Saturday, April 30, 2011

tamgo part two

What Tango?

In Tango, there is a closed position as in other types of ballroom dance, but it differs significantly between types of tango. In partner dancing, closed position is a category of positions in which partners hold each other while facing at least approximately toward each other Ballroom dance refers collectively to a set of Partner dances which originated in Germany and are now enjoyed both socially and competitively around the world.

"The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions."

In Argentine Tango, the "close embrace" involves continuous contact at the full upper body, but not the legs. In American Ballroom tango, the "close embrace" involves close contact in the pelvis or upper thighs, but not the upper body. Followers are instructed to thrust their hips forward, but pull their upper body away, and shyly look over their left shoulder when they are led into a "corte. "

In Argentine tango open position, the legs may be intertwined and hooked together, in the style of Pulpo (the Octopus). In Pulpo's style, these hooks are not sharp, staccato ganchos, but smooth ganchos.

"Adios Muchachos" by Carlos Gardel

Ballroom tango steps stay close to the floor, while the Argentine Tango includes moves such as the boleo (allowing momentum to carry one's leg into the air) and gancho (hooking one's leg around one's partner's leg or body) in which the feet travel off the ground. Gancho means "hook" in Spanish and Portuguese, and describes certain "hooking actions" in some dances of Latin American heritage.

in Argentina, Argentine Tango features other vocabulary foreign to ballroom, such as the parada (in which the leader puts his foot against the follower's foot), the arrastre (in which the leader appears to drag or be dragged by the follower's foot), and several kinds of sacada (in which the leader displaces the follower's leg by stepping into her space).

Finnish tango is closer to the Argentine than to Ballroom in its technique and vocabulary. Other regional variations are based on the Argentine style as well. to enhance individual, family, and community life.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tango,in two parts

Different Tangos, why not?
Tango Times in New York, 2001

Tango in Argentina
Argentine, Uruguayan and Ballroom Tango use very different techniques and vocabularies, to the point where some consider them related in name only. In Argentine tango, the body's center moves first, then the feet reach to support it.

In ballroom tango, the body is initially set in motion across the floor through the flexing of the lower joints (hip, knee, ankle) while the feet are delayed, then the feet move quickly to catch the body, resulting in snatching or striking action that reflects the staccato nature of this style's preferred music.

"Nostalgias" By Placido Domingo

In Argentine tango, the steps are typically more gliding, but can vary widely in timing, speed, and character, and follow no single specific rhythm. Because the dance is led and followed at the level of individual steps, these variations can occur from one step to the next.

This allows the dancers to vary the dance from moment to moment to match the music (which often has both legato and/or staccato elements) and their mood. In Musical notation the Italian word legato (literally meaning "& tied together" indicates that musical notes are played or sung smoothly In Musical notation, the Italian word staccato (literally detached, plural staccatos or staccati) indicates that notes are distinctly separate.

"El Dia Que Me Quieras" por Carlos Gardel

The Argentine Tango's frame, called an abrazo or "embrace," is not rigid, but flexibly adjusts to different steps, and may vary from being quite close, to offset in a "V" frame, to open. The American Ballroom Tango's frame is flexible too, but experienced dancers frequently dance in closed position: higher in the elbows, tone in the arms and constant connection through the body.

When dancing socially with beginners, however, it may be better to use a more open position because the close position is too intimate for them. In American Tango open position may result in open breaks, pivots, and turns which are quite foreign in Argentine tango and International (English) tango.

"The circumstances of the world are so variable that an irrevocable
purpose or opinion is almost synonymous with a foolish one."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Holidays in Mexico

April 25...............St. Mark's Day - Famous three-century old fair held in Aguascalientes, which usually lasts about two weeks and features musicians, charros (gentlemen cowboys), and bullfights. One of the largest and best of Easter Week In Mexico

1................Labor Day - National holiday celebrates with civic exercises, parades, and fireworks. (Most of the world, excluding the U.S., recognizes May 1st as Labor Day.)

3................Day Of The Holy Cross - Religious festivities held in many parts of the country, particularly colorful in Milpa Alta near Mexico City and Valle de Bravo, Mexico.

5...............Fifth Of May (Cinco de Mayo) -
National holiday celebrating the defeat of the French at Puebla in 1862.

10.............Mother's Day - National holiday beginning in the wee hours with songs to the mothers. Mother's Day | Motherhood in Mexico | A Village Mother's Day

"Piensa En Mi" By Pedro Vargas

Most romantic music in Latin America is bolero-rumba,  just about the most beautiful music in the world today. Bolero is a slower version of the Rumba, also sexy and intriguing, the Bolero emphasizes the drama of love in a relationship.

