Thursday, January 30, 2014

Moving Along

I am pretty close to the point of diminishing returns, posting by myself. The difference will be in the Two Centers who later on, may choose to be Guest Authors. With enough guest authors, the hits will go through the ceiling and the blog, whichever one it is, will be ready for independence. From? From me of course.

"The beginning may be the most important part of the work."
 

I must get other opinions constantly into these blogs. The diversity of opinion and point of view is crucial to the success of our kind of blogging. Those people that contribute information and photos and find it a pleasant diversion can progress into being official Guest Authors. There are no registration fees, no annual or monthly dues, no meetings.
 
"Red Rubber Ball" by Cyrcl

 And you blog whenever you damn well please. I am not being too strict, am I? They can get into the blog, write, publish, and get out by themselves, just using their password to get past Blogger. And they can do it once a day, once a week or once a month. From there it is relatively easy to take photos and post them into the blog for the benefit of all.


I learned that for our dancing blogs, I must build traffic by creating good content and promoting it from the places where my audiences (plural) are. The more individuals and audiences I can get to put in their two cents, the better - Social Media.

Meanwhile we must go forward in our efforts to communicate to everyone and try to get as many of our fellow dancers to agree that it is far better to help people up than to hold them down. Some simply do not understand, it make take awhile. I am certainly glad to have met so many out there that agree.
 
Who said? "I will never allow anyone to do me the injury of hating them."
 

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Fabulous Palomar Ballroom

The beautiful Palomar Ballroom, on Vermont Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Street in Los Angeles, was built in 1925 and was billed as "the largest and most famous dance hall on the West Coast." The building featured a large mezzanine, a balcony, and a seventy-five hundred square foot patio. The dance floor could accommodate four thousand couples. It must have been a little larger than the Palladium.

"The Puritan's idea of hell is a place where everybody has to mind his own business."
 
Admission was big bucks: 40 cents for gentlemen and 25 cents for ladies. Opening night was attended by 20,000, including many of Hollywood's silent screen stars. It soon became a prime venue for the big bands that were rapidly gaining popularity. No Blacks, Orientals or Latinos allowed.

Ten years later, on August 21, 1935, Benny Goodman began his first Palomar engagement, let himself go and that marked the start of the Swing Era. During the last two weeks in 1937, box office sales exceeded 50,000.

"How High The Moon" by Les Paul and Mary Ford

The ballroom hosted popular orchestras and big bands. Nightly radio broadcasts on local station KFLJ attracted large crowds to the "Dining, Dancing, and Entertainment Center of the West." The famed structure was the backdrop for several major Hollywood films that included "The Big Broadcast of 1937," made during Benny Goodman's return engagement, and, "Dancing Coed," which starred Lana Turner and Artie Shaw's band.

By 1939, the Palomar had been completely re-modeled. A modern cooling system was installed, cocktail lounges and soda fountains were added, and the dance floor was enlarged. The exotic Moorish decor was not changed. The admission charges went up to 75 cents for gentlemen and 40 cents for ladies.


Then on October 2, 1939, the Palomar Ballroom burned to the ground.

 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ready To Roll

We are getting some movement in all the blogs. And it is not all Robot hits. The additional PR in the micros has helped. Now I just have to polish and patiently wait to get one of the blogs independent.

"People commonly think according to their inclinations, speak according to their
learning and imbibed opinions, but generally act according to custom"

Salsa seems to have peaked and Bachata is making good inroads. This type of music and dance has evolved for the young dancers. (under 30.) Let us not turn our collective noses up. The young have always been that way. They feel like jumping around when the music starts, they like to do tricks and the usual excuses go with the new type of music.

Fad dances have been around only a short time, maybe three or four millenniums but in the last three or four decades they seem to last longer. More money spent on hype and it has paid off handsomely for many. The spread internationally has also been easier. Salsa is now being danced around the world. And Bachata is not far behind.

"Moliendo Café por Azucar Moreno.


One good example of music and dance fad is Gangnam Style dancing. "Psy 6 (Six Rules), Part 1,"  the singer, has become an international sensation. As the song continues to rapidly gain popularity and ubiquity, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, hailed it as a "force for world peace".

Gangnam style is a catchy song. Most fans have not understood almost any word in it but they do know that they like it. They have since become not just inspired by the song, but by the humility and down-to-earth attitude of the artist. They seem to see this guy laugh at himself or make fun of his own "super stardom status." This is a serious artist who does NOT take himself too seriously, and that is more than we can say about most artists out there who are the opposite (unserious artists who takes themselves too seriously).

