Tuesday, August 30, 2016

If It ain't got that swing -

The Lindy hop is an American dance that was born at the Savoy in Harlem, in 1927, and it originally evolved from the jazz music of that time. The basic step was a syncopated two-step that accented the off beat and was followed by a breakaway, the characteristic feature of the dance. Of course, the steps were not entirely new since many of the movements had been used in many other dances before them. The real contribution of the Lindy was to combine the music with these movements on the dance floor.

“For dancers, the time will come when diligent research by many
will bring to light things which are now hidden."

It was very popular during the Swing era of the late 1930s and early 1940s. And many swing dancers understand that the Lindy was a fusion of many dances that preceded it or were popular during its development but is mainly based on jazz, tap, breakaway, and the Charleston. It is frequently described as a jazz dance and is considered a member of the swing dance family.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Jimmy Borges

In the 30s, there was a definite chilly reception from top Teachers Organizations in the US and England, expressing that swing would not last a couple years. One good quote, "It is a degenerated form of jazz, whose devotees are the unfortunate victims of economic instability." However, in 1942 the New York Society of Teachers of Dancing made the statement that the  "jitterbug" could no longer be ignored and would be refined to suit a crowded dance floor.

"Ooh, Baby, Baby" by Linda Ronstadt

There was renewed interest in the dance in the 1980s from American and European dancers and the Lindy hop is now represented by dancers and loosely affiliated grass-roots organizations all over the world. We have a very prominent Swing Dance Club on Oahu with some of the best swing dancers in the Pacific. Lindy hop has many times been called a street dance, referring to its improvisational and social nature. It's vitality remains there, where no International organizations dictate the rules.

An E-flat walks into a bar on Hotel Street and orders a beer.
The Bartenders says, "Sorry, we don't serve minors here." 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Bits And Pieces

William Woo, Lahaina

Who said Competition Dance isn't a Sport? Dance takes the same amount of sweat, hard work and determination as any sport. And the same amount of tears. The long days and nights of trying to get it right. It doesn't require a ball, a bat or a field. All you really need is a little bit of yourself. But yet, there some that still do not consider it a sport, do they?

"I do this and that, but probably more that then this. But hey,
who doesn't do more of that."

Platinum Horseshoe is in second place but could be in first with few steady information contributors. It is not a zero sum game as in sports. I win by five points, and you lose by five points. That is not us the bloggers. The information contributor feels good to see their item and name in the blog. The reader/dancers like reading the shared material. The Blog comes out better and the hits will increase and of course, we will feel better to see it on its way to independence. It is a win-win situation.

"Perfidia" por Placido Domingo

Samba has a very specific rhythm, highlighted to its best by characteristic Brazilian musical instruments: originally very simple chasse. Much of Samba music came from daily life in Rio, and other coastal cities. To achieve the true character of the Samba a dancer must give it a happy, flirtatious and exuberant interpretation. In the US and England they over complicated it and it lost it's vigor. The terrific music is still there.

"El Reloj" por Ikara Baru

Many figures, used in the Samba today, require a pelvic tilt (Samba tic) action. This action is difficult to accomplish, but without it the dance loses much of its effect. Principal characteristics of the Samba are the rapid steps taken on a quarter of a beat and the pronounced rocking motion and sway of the dancing couple. Can we just dance a simple Samba just for fun?

"Contigo A La Distancia" por Christina Aguilera

Donald Trump the joke, Donald Trump the lightweight; Donald Trump the incompetent; Donald Trump the deadbeat; Donald Trump the crook; Donald Trump the clown; and Donald Trump the dangerous inciter. They are coming out every day and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Ha!

Monday, August 22, 2016


This should be the first blog to go independent but what is holding it back? I still do not know. Town Dancer has many possible contributors but many think it is too much of a commitment. Actually no one has any commitments to our blogs. We offer the platform and anyone can use it for their own information sharing purposes. Of course we are mostly limited to the 35000 dancers on Oahu. If you don't want to use, you don't use it.

“Living with integrity means - not settling for less than
what you know you deserve in your relationships."

