Sunday, October 22, 2017

Swinging

by John Lane, Whitmore Village

The Lindy Hop, the jazz folk dance from Harlem was free, and combined African as well as European dance traditions, with black and white folks mingling in the ballrooms of Harlem. The disciplines "cleansed" out the African elements, created the "refined" dance called Jive and it was no longer a jazz dance. Governments have regulated, taxed, and privatized traditional dancing, ballrooms, and music into near oblivion in the past, now we have to watch out for Trump.

"Social dancers believe that the hardest step in learning to dance is the
first one the student takes into the studio, the rest is pure fun.”


Bureaucrats, politicians, corporations and artists generally value that which they think is lofty and visual. They are not willing to accept what used to be common and participatory and they cannot see dancing as a cultural heritage. Meanwhile, what remains of traditional social dancing has been relegated to a "niche" existence for a long time. It has often been done in church basements, often to recorded music, or, in the case of Swing, the only venues that had live music were often unhealthy smoky bars.

"Somewhere Over The Rainbow" by Bruddah Iz

Wahiawa is gonna be jumping next Saturday night!

In this century it is evolving into something pretty good and necessary to the well being of humans. Everyone used to sing songs naturally as part of playing, learning, teaching, living and interacting. Songs about many aspects of our cultural treasure. Today only professional performers sing for money. They sing trite songs where only one out of a thousand attain some status. Tradition has usually been a process where cultural treasures are passed on and received with respect and competence.

"Tiny Bubbles" by Don Ho

Pub's Side Note: We have other very good dance blogs on Oahu and we do not have to be clones. They may share dance information that is unavailable to us. Tune it to them, now and then. The holiday season begins with Halloween and does not end until the famous New Year's Eve Bash.