Gangnam style is definitely danceable, but for the kids. The older, seasoned recreational dancer has had enough experience with fads. Now they have a definite preference for certain music, (The Oldies, but Goodies?) They enjoy dancing to "their" music and they can make their simple moves to the music in endless joy over and over again. The men learn to lead and then women learn to follow and each does their part to make each dance a pleasant experience. And this is our unique world.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Reappraisal

The reappraisal has not been so agonizing as before. I made most of my decisions for the beginning of the year and the results have been there for the first half of the month. There has been a definite decline in the influence of the Creative Researchers And Producers. People are beginning to realize that their truths are nil. Not bad overall but not really excellent.

"Public opinion, though often formed upon a wrong basis,
yet generally has a strong underlying sense of justice"

This year we are already seeing a new focus on the one of the most basic forms of communication: the written word. We should all know that words matter, writers matter, and the methods matter - so watch for the coming influence of dance blogs. And the people willing to share their opinions with their fellow dancers, regardless of club affiliations, dance studios or dance styles.


The North Shore blog has been deleted and the Eastside Dancing blog will be deleted on Chinese New Year. From the hit list they will not be missed.
 
"Young At Heart" by Frank Sinatra

And I have changed the name of Makaha Knolls. I originally had Nanakuli Ridge but not enough understanding. They thought I was selling something. So I moved the name to the other side  of Waianae, and the same thing. From suggestions (what do I know?)  I have changed it to Waianae Coast and will let it ride for six months. So far it looks good.


I have extended the PR to include Google Plus, Facebook (under assumed name) and three twitter accounts. I will get the Two Centers from there. Once the factor of the unique independent opinion is confirmed the blogs will roll. The Two Centers will soon realize that sending their opinions by email are valuable. Then they may decide to get on as Guest Authors, get in, write, include photos, publish and get out all on their own, without saying boo to anyone.



Monday, January 13, 2014

Competition Dancing

By Francisco Cerecerez, Nuuanu.

We have accepted competitive dance as a popular, widespread activity in which competitors perform dances before a common group of judges. The International Style of Dance has covered this in Hawaii quite thoroughly in the last 40 years.

"Never lose a chance of saying a kind word - the soul of conversation is sympathy."

The competitive dance industry on the Mainland largely consists of competition production companies — also sometimes called dance competition companies — that conduct regional competitions at stops along their annual, nationwide tours. Dance Clubs and Dance schools, also referred to as dance studios, arrange for their classes to compete as groups.

Eventually some of the dance studios continually emerge as the best teachers of the dance. The results are there. On Oahu, two studios have been consistently dominant in teaching the best dancers of the International Style and have proven it in competitions.

By the same token two groups have been consistently at the bottom of the pile. But that is the name of their game. When the rootzi tootzis mention "junk dancers" they may not always be referring to American style. In competitive dances the proof is in the pudding.

"The best teachers are not always the best dancers, conversely,
the best dancers may not always be the best teachers."

Competitive dancers must be physically fit, because even short dances can be physically demanding. Dancers must continuously train to maintain and improve their technique, balance skills, strength and flexibility. International competition dancing requires dedication as it is typically a year round sport. When competition season is occurring and when not, dancers usually take weekly technique classes in all forms of the dance.


From the Dancer's Handbook


Dance Pavilion overlooking Nanakuli Beach
In England your teacher will suggest that you go for the Bronze Medal when he considers you sufficiently skilled. You will have to pay a small fee and your teacher will provide you with a partner that already has a Bronze medal.

You will then be expected to dance all the basic figures you have learned. You will not be asked any questions but will be judged solely on your ability to dance. You will be marked according to this ablility and as most examinations, you can gain a distinction, honors or merely a pass.

After the Bronze medal (level three) if you are good enough you can go to the Silver (level four) and then the Gold (level five.) These tests, of course, are progressively more difficult and when you have won a Gold medal, you can consider yourself reasonably skilled, but yet not anywhere near to the standard of most competition dances.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Facebook is Dead

Long live Social Media
Posted in Social Media By Ashley Faulkes 

A few weeks ago my best friend pulled the plug on Facebook. He had been talking about it for quite a long time, but for ages he just could not bring himself to do it. He just talked about it alot….
“Yeah, I am gonna quit Facebook” -  “It’s all pictures of cats” -  “None of my real friends use Facebook” And so on.

And then suddenly……..poooof he was gone. Kinda like in that movie The Usual Suspects with Kevin Spacey. In fact, in my circle of friends, there are very few good friends of mine who are on Facebook or even post on there. This may not be indicative of the world as a whole……but times are a changing. Facebook is on the decline

Haven’t you given up on Facebook yet? According to the newspaper the Guardian - 10 Million US users dumped Facebook last year. And a recent survey about Facebook from PewInternet  showed that – 61% of people have taken an extended break of weeks or more. Things are kinda looking a bit gloomy – don’t you think?

