Tuesday, July 28, 2020

We adjusting nicely

I am sure "everybody" knows "somebody" in this dance group: There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. Consequently, it wound up that Nobody told Anybody, so Everybody blamed Somebody. Everybody got that?

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
The important thing is not to stop questioning."
 ~ Albert Einstein

There are different opinions but generally in Hawaii 15% of the men do some dancing and 25% of the women do some dancing. Approximately 200 thousand dancers on Oahu and of course, not all are the same kind of dancers. Can we, as Social Dancers do something with this? For instance, watch our people during a line dance. 90% women. Seriously, the men would rather play baseball. I cannot do anything but perhaps social dancers as a group will think of something to equalize things for the benefit of all.

"Take Me Home, Country Roads" by Bruddah Iz

The Dance Studios have been important and will continue to be so. However there will some changes in the social dance clubs and the dance night clubs. Much more kokua than we have seen in the past. When many were disrespecting each other for not dancing the "correct" way. A definite division of "Young" night clubs and the ones for the more experienced dancers. Social dancers have been accepting a couple of line dances a part of the night's program. And if the DJ forgets a Paso Doble there may not be any complaints. A beautiful dance and in the syllabi of the International Style of Dance. A must for their people and understandable.

"Social dancers may find hope in the darkest of days,
and focus on the brightest that may be just ahead."

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Dance 2020

The standard dances are the ones that will be playing on Oahu in the near future. And what are the standard dances? We, the social dancers, will determine that and develop our own syllabi. A few of the dances in the American and International are being phased out now. When was the last time you dropped into a night club for a little Paso Doble? Beautiful dance? Of course. The group of dances will involve into the recreational, cultural dance. The Pau Hana dance is coming, because of the increased traffic, instead of a Happy Hour. The Pau Hana Dance will have less drink, more dancing and more talk story with friends and relaxation in the middle of the week than any other form of entertainment.

“Social dancers believe that the future is uncertain,
but that just may be a good thing.”

The music will not be played, incessantly non stop as it has been done in many places for so long. Music inherently depends on silence in some form or another to distinguish other periods of sound and allow dynamics, melodies and rhythms to have greater impact. The is one of the reasons Live Music is so pleasant, between songs and the Intermission. Very nicely accepted by the most experienced dancers. Most music scores feature rests denoting periods of silence. Accomplished composers don't take all their best ideas and muddy the listener's experience by rattling on and on.

"Music Of Hawaii" by Melveen Leed

These artists know how to communicate their ideas clearly. Listen to the space between the phrases. Listen to how silence is used as a color, and not simply as the lifeless backdrop of compositions. Silence, when used effectively, is a color.There will gradually be the acceptance of silence of 30 second intervals or more, which will be a welcomed respite for all. The same as the old days when the band had a little time between tunes and we had a time for a little relaxation. The non-stop can be nice for the kids, let them enjoy theirs.

“You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us.
And the world will live as one.” ― John Lennon

Friday, July 17, 2020


This has been also a good time to review the differences that have existed in our dance sphere. When I first got here it was American Style dancing and I went for it hook, line and sinker. I quickly found out that we had a terrific bunch of "amateur" teachers that were just as good any other kind. I learned it very nicely and was able to lead in a reasonable if not a terrific manner. Later on when the International became more established I moved into that. The general attitude of the teachers was to learn your American first and then aspire to International.

“Social dancers may believe that while the heart beats,
hope lingers and we shall dance again.”

This attitude put International automatically on a higher plane than American. International was taught for competition and that naturally brought out their "best dancers." At the same time they developed some beautiful exhibition dances. And the movements they taught were "correct" according to their style, Stands to reason. After the Palladium was built, the bulk of the clubs aspired to dance at the "Ala Wai Palladium" and there was an increase of the "lower classes" attending these dances including the "street" or "social" dancers.

"Molokai Waltz" by Amy Hanaialii Gideon

The Internationals with "real" ballroom dancers emerged on top. Their "correct" no longer had any qualifications. After all they danced in ballrooms.The American style was nice and they could progress to a higher plane. American style was danced in Malls, School Cafeterias, Community Centers and District Parks. Then to help matters, two new terms evolved. The "Ala Wai dancer" and the "Junk Dancer." Mainly applied to the social and night club dancers but it could overlap to the American Style dancers. And the preferred location of the higher classes became the dinner/dance socials in the Waikiki Hotel Ballrooms.

"The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do, well."
~ Henry W. Longfellow

Sunday, July 12, 2020

The New Social

The very young may say, "I can just jump around with the music." What's the difference? It is quite natural, wanting to move to music and it has been going around the world in different forms and terminologies. The difference is – that is not social dancing, my friend. That is a “I don’t need dance lessons” vulnerability or “I know what I’m doing” - fear of failing. It was very prominent in night clubs in the last century on Oahu and morphing into "street dancing." Sure, at some moments that may be the only thing that kids want to do.

