know that there is an "us" and a "them." They have repeatedly pointed this out and we are finally getting it through our thick skulls. If I was a drinking man, this would call for a drink.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Good Guys vs. Bad Guys

by Anthony S. Natale, PhD. New York.
From Dancing USA magazine,  2000.

No, it's not cops and robbers, not Iraq vs the United Nations, nor even the CIA vs the KGB, dear terpsichorean readers, but rather, pure and simple, "good dancers" as opposed to "bad dancers." "Good Dancing vs. "Bad Dancing" is what most educated dancers carp about all the time. Without question, "bad dancers" are the bane of their existence when sharing the same dance floor.

Anyone suggesting that there are no "bad dancers" rather than just different kinds of dancers, has to be extremely naive. Educated dancers find this idea painful to accept, while dancing authorities find it ludicrous. If that reasoning were carried to their logical conclusion, one could say that theere are no bad drivers, golfers, swimmers, skiers, tennis players, and on infinitium, just different. This is absurd!

Hitting a golf ball straight down the fairway and making the hole in par has got to be more fun than always being in the rough, in sand traps and always over par. To continue citing examples would be redundant and is best left up to the reader's intelligence. There simply has to be difference, however, in doing anything well as opposed to doing it poorly.

"Look Again" by Vicki Carr

Obtaining pleasure and satisfaction from one's endeavors is, of course, relative and always a matter of degree. While one does not have to be an ultimate expert to derive pleasure from an activity, certainly the adage that one gets out is what one puts in is pretty close to the truth. It may be given that some individuals, because of their attitude, may derive more satifaction from what they do than others, but this is providing that all things are as close to being equal.

Without question, there is room for individual differences and varying levels of ability on the dance floor where educated dancers are concerned. There can be "good dancing" at many levels. Too often observed on the dance floor, however, are couples for whom "ignorance is bliss" or whose dancing has been influenced by alcohol. - - -

More? Yes, one more!








Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dance Teachers Wanted

Town Dancer needs information with viewpoints from International style teachers. They all have their own particular viewpoint  and this is the perfect platform to express it. The readers are mostly of the "to be seen" types. Anyone reading these blogs will know what information is lacking so far. This is their chance. Just a couple sentences or a paragraph is fine to start.

"You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind."

Oahu And Beyond needs dance teachers in the American Style of dance and all for the same reasons. Their particular opinion is what matters. And that is what our blogging is all about. Whoever finds it easy to contribute the information may find it interesting to become a guest author. Then they can get in, write whatever they want, post photos, publish and get out all on their own without asking permission from anyone.

At any rate the teachers of dance are a most necessary part of our blogs as I see it. They are part and parcel of our dance environment. They usually have some years of practical dancing, some years of teaching and their opinions are certainly valuable to the reader/-dancers. Do women teachers have opinions too? Of course, if they would rather not share, it is quite understandable.

"Heartbreak Hotel" by Whitney Houston


Nice opinion from a neighbor island visitor, a long time dancer:

"You will find that many of your good dancers have a difficult time teaching. They can certainly demonstrate because they are good at it and if the student is akamai, the student will learn but that is not the same as teaching."

So it still stands, "the best dancers may not be the best teachers and the best teachers may not be the best dancers."



"Slide" by the Goo Goo Dolls


Recently we were fortunate enough to get Da Spin Doctor as Guest Author on the Oahu And Beyond blog. He began as a non committed information contributor and did very well. He has been more than willing to play the music that our cultural dancers want to dance to.

This means that our reader/dancers are going to get more knowledgeable about the music. And that is the basis of social cultural dancing. The music first and then the movement to that music. Through these blogs read the most informed dancers in the Pacific.

Problems:
So we’ve got problems. Nobody told me it was going to be a piece of cake. There are people out there that simply do not want our blogs to exist. It is simply not in their kuleana and they don’t want to see blogging evolve and they will do their damnedest to see that it does not evolve. Unfortunately, many of these are in top positions. But fortunately, there are very few of these and our hits slowly grow with every passing day. And there in lies the tale.



Thursday, June 14, 2012

This Blog Has Got It.

Helping people through dance is our increasing vision to create a cultural and artistic group, developing multi-cultural exchanges between ethnic communities on this island. But it is not easy through blogging because no one is sure what it is.

"Don’t focus on having a great blog, focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers. The influence of blogging is overall a very positive force in the media."

This is involving teachers of dance, musicians, DJs, and dancers from the various parts of the dance communities. The Main Part is our social recreational community, being as we are over half of the total dancers.

The peripherals will help but reluctantly. And of course, the Internationals are in a world of their own. This blog will eventually be theirs We will all help the needs and functions of the older part of our people.

"Since I Dont Have You" by The Skyliners

The young have for ages made the distinction. "Never trust anyone over thirty." No hu hu, let us just ride along with it and make our own adjustment to it. The young have many changes in their path to dancing. That is their style, something new everyday and they are discovering the world.  "It is not so difficult to understand that pop music, has not progressed, since the advent of rap, in the last 20 years." It is their cross to bear.

For us, the older, we have "been there, done that," and we are settling into the maximum of pleasure in moving to music with our old tried and true methods. All basic moves using partner dance to communicate with people on a daily basis. And to enjoy the music in sheer joy over and over again, better than just listening. This fancy stuff in the Gold and beyond Syllabi is for OPs. (Other People.)

The blogs are evolving very nicely. Town Dancer will be for the "to be seen" categories. Oahu And Beyond and Oahu - West will be for the social Cultural dancers.


Pub's Side Note: Do you have a good spell checker? Don't count on it for everything. From a recipe in our local newspaper. "Bigger bowels are recommended if you double this recipe."

Friday, June 8, 2012

Street dance

It is a lot different nowadays than a century ago. More formally known as vernacular dance, it is an umbrella term used to describe dance styles that evolved on the mainland outside of dance studios in any available open space such as streets, dance parties, block parties, parks, school yards, raves, and nightclubs, etc.

"You have reached old age when all you exercise is caution."

The dancing is often improvisational and social in nature encouraging interaction and contact with spectators and the other dancers. On Oahu, the nearest thing to a street dance occurs in nightclubs. And it is more subdued than the acrobatics on the mainland. Street dancers are a part of the vernacular culture of our geographical area, on this island, they are folk dances. Each island develops their own, though many try to keep up with the standards on the mainland.

Although since the advent of the Internet, the dances seem to be shared amongst people with the same musical interest worldwide. The same musical interests may not be the same in the social cultural dancers and the peripheral type of dance clubs.

"How’s It Going To Be" by Third Eye Blind

Therefore, street dance refers to modern folk dance with the term "street" being more accurate since much of the modern world is now urbanized. Outside of night clubs, street dancing is somewhat restricted as the dance studios are unanimous in agreeing the no teaching of dance should occur on the social dance floor.

Another nice way of learning street dance is the learning from a video. With a large screen monitor, and a few compatible people, you can learn an awful lot of dance figures, if you know your basic moves to begin with. Of course, no one teaches the basic moves that I know of. The incessant beat and step. The rock step and the chassé. The quick, the slow and the quick, quick slow or the slow, quick, quick. All basic moves that are in hundreds of different dances.

"Fame" by David Bowie
The obviously better method is from a non-profit social dance club, because of its social aspect while taking classes and then the weekend dances to practice and enjoy what you have learned.  Of course, some lose their original intent in their quest of superiority.

Pub's Side Note: I like those people who can go to Blackpool to compete and just enjoy the entire scene. An old quote: "When the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name, he will not mark whether you won or lost, but how you played the game."