Meanwhile, people also think there is too much to be a Guest Author. But there is no rigid commitments there either. You contribute whatever and whenever you damn well please. With enough Guest Authors any blog can go independent. If that is too much commitment, then you can try the comments section at the end of every blog. Could be a starter.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Jimmy Borges

Meanwhile our reader/dancers are becoming very aware of SOS (same old shit.) So they know that other opinions may be even more valuable for the reader/dancers. At that point is where any of these blogs will make it past the 30 average hits per day. And this is at the time when most Dance Blog Sites on Oahu are lucky if the can get out of single average hits per day. That is nine or less per day and if they just can't cut it, they are not going to let anyone know about it.

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner

If you are going to send us photos, please do not use the fancy new apps. We have been dealing with JPEG and the rest of the same digital stuff for 30 years, and if they are digital, it is easy to just copy and paste. Simple - no other Mickey Mouse functions. If you gotta use the new stuff, we wish you luck.

"Dancers learn, as they get older, that dancing rules are made
 to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms,
and never, ever apologize for it."

Thursday, August 18, 2016

New People

By Roy Yamaguchi, Haleiwa: 

I have come across many people who tell me that they have "two left feet" when it comes to dance. But I have realized over time that those who claim that they can't dance, only say that to avoid becoming a public embarrassment. Perhaps they have been told by someone that they don't dance well. Or perhaps, they find themselves unable to follow complicated dance steps. And to defend themselves from loss of face, they simply shrug and hide behind this veil of inability.

"It is not about who stays real to your face, it is about
who stays real behind your back."

So, I once conducted an experiment with a class of non-dancers. They were roughly in the age bracket of late 40s to early 60s, since people in this age group are usually the most reluctant to put on their dancing shoes. All I asked them to do was to tap their feet and clap their hands to the beat of the music. The hall reverberated with the sound of clapping and tapping to the tune of "We Will Rock You" by Queen.

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner

The spirit of music and dance is there for all of us. There are certain very basic moves in dancing that are common to all the dances. There have been many analyses to define the basic moves. I stress the most common which is the even step, even count or step, step, step on each count. Waltz, Foxtrot and many others. It also applies to the two count measure, three count or a four count. You must careful when you go the next step. The Rock Step and the Chasse are the most basic next.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Jimmy Borges

Just learn how to do those to the various dances and learn to enjoy moving to the music as long as you like it. Try not to dance one where you do not like the music. And many dance teachers think only of the beat never realizing that the music is what makes a dancer. And Keep On Dancing.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Rail Tragedy

So, the question is, that if you voted to spend $5.3 billion for the rail tragedy in 2008, would you have voted for it had you known what you know today? If you would not, then why would you want to spend $6.5 billion to finish it? So back to the crisis, is it worth spending $3.2 billion to get the rail mess to Middle Street. That is $3,400 in construction costs for every man, woman, and child, or $13,600 for a family of four, whether you ride it or not. And double that to get to Ala Moana Center.

“When men are pure, laws are useless;
 when men are corrupt, laws are broken.”

We could have bought 1000 of these babies for less than one billion dollars. Only one negative, not much profits for the Fat Cats in Honolulu.

We should be aware now that it has always been the bread, Fred. Ten new millionaires in just the last year. Rail will do nothing for ridership or traffic congestion and no one denies this. Rapid Transit was not a misnomer, it was a deliberate lie. If the City had been honest about costs and effects on traffic congestion, we would not have built it in the first place. But it was the money, Sonny. Big, Big Profits.

"Somewhere Over The Rainbow" by Bruddah Iz

The Beautiful Business Parks voted down by the Present Rail Party. One in Waianae, one in Kapolei and one in Waipio. The residents could live, work and play in their own kuleanas. "And I coulda been home in 20 minutes."

The sensible thing to do now is to just stop the madness. Let it stay in place; it will make an excellent recreational facility for biking and walking and remind us voters to be a little more skeptical the next time politicians come courting us with their “visions.” And who spent ten million dollars on organizations to lie about Cayetano? He knew the Rail Catastrophe was a scam and it suckered in a lot of people that should have known better.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Last Waltz

By Phillip Kennicott, The Washington Post

More than we realize, our polyglot culture cleans house and what it doesn't throw out entirely, it stuffs in the shed. Some relics are retrieved from time to time, like Christmas decorations, most of them languish until their original purpose is forgotten. The Viennese Waltz has been in the shed for a long time now. A dance that inspired every major classical composer of the 19th century has passed through a natural life cycle, from scandalous past to respectable dowdiness, and it now exists as a paradox; timeless but anachronistic.