“Social dancers believe that there is nothing like a dream
to create a future and we shall dance again.”

But you cannot call "jumping around" social dancing, that is why its called "jumping around," Nowadays in night clubs it is social dancing. Trust us, at least once in your life there will be that something or someone who would love to share that special dance with you - it would be nice if you were ready! And social dancing is separating from discipline dancing. In the last century at the beginning of the "Palladium" the disciplines created the term. "Junk Dancer" for the social dancers. At the start of the century many might lower their heads a little they would "admit" that they were social dancers.

"I Will Dance For You" by Willie K.

The Ladertas, Mother's Day
But now in this century the Social Dancers have come into their own and take a little more pride in saying they are a "Social Dancers." Many dance clubs have formed with many different good teachers in the American style of dance. All have had slightly different interpretations of the movements to the music. And all of it has been accepted in good faith. Most socials include music that is not in the syllabi of any of the disciplines. You may go to a Social where they might play three Bachatas and one or no Paso Doble. They play Tango and there may be three different dances, Filipino, American and International styles. Sometimes even Argentine. How about that? This is Social Dancing.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God,
which is why we call it the present.”

Monday, July 6, 2020

Kau Kau

I am now starting have a little more work to do and I gotta get these blogs going again. I will try to get more local information to share with the readers. That is, wherever I am allowed to. Most dance classes are not usually photographed, but those are some of the first pictures I want in my blogs. I am going to need all the help I can get. But of course, there will be a few that may think that my blogs benefit too much from their good looks, talent, fame, good fortune and social status. Yes, we will get along just fine with out them. It takes work to find those that are willing to be in. They will make the final decision to get in and it is even easier it they want out. Simple?

“Social dancers believe that dancers devoid of hope and conscious
of being may have ceased to belong to the future.”

 In my old age, "Getting Lucky" means walking into a room
and remembering why I'm there.

Some restaurants on Oahu are springing back a little. Tourists made up 80% of the business at one time and now the future outlook for tourism does not look good, At 100% capacity and in a good economy a restaurant can be run profitably. But with a business that can achieve only 50% of its normal revenue may not find it financially feasible to remain open. It is with deep regret from everyone that some restaurants can no longer provide jobs for their employees or a beautiful dining experience for their guests.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Jimmy Borges

Calvin and Debra Ota in Waikiki
Restaurants are still on continued compliance with all State of Hawaii and City regulatory and legal standards for operating a food services business. Dining groups must be limited to a maximum of ten individuals per group (regardless of household membership). Cleaning and disinfecting must be conducted in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. Restaurant employees must wear face coverings during their shift – cooks and kitchen staff that do not interact with the public are encouraged but not required to wear face coverings. Hourly touch-point sanitization (workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs, restrooms, etc.) is required. Frequent hand washing/sanitizing by employees is also required.

"Nothing can stop a person with the right mental attitude from achieving their goal;
nothing on earth can help a person with the wrong mental attitude."

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

LAGS: Latest And Greatest Syndrome.

By Jason Shinozaki, Aiea
This is a failing that enters into most teachers at one time or another. Of course, on Oahu, the teacher is aided and abetted by the students. So it becomes a collusion of both parties and is not considered unnatural. At times the teacher will find himself with the opportunity to show his students what a "GREAT" teacher he is, a top teacher, no less. But he will never mention that of of the six hundred or so documented step patterns in the dance, he knows less than two hundred of them. The students, however, may see this as an opportunity of a lifetime.

“Social dancers believe that hoping is how the
very difficult may be possible do after all.”

To learn that step will really stake his claim to being a terrific dancer. Of course, the fact that it may take five years for students to ever do it correctly and with finesse, will never enter into the equation. You can see it every day on our dance floors. The student leader will not very easily be able to lead any follower into that step pattern unless the follower is well versed in it. So he is stuck with whomever was in the same class. And a mortifying time will be held by all when they try to teach someone else how to do it.

"Take Me Home, Country Roads" by Bruddah Iz

Definitely not for Social Dancers when there are so many beautiful leadable step patterns available for the trying. How about in an exhibition dance? Now that is a horse of a far different color. The students learning the dance can apply themselves quite differently for they know they will be seen by an audience. With practice and the help of their very capable teacher they will probably be able to make a good presentation. And the audience of course will love it. They may never have seen it before and it will probably be executed almost to perfection. And the dance teacher can bask in the reflection of the terrific exhibition. Now that is LAGS in the right place and everyone comes out smelling like a rose.

Blogger's Law Number 21b: If people view their problem closely enough,
they will recognize themselves as part of the problem.