Thursday, August 27, 2020

Line Dancing

I find some Line Dancing on the Mainland but no updates on Oahu and I am interested in Line Dancing, which is exactly what its name implies: people dancing in lines to music. Line dances are choreographed dances with a repeating series of steps that are performed in unison by a group of people in lines or rows, most often without the dancers making contact with one another. Ideal during our Pandemic on Oahu. All the dancers performing a line dance face the same direction and perform the steps at exactly the same time. Although many popular line dances are set to country music, the first line dances did not originate from country-western dancing.

"Social dancers believe that to plan on the coming
dance opportunities is to believe in tomorrow.”


Line dancing is believed to have originated from folk dancing, which has many similarities. Contra dancing, a form of American folk dance in which the dancers form two parallel lines and perform a sequence of dance movements with different partners down the length of the line, probably had a huge influence on the line dancing steps we are familiar with today. During the 1980s and 1990s, line dances started being created for popular country songs. Even pop music began to see an upswing in line dances in the 1990s, with "the Macarena" serving as a sort of hybrid folk-pop dance number that swept the world by storm.

"Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus


Basic line dances focus on movements of the legs and feet, with more advanced dances including the arms and hands. The movements of a line dance are marked as "counts," where one count generally equals one musical beat. A particular movement or step takes place at each beat. A line dance will have a certain number of counts, meaning the number of beats in one complete sequence of the dance. For example, a 64-count dance would contain 64 beats. The number of beats does not necessarily equal the number of steps, however, as steps can be performed between two beats or over more than one beat. Because its steps are simple and don't involve dancing with a partner, line dancing is ideal for singles and people who don't normally dance. And it can be danced six feet apart.

“Social dancers believe there is still hope for all of us
and there is still good in the world.” 

 

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Social Dancing?

by Anthony S. Natale, PhD. New York.
No, it's not cops and robbers, not Iraq vs the United Nations, nor even the CIA vs the FBI. It is rather, pure and simple, "good dancers" as opposed to "bad dancers." "Good Dancing vs. "Bad Dancing" is what most educated dancers carp about all the time. Without question, "bad dancers" are the bane of their existence when sharing the same dance floor. Anyone suggesting that there are no "bad dancers" rather than just different kinds of dancers, has to be extremely naive. Educated dancers find this idea painful to accept, while dancing authorities find it ludicrous.

“Social dancers believe that if there is more to life than this  —
then there is more of it for us.” 


If that reasoning were carried to their logical conclusion, one could say that there are no bad drivers, golfers, swimmers, skiers, tennis players, and on infinitum, just different. This is absurd! Hitting a golf ball straight down the fairway and making the hole in par has got to be more fun than always being in the rough, in sand traps and always over par. To continue citing examples would be redundant and is best left up to the reader's intelligence. There simply has to be difference, however, in doing anything well as opposed to doing it poorly. Obtaining pleasure and satisfaction from one's endeavors is, of course, relative and always a matter of degree.

"Sweet Someone" by Don Ho


While one does not have to be an ultimate expert to derive pleasure from an activity, certainly the adage that one gets out is what one puts in is pretty close to the truth. It may be given that some individuals, because of their attitude, may derive more satisfaction from what they do than others, but this is providing that all things are as close to being equal. Without question, there is room for individual differences and varying levels of ability on the dance floor where educated dancers are concerned. There can be "good dancing" at many levels. Too often observed on the dance floor, however, are couples for whom "ignorance is bliss" or whose dancing has been influenced by alcohol. Look around, be aware.

“Social dancers believe that their past mistakes can't defeat them,
because tomorrow is a brand new day.” 

 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Blogging On Oahu

Advertising, the mouthpiece of business: Publicity has been over developed into what many consider a fine art. Much of it is simply superfluous and even obnoxious. We are all acquainted with "Junk Mail" and now, on the internet, we are confronted with "Spam." All of it quite sickening. It is suppose to make you think you have longed all your life for something you never heard of before. And most of it is in the category of "to whom it may concern." newsletters, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, Web sites and all the others. Social Media, - our dance blogging, is something else.

