Sunday, December 16, 2012

Not Ballroom?

By Jeffrey Felton, Kunia.

I haven't had much teaching but in over 60 years I have learned an awful lot of dancing. People would say I have loved music. True. The thing is I have never danced International Style and yet I haven't really danced American Style either. I have danced, a kind of street dance learned at home parties, school gatherings, bars and night clubs.

On the Mainland: "Our dance society is like a stew, if you don't stir it up
once in a while, then a layer of scum floats to the top."

When one dances with a variety ladies in a variety of places, one must stick to the basic movements so that we can both enjoy moving to the music. The step, step, step is very easily learned and with a little body action you can feel the music. And with the slow, quick, quick or quick, quick, slow, you get a little more variety with the appropriate music.

"Dime" by Morris Albert

Learning the rock step and the chasse, gets you into feeling your oats in any dance and most ladies, bless their hearts, are very good at following. To top it off a few lessons at some social clubs like on Oahu and you can learn some easily led figures. Just be careful of teachers with LAGS.* You can wait months for the few good movements to become part of your routine, then if you feel like it take another course in bronze some where else.

I have seen the syllabi on the American, Country and International. They are mostly grouped the same because they took from each other. This was created by teachers a century ago and how they have perceived dancing mostly from the income perspective and make sense of their teaching to the prospective buyers.  It is not strictly social dancing.

"Y Volvere" by Los Bunkers

In our social, street, cultural, recreational or whatever our group dances, the basic or "Bronze" is twice as big as the disciplines. And those are the basic movements used in social dancing. When and if you get a steady partner or one that you dance with more frequently, then you begin to branch out into the intermediate class or "Silver." But you are not going to dance that with just anyone.

Anything beyond this is "ballroom," exhibition, or competitions, contests, professionals or whatever but it ceases to be "Social." For most of us, it is not the same fun anymore. When they say they have to "work" at it, then you know, it just ain't da reel teeng anymore. However if anyone wants to get into that, they have a right to their decision and we should respect that. Meanwhile, let's dance.

Pub's Side Note: *LAGS = Latest And Greatest Syndrome.

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