Friday, March 23, 2018

The New Wave

By Gary Shinsato, Waikele:
Ballroom - the term: At one time we all knew what it stood for and in West Oahu we were proud of it. Then, by the time I was in my twenties, we were invaded by a new style of Dance, the British International Style of Dance which came to be accepted as a style of their own. When they mentioned the "correct" way, it was implied that it was the "correct" way to dance their style, which certainly made sense. Then, came the phase over, in the eighties and nineties, no qualifications were implied. If you were not dancing "correctly" then by default you were dancing "incorrectly."

"The dancers who try to do something and fail are infinitely better
than those who try to do nothing and succeed."

A new term arose at the start of the Palladium in Honolulu, as they looked down their noses at most of us, "Junk Dancers." Then they went a step farther and officially, the Caucasian Division was renamed Ballroom, because their style was the real ballroom, after all they danced in ballrooms. They did not have a clue at this time, because of their exactness, and with good reason, - large groups of dissidents were developing against ballroom all over the US and mainly in the Night Club Dancers. These people were not interested in competing, they had a different reason for dancing.

"Call Me" by Blondie, 1987

And separately the peripherals; the line dancers, salsa dancers, swing dancers and the tango dancers were developing their own thing, They had smaller dance floors and firm anti-ballroom type attitudes. There was even a new dance club in town a while back that made the statement right from the beginning, "We are not a ballroom dance club." We cannot blame them. Honolulu Dance Guide, a blog catering to the American Style of Dance and the Night Club Live Band groups has been a leader in promoting social dancing. This largest group on Oahu now consider themselves to be the real dancers.

“Social dancers may believe that the dance floor is a place where there is
nothing to do but "be me" and let everything else fall away.