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."

Sunday, December 24, 2017

One More Day

I just took the notes from an old friend. He said, "Last night I danced a Rumba with a nice lady that I had never danced with before. When we were leaving the dance floor, she thanked me, asked me where I got the ball bearings installed on my shoes. She said that she had the best connection she had felt in a really long time and that it was the best dance she had had in years. I thanked her for being so kind, and for such a great dance. The good feeling will last me the rest of the year."

"You always pass failure on your way to success."

Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness
because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for
others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values.
~ Thomas S. Monson 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Club Dancer?

If it is your wish or desire to become a better dancer than you are now, it seems to be the opinion of many on Oahu that one of the most important factors is to be trainable. Not the same as street dancing. To be "trainable" you must be willing to receive information and apply it. You must check your ego at the class door and pick up your stiff upper lip. You must be willing to allow your teacher to critique your dancing, expose your weaknesses and make suggestions.

"Social dancers learned to embrace the dance and to accept the mistakes
they would probably make. And have fun doing it."

After all, that is what you are there for, - to become a better dancer. Their experience and their knowledge may be very extensive. Sometimes there may be very simple suggestions that are easily applied to your dancing. Other times it may take days, and even weeks to break old habits and retrain muscle memory that you have already established. Worth it? If you can have fun while learning then it is certainly worth it.

"Jingle Bells"

To prevent becoming stagnant, or at your current level of dance, you should continue to dance at your regular shindigs for fun somewhere. You know and understand that there will be many things that you wish to improve. Your turn technique, foot positions, connection, timing or even just the way you hold hands with your partner, Our type of dancing is always a work in progress. And we will have a ball every time.

"Social dancers like to dance because life is not a race, but it can keep us
on our toes. We would rather count dance steps than calories and
with each step we may leave our worries behind."

Saturday, December 16, 2017

From Essay On Man


"Fly Me To The Moon" by Jimmy Borges


By Alexander Pope almost 300 years ago.


Know then thyself, presume not God to scan
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A Being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,

He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reasoning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much;

Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confused;
Still by himself, abused or disabused;
Created half to rise and half to fall;
Great Lord of all things, yet a prey to all,
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled;
The glory, jest and riddle of the world.

We could accept the fact that we may have in our dance world
some people that are perfect. Hah!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


I seem to hear more Waltz at Christmas time than any other time of the year. Even many of the Christmas Carols are in a Waltz tempo and there seems to be plenty of dancers on the dance floors. We all understand the young and the old have different preferences. And no one complains. Nice. So if the young cannot dance the Waltz. Tough! But the seasoned social dancers will continue to enjoy themselves as they have for decades.

"You've come a long ways baby. Some of the most beautiful
music ever created on this earth is the Waltz."

The Viennese Waltz is a dance that is becoming extinct from our Social and Cultural World of Dance. However the Latin Indian version is coming on strong in Latin America in the last century. It has the old three count basic, but danced with a Rock Step and/or a chassé. It is slower and much more varied than either American or International Viennese Waltz and since it does not cover so much ground, for many Latins it is much more enjoyable when danced in a night club.

"The Tennessee Waltz" ... Patti Page

The dance popularly known as the waltz in the US is actually the English slow waltz or American  waltz, consistently with a three count, even step, slow, slow, slow. As the Waltz evolved, some of the versions that were done at about the original fast tempo came to be called specifically "Viennese Waltz" to distinguish them from the slower waltzes which are the most danced throughout the world. Waltz music is not a come-lately thing. It has been polished and refined for a three hundred years into some of the most beautiful music in the World for both listening and dancing.

"The Social dancer was loosened and she didn’t know who she danced with or what
they looked like, only that she had become the music and the fire and the night,
and there was nothing that could slow her down. She was having a ball."


Friday, December 8, 2017

The evolving studio - night club

Most people think they know what a studio nightclub is but no one has ever seen one on Oahu. The nearest things we have are Dance Appeal Studio, Dream to Dance Studio and Divino Ritmo Dance. They are very enjoyable to the ordinary everyday social dancers. In building up this type of unit, the Studio comes first and all you really have to do is get it looking pretty and comfy. Tables are small and heavy on the bottom and much appreciated by the dancers. And that costs, But it will be the basics of every thing that takes place there.

"Social Dancers may be thankful for their mistakes.
They are able to learn many valuable lessons."

On the mainland most studio - nightclubs are at least 1000 square feet, although the granddaddy of them all is the Granada in Alhambra, California which is a three story deluxe deal. But you must have enough room for the big dance parties on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. A cover charge is a must and most beverages should be very reasonably priced. Alcohol is sold in bottles only; Beer in 12 oz bottles, Wine in quart or liter, and hard liquor in pint bottles. Easy to inventory.

"That's My Desire" ... Frankie Laine

Everybody can mix their own poison. There are no bartenders or waitresses, it is all do it yourself. There are usually machines for the pop and canned juices. Free ice, plastic glasses and napkins provided. Some places have an attended Juice Bar selling snacks too. On Oahu they could have some type of snacks that can be used with chopsticks. No DJ, the music is computer operated and runs for about two hours but a full 30 seconds between each song, about 3 minutes long. There is usually a playlist and the approximate time the song will appear.

"Social dancers believe in the dance's pattern and they will dance while they can.
Dance for the figures are easy and the tune is catching and will not stop."

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Right Way To Dance.

By Emmanuel Fischer, Manoa Valley

There are many small dance clubs on the Mainland that specialize in peripherals. Latin dance clubs with just single Latin dances, such as Rumba, Cha  Cha Cha, Samba, Latin Waltz, Tango, Swing and there are others such as Line, Salsa, Swing, Tango Peripherals. They will concentrate on their main specialty dances. Then there are the Country style dances, with their own ramifications such as square and round dances and including the line dances too.

"Social dancers believe that we can't always choose the music that
life plays for us, but we can choose how we dance to it."

Their type of music is crucial to their dancing which is as it should be. The biggest kind of course is the social dance music that we have on Oahu, that has been concentrating on American Style and including the line dances verging into the Night Club circuit. Just look around at what has happened in the last ten years. And there will be more spin offs as the people in charge become more intolerant of the common dancer. The Commandment theory, "Thou Shalt Not ..."

"Somewhere Over The Rainbow" by Bruddah Iz

It is there for any sociologist to see. A few of those concentrating on the International Style may find it more difficult to exist. For sure the International will no longer be the "dance" style on Oahu. They became too rootzi tootzi for the rest of us. They have a perfect right to dance their way. Just don't give me any of your commandments. When they got to the "junk dancer" term many years ago, that was their peak. Too many real honest social dancers resented it. This is specially true when we have so many good dancers on this Island that do not dance that way.

Q. Why did the Indians live here first? A. Because they had reservations.