Of course, with any Empire there is a period of intense growth and prosperity and then a decline. This sometimes accelerates and ends in a big BANG. Will this be Facebook’s fate? Avoiding the rapid decline There are many ways that Facebook has tried to make use of it’s large user base, and avoid the decline it is facing. Advertising - social media facebook

Facebook just throws ads in your face. It annoys people from what I am reading. If your friend likes a brand, suddenly you see it in your stream all the time. I am not sure our friends realise what liking that brand has done to your Facebook……it’s now filled with advertising detritus! Instead of their posts.

Sure Facebook has to make money, but by annoying people? I see ads on Google, and Gmail and Twitter, but somehow they are not as intrusive.  In fact, I rarely even see them! Even though they are there. In any case, the same article from the Guardian above, is also reporting that advertising in Europe and the US is declining on Facebook.

"Try not to become a person of success but a person of value."

Hmmmmm……$200+ Million profit last quarter, for a company with so many users. Watch out for that Iceberg!!. social media facebook

Pub's Side Note: No need for Blogs when people mention of where they develop the best International dancers in Honolulu, year after year. And conversely, the worst ones. But that is the name of their game, what do we know?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Guachos, Who Da Guy?

The Guachos

The pictured portrait was not what you expected of a Gaucho? These were the originals, (mostly Indian) the great great grandfathers. No money, little education, and they danced the old fashion Milonga by themselves (solo) in the Great Cat style.

The great great grandsons were more European by blood, had money, were more educated, wore the Spanish hat, tailor made clothes, polished boots, no spurs and were the “Partner” Milonga dancers. They had come a long way.

Las Pampas, in Argentina, from the Quechua Indian word meaning “plains” is a big stretch of grasslands, over six hundred miles wide from the ocean and over 700 miles long. Bigger than the state of Texas.

The Indians had never seen horses or cattle. They were ignorant but not stupid. During the 1500s a very few Spaniards who happened to be good horsemen came to live with the Indians of the Pampas and that was all that was needed. Their commonality became in being Mestizo. The word Gaucho comes from the Guarani indian, a derogatory word meaning without a known father. (hijo ‘e puta.) Over half were fathered by Europeans, the rest may have been grandfathered by Europeans but were still 3/4 indian.

"La Comparsita" by Carlos Gardel

During the 1600s, the Spanish brought many horses and cattle but cattle ranches south of the Buenos Aires extended no farther than a hundred miles into the Pampas. And due to laxity and cattle rustlers (the Gauchos) many became strays. Wild cattle and horses were soon in abundance and seemed limitless.

For the Gaucho, nomadic life meant little time spent at home, which they might have shared with a common-law wife who raised their children. Sons followed their father's traditions. Their clothing reflected their life on horseback: a hat, a woolen poncho, loose baggy pants called bombachas and knee-high leather boots. They made their boots by wrapping the hide of a freshly killed calf around their legs and feet. As the hide dried, it took on the form of the foot and leg.

"The simple - but difficult - key to contentment is to realize
that life in its entirety is a gift, - not a right."

They owned nothing of value but their horse and the long knife, “the facon,” that they kept sharp, and handy. And the boleadora, stones bound in leather strips and used by throwing it to trip cattle or other animals when it looped around their legs.

They had no way of preserving meat, and after butchering a cow, would cook the best parts immediately over an open fire. This was the beginning of the asado, still popular today. You like the taste of burnt meat? That’s it. Meat and maté, were the mainstays of their diets and the consumption of this tea called yerba maté was a several times a day ritual.

By the 1700s, this pasture and wild animals had produced a race of mounted nomads and hunters that resembled the Mongols of Asia or the Plains Indians of North America. This abundance of grass plains created the existence of a free and undesciplined people. And they danced the Milonga.
 
"Mi Buenos Aires Querido" by Carlos Gardel
 

 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Blogosphere is defining itself.

I have over diluted the amount of blogs on purpose to see what would develop. I now have ten blogs in our blogosphere. There may be some out there who already have the answers to this, but I am limited. I don't know - but I can tell one thing, I will know.

"Truth uttered before its time is dangerous, - not always."

The dancing blogs are gradually defining themselves into the different compartments. They must and should be different. In the beginning the Two Centers will really define the difference in the blogs and they are much needed to share their unique views of the information available on the blog sites. Web sites are more or less in accepted forms and they do their jobs very nicely. But blogs are different and this becomes social media.


"Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling Stones

I have made special efforts for Town Dancer but it falls on deaf ears. Most don't have a clue of what they could do for their fellow dancers. Fine, let us respect. So this year I will move into the others.  Blogging Hawaii and Oahu West are in the vicinity of second place. With a couple Two Centers and a couple Guest Authors I could guarantee over one hundred average hits per day. That would qualify them for independence.


I could phase myself out of there and they could make their own rules. They will run up the hits so that no one will ever catch them. For now, my only rule is, they do as they please, the best blogs I must get rid of, and the junk blogs shall remain mine. Meanwhile at the end of the first quarter I will know which blog will be deleted.  And may the chips fall where everyone agrees.