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

We are in Communications Mode in which we will communicate to each other. Feedback? Slowly it is coming into being. The realization that we are going to get an Information Contributor that is willing to share dance information with out fellow readers by just emailing it in. And anytime that person is ready they can be a Guest Blogger. Hopefully we will get women into the crowd. If you look into Twitter or Facebook you can see the women can do just as well as men. I believe that not only can they write from their own viewpoint but they can write what would be of interest to the rest of our reader/dancers.

"Night And Day" by Jimmy Borges


Fortunately I have been able to get a few information contributors with "no commitments." They make it plain that they don't wish to get further involved. All of it has been well appreciated by our readers. We should appreciate and consider ourselves lucky to get what we can get. Hopefully we can get a few to contribute regularly at least to get their groups viewpoint in, now and then. And then, get to be a Guest Blogger. And what is a Guest Blogger?

“Social dancers do not worry if some people think we're crazy. We are crazy."

Saturday, August 15, 2020

August 15 1944

It was a sight that had rarely been seen before and which may never be seen again. It was the last large-scale night parachute jump of World War II. An hour after midnight, three hundred ninety-six C-47 aircraft, scattered over a hundred and fifty miles at ten airfields in west-central Italy, began turning over their engines. Over five thousand paratroopers of the 517th Regimental Parachute Combat Team were on board. At ten-second intervals planes taxied down dirt runways, lifted off, and circled into formation.The dust, compounded by darkness, was so thick that many pilots had to use compass bearings to find their way down the runways.


Takeoff times were from 0136 to 0151 for the ten serials, depending on the distance to the first check point at the Isle of Elba. Each serial required over an hour to get into formation, a column of "V of V's" nine planes wide. The entire formation, from the head of the first serial to the tail of the last, was over one hundred miles long. This was the ALBATROSS mission, to drop 5,630 paratroopers in Southern France. Only about 20% of the 517th landed within two miles of the Drop Zones. The 2nd Battalion had made a fair landing, but had only half its strength on hand. The 3rd was split into three groups a day's march away.


The artillery was in three groups near Frejus, Trans-en-Provence, and the DZ. The 1st Battalion was so widely scattered that it would take most of a day to get it together. The basic cause of the inaccurate landings was the heavy, unexpected fog bank. But there were other factors, including gross navigational error, excessive air speeds and altitudes, lack of practice in formation flying and failures of the red light-green light system. Paratroopers want most of all to be dropped upon their DZ. Failing this, they want at least to be concentrated together. Most of the 517th got neither. War is never easy.

Happy Veteran's Day, Wednesday, November 11th.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

From Diary of a Street Dancer

By Walter Darian. 1970
Three decades had passed, the building was the same, only the signs were different. A modern 1970s sign said, "Rivera." It felt strange climbing that long straight stairway again, but it was just as I remembered it. Inside, however, it was no longer a typical sailor joint. It was now a reconstructed Disco joint (albeit a seedy one.) The bar to the left of the door was gone. Gone too were the booths and tables on the perimeter of the dance floor. In the center of the room was a circular bar with the standard disco lights over head - which instantly brought me to the present.

“Social dancers believe that hope does not leave without being given permission.”


A lone bartender handled the near empty bar. There wasn't a sailor, marine, doggey or hooker in sight. I ordered a drink, then turned, searching for "it." It stood in a nearby corner, a modern jukebox, squat, dark and non-descript - unlike the original with its attractive oval shaped top. Hoping to find a familiar tune I walked over. A quick glance at the selection in the first panel had me shaking my head in disappointment. I returned to the bar. Alone with my drink, my thoughts drifted back to 1942. Once again, the joint was "alive" and jumping. Still only nineteen, but no longer a boot I was at the bar with my buddies.