"We all have big changes in our lives that are
more or less a second chance."

There is no definitive cataclysm in the waltz' demise. Gene Donati, a much-in-demand Washington band leader, blames Elvis. "It began in the 50s and it's gotten progressively worse," says Donati. With Elvis and the emergence of rock, couples moved apart. Dance became more free-form, less dependent on the coordination between two people. "The days of the purely Waltz ball are long gone," he says.

The Tennessee Waltz by Patti Page

"One time we did a big Waltz ball. We go there all prepared to play waltzes the whole evening. But after 20 minutes, they wanted something to happen at the party." The waltz used to be all about three things, sex, social climbing and the exhilaration to movement with the music. Today, to the extent that it is still done, it is a safe haven from a libidinal charged world and a social equalizer.

"Start Walking All Over My Mind" by Tom Jones

It is easy to see why the waltz would fall out of favor. It's a strict and unforgiving dance from a strict and unforgiving time. "No man should attempt to dance without being well acquainted with the figures; for his blunders place the woman  who does him the honor to dance with him in an embarrassing situation." Encouraging words from "Etiquette for Gentleman by a Gentleman" published in Philadelphia in 1844.

"The Last Waltz With You" by Englebert Humperdinck

Dancing blunders aren't even a misdemeanor anymore. But the waltz, which was scandalous, when it was new, now has become a bit scandalous to maintain. In a world atomized into a million subcultures, the waltz is quietly having its second childhood.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Competition Dancers

By Jason Pratley, Manoa

As we social dancers like to contemplate, Why? What comes to play, when people want to learn competition dancing and not the ordinary run of the mill social dance. What's in it for them? There seems to be many good solid reasons for it. First, there is the desire to win approval. All of us have it, but in this case, since dancing is their game, they pick this method of winning approval.

"Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches,
letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights."

They do it to improve their skills and this is true in any format. But in the discipline of International Style of dancing, it is much more strict. Every step of the way is structured to be danced "correctly." And yes there are thousands that are pretty sloppy simply because they never cared to compete. The need to be seen which for many is mandatory even in "social" dancing. There are salsa dancers that are good and love to be seen doing it. Quite Normal.

"Love Me In The Morning: By Doris Day

There is the focus that deadlines provide. Some need the doing something by certain time schedules, the intensity that competition stimulates. They know they have to get better because of the coming competition. They must learn what they have to learn and practice and practice. And then there is being a part of the excitement and spectacle of the competitions and the many magazine and blog articles describing it.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Jimmy Borges

The social relationships which develop as they get to know other competitors is also described in many magazine and blog articles. Always on the road to being the best and the validation of their improvement by experts. Anyone that can fix the judges is not doing them a favor. They can also impress or win favor with a teacher who is encouraging his or her students to compete.

So competition dancers can't be all bad. Can they?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Where Are We?

I would like to thank all those that have contributed some dance information to share with our reader/dancers.  Anyone who is willing to share some of their dance experience at a local or mainland location would be perfect for this blog. Opinions are like noses, every one has one and the Information Contributors will eventually be the body of most of the blogs on this Island - That is our Social Media.

"Freedom is defined as the ability to pursue our options."

It takes time, and I know I am running out. But I will do as much as I can while I am able. Some people are getting interested, but many just they do not want to make a "commitment" which in truth, is not much. If you can write when you want to it would be nice but it would also be nice if you can do it at least once a week but it should be entirely up to you.

"Wheel Of Fortune" By Kay Starr

Town Dancer blog is still leading all the rest of our blogs in hits and I am not sure why but it is the one most indicated to be independent. In the Town Dancer blog everyone has a right to their opinion if it is to be completely independent. When I resign, it will be with the full acceptance of all the Guest Authors and Administrators and they will make their own rules.

"Morning Dew" by Melveen Leed

Meanwhile, I hope somebody out there emails me a small write up and a few photos that the readers might enjoy. This is a dancing blog and I would like it to be Social Media.

"Our poor dance students do not need special education as much
as they need special teaching."