There are two variations: the Cuban, predecessor of the International Style Rumba and closer to the real thing. And the American Bolero, which differs technically as well as in their rhythmical interpretations. The American seems to have evolved be more open and beautiful in exhibitions with experienced dancers.

"There is no reason why the same person should like
the same books at eighteen and forty-eight."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Latin Dancing

From Latino Dancing in New York City.
Latin Dancing
Known for its sensual hip action and sexy flair, Latin dance is gaining popularity on dance floors everywhere. More in the Pacific Basin than anywhere. Australia, up to Korea and Russia. The US Alaska down to Chile in South America. Hawaii? Movies about Latin dancing, ones that portray the beauty of the art of Latin dancing, seem to be favorites among dancers and non-dancers alike.

"When you are through changing, you are through."

Besides being a staple in the ballroom, in the US, many Latin dances are also being taken to country-western dance floors. Learning Latin dances is fairly easy, as most of the dances are made up of the same basic foot steps. That is, they are social dances to be enjoyed moving to the music. There are over 600 documented steps in Cha Cha Cha. Does anyone person know all of them. Doubtful!

But each dance can certainly be cleaned up and brought down the 30 most basic moves, "Universal bronze" that can be used in most Latin dances and you have a perfect social dancer.

But nowadays the loss of dancers for fun is because of different form of dance. The International Style, that is very strict in what is considers "correct." That is a dance style that is to be "seen" either for exhibitions (judged by the audience) and competitions which are judged by qualified judges.

Latin Dance Basics :

The term "Latin dance" may be used in two different ways: to denote dances that originated in Latin America and to name a category of International style ballroom dances. The American includes the Latin in their "Rhythm" division along with Swing.

Many popular dances originated in Latin America, and so are referred to as Latin dances. International Latin is the name of a category of International style ballroom dances. International Latin consists of the following five dances: Cha-Cha, Rumba, Samba, Paso Doble and Jive. Though of course, Paso Doble and Jive are not Latin Dances.

These dances are now performed all over the world as Latin-American dances in international DanceSport competitions, as well as being danced socially but only as practice. A discipline requires practice, practice and a little more practice.
(continued in Part Two)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Age in Baile Mestizo

Age will be a very important factor in Baile Mestizo. But since there will be so few in the beginning we must take anything. Most dancing tries to be fair to all but it does not turn out that way in practice.

"Only hungry minds can become educated"

For us we must realize and accept what the young have establish for decades, "Do not trust anyone over 30" Fine they have made the distinction. Then the elders have established the retired, the social security dancers in a different mold, over sixty. The ones in between are the largest and the most interesting simply in their diversity.

We will make our division somewhere in the over 40 age bracket. By that time the seasoned dancers will be making some very justifiable statements on the status of the dance. Because of their experience, their conclusions will be more easily acceptable.

"Hot! Hot! Hot!" Merengue by Buster Poindexter

We can stabilize not only the dances that will be accepted but also all the special twists and turns for each dance so that all will be able to lead and follow in the newer versions, Universal Dancing. All will be based on the facility with which the steps and patterns can be done. None of this studio stuff where they teach you exhibition type movements and you learn the unleadable.

The young are destined to be forever experimenting. Don't get in their way. Today, "Mashed Potatoes," tomorrow "Diced Carrots." As they get older they will become more stabilized and phase over into our Universal Latin Dancing.

Pub's Note: The Window Of Opportunity for our blogs is five to ten days. Does anyone know what that means? It will take time. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tejano Music and Dance

One of the biggest influences on the Mexican music and dance scene was the Tejano Music. For some reason, everyone was interested in talking about the whole Tejano – yes with a “J” instead of an “X” – movement that took place in the Lone Star State, and across the rest of the nation really, quite a few years ago now. The fad started about 1965 and ran for 30 years culminating with the death of Selena in 1995.

"To expand and to grow intellectually is an open door
to a road that has no end."

Both in real life and across the social media spectrum, people were asking. What is Tejano?  Remember such and such artist?  Whatever happened to? Did you like Tejano music? The remnants are still in evident in up to date Mexican music and it exists in Hawaii.

Many do remember lots of evening Tejano dances at their high school’s cafeteria – when they’d pull back all the foldable tables, bring in a radio deejay, dim down the lights and turn on a disco ball to illuminate the room, as they would dance the night away… or the early evening, more accurately.  They had school the next day!

So in honor of those great memories of so many not only in Texas but in the entire Southwest: here a few Tejano essentials… from days gone by.

Un buen par de Ropers
The Boots: Ropers – they were simple and light, easy to wear, without being picudas (pointed toe,) and you could find them in just about any color, both for men and women. You from Texas, Pard?

"Enamorada De Ti" by Selena

Con una Tejana
La Tejana: The Hat – especially for Tejano credibility, the hat was one of the most important accessories for guys… and girls and women always looked "caliente," with their Tejanas on.

Pasito tun, tun...
Knowing How To Dance – family members would invest several hours to teaching their friends and fellow students how to dance.  It was pretty simple, just a couple of steps, this way and that way, and they were ready to go.  Of course, some would still managed to struggle with learning, but the memories they made together were priceless. Then the Dance Teachers came in and goofed up the whole enchilada.

For many those were the happy days that never shall return.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dance Styles

Latin Dancing has its fans, the ones that love the dance and socialize as people with the common interest. Unfortunately we are too slow in picking up on the idea. I consider myself a fan so I certainly approve of it. However we seek a more stable definition for our use in Hawaii. Out of the original 3000 or so dances in the Americas and the off shoots of another 3000, we can have a hard time choosing.

Ambivalent? Well ... yes and no."

American Style has its fans, the ones that love the dance and socialize as people with the common interest. Many of us in the other styles use their current steps and patterns. I certainly approve of it. I believe those that wish to dance it have the perfect right to it and should do as they please.

Universal Style, (in process) also has its fans, the ones that love the dance and socialize as people with the common interest. This is happening in the smaller social clubs and the night clubs. I am a fan and I certainly approve of it. Those that wish to dance for the pure joy of moving to music have the right to do as they please.

"Speak Up Mambo" By Manhattan Transfer

In 1492 there were at least at least 3000 different dances throughout the Americas. And these evolved to over 6000 different dances in 400 years. This was due to the increased facility of communication between sections chiefly by sailors working in the shipping trade.

Though considered strictly low class dances, there was some influence with time from the lower class Europeans and the Negro slaves as they got their freedom.

"Mambo #5" By Lou Bega

This was basically the same as American Blacks only better documented in the US. The Blacks developed rag time and what followed after the emancipation of their own. They borrowed from the Indian dances together with the European marches of the day.

With a little syncopation they were on their way to Jazz and Swing. And all of these people were third and more generation Americans of African descent.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Mestizo is a term that has been used traditionally in Latin America and Spain for people of mixed European and Native American heritage or descent.

"A different world cannot be built by indifferent people."

The term originated as a racial category in the Casta (Caste) system that was in use during the Spanish empire's control of their American colonies; it was used to describe those who had one European-born parent and one who was member of an indigenous American population.

In the Casta system, the highest being the European born persons called "Peninsular", and "Criollos" a bit lower, who were persons born in the New World of two European-born parents. The Mestizos were in the middle, higher than the Indians and the Negros who were at the bottom.

"Aprendelo Como Yo" By Bobby Quesada

Mestizos were not accepted in European society and were accepted somewhat reluctantly in the Indian communities. However with the establishment of towns and cities, they quickly became the majority in much of what is today Latin America.

The word mestizo later on acquired its current double meaning of mixed cultural heritage and actual racial descent. And since they are overwhelmingly in the majority they enjoy it. For us we can establish the type of dancing that we inherited from these people as Mestizo dancing because of the erroneous assumption that it is from Africa.

"Bahama Mama" By Boney Maroney

Many changes ocurred with influence from the Europeans and Africans. But it was not from Europe or Africa. It as definitely from those that were born and raised after several generations in the Americas. Mestizo dancing was always at the bottom of the totem pole and did not begin to emerge until the end of the 19th century.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rolando Sanchez, All Star Band

In CONCERT!! Live @"The Showroom at Hawaiian Brian's"

1680 Kapiolani Blvd-Waikiki
Saturday April 30th 8:00 pm to 11 pm
$5. Cover Parking $1.25 W/Validation
Great Drink Specials! Big Dance Floor!

Do not miss this HOT DANCE CONCERT SHOW!!


Rolando Sanchez~Vocals-Percussions
AnnaMarie Love~Vocals
John Loo~Keyboards
Alex Oasay~Guitar-Vocals
Mike Times~Bass-Vocals
Kenny Hill~Drums

Rolando Sanchez
All Star Band
RSC Music Hawaii

"He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help."
~Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Salsa Basic in American Rumba

By Philip Mirikitani, Waipahu

Back in the days when Arthur Murray knew everything about dancing, he liked the rhythmic bolero, danzon, beguine music. but he felt that the American dancer would never get that hip action and he was wanting to create his own dance.

"Only hungry minds can become educated"

He then created the slow, quick, quick box basic with the slow over the first and second beats and the quick, quick on three and four. Most of the others steps and patterns he copied from what he saw in the native dancers and made his own syllabus. Of course he had his own ideas to contribute and made changes in many of the original steps. It was pretty natural to understand that the entire thing was his creation - and a masterpiece.

Along came Fred Astaire and he didn't want to argue with anyone and used the same box in his studios. Naturally