"Green Eyes" by Jimmy Dorsey


White hat on the back of my head, (to show my wavy black hair, which too, was gone now.) I ordered another drink. That familiar mellow feeling was starting to take hold (with me, it never took more than one.) In my reverie, I could almost hear Jimmy Dorsey's great hit record "Green Eyes" with Bob Eberly on the first vocal. Followed by that great "swing part" by the band with Jimmy on Sax. Then Helen O'Connell coming in - very quietly - with "soft light"- and building to her sexy, unforgettable description of those six little words - "those cool and limpid green eyes." I finished my drink and left.

“Social dancers believe there may be spiritual solutions to most of life challenges"

Friday, August 7, 2020

What Music?

By Roger Ching, Waipio
There have been roughly 100 million (give or take a million) new tunes composed and recorded by various groups world wide, since the early 30s. And from that group, 90 million are simply not acceptable for whatever the reason. That leaves only 10 million passable. From these, 9 million are strictly for listening and do not really have a beat for dancing. We can automatically throw out that rap crap. That leaves only one million. From these, 900 thousand are nice but not really favorites that social dancers really want to dance to.

“Social dancers sometimes feel that they get more yesterday than anybody.
They need some good kind of tomorrow.”


What then? That leaves only 100 thousand left and from these, 90 thousand are nice but not that well known by everyone in all parts of Hawaii. That leaves us on Oahu with 10 thousand very good ones for ordinary music lovers to choose from, as our favorite "Oldies But Goodies." That is for most of the social dancers on Oahu. If a disc jockey played 100 different ones per evening it would take him one hundred days to repeat the sequence. So most of our disk jockeys do a great job with such a nice variety of music to choose from.

"Sweet Someone" by Don Ho


Of course "Oldies But Goodies" did not really count until this century. "What a nice comfortable beat, nice tune, beautiful arrangement etc." I don't believe that in the last forty years, I have ever heard much said about any of the oldies on our dance floors in Hawaii. And I am talking about my all time favorites. There are so many that are your favorites too. But what do we know? Some disk jockeys are thinking of a playlist. I don't know. Let's help them out if they ask, it would be for our own good and we could look forward to enjoying dancing to the music of our choice,

“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
 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Oahu Blogosphere

The blogs are not doing so good simply because they are dance blogs and we don't have much dancing to report. Waianae is interested? When we get going again, I believe our dance blogs may evolve into something essential. But it will have more dancers willing to share their thoughts with our fellow dancers. They may all include items not specifically dancing but close enough to be of interest to the readers. The consumption of blogs could evolve into an avid obsession.

"Social dancers believe that the struggles we endure today may
just be the - good old days - we laugh about tomorrow."


More commonly on Oahu, it can be utterly natural. People in Kapolei have mentioned that it could be no stranger than … picking one’s way through the morning’s newspapers. Having many different Bloggers will allow them to share other things that are interesting besides dancing. This will include most of our friends and not concentrated on the "Stars." This daily reading for virtually everyone over 40 reflects as much the quality of today’s bloggers as it does a techno-psychological revolution among readers of news and opinion. Magazines and Newspapers are losing readers regularly.

"Waikiki" by Amy Hanaialii Gilliom


So to start at the beginning email, I expect Wahiawa, with whatever items they like to contibute and I will post it in the first blog available. A Paragraph of five lines would be perfect for anyone and a couple photos of the gang would be icing on the cake. I expect a lot more photos than that from Wahiawa. Anyone can get online and find many dance blogs on the Mainland. Anyone can get a few hints of what might be interesting for our fellow dancers on Oahu. It can be just like an expanded Twitter or Facebook except that our blogs are 99% Oahu. Facebook receives 50 million photos daily.

"This blogosphere is subject to all of the same risks as the Internet itself. Many
blogs on the mainland are loaded with vanity posts, half-truths, rumors,
 and even intentional distortions. But fortunately,  our blogs
 are the real thing and we are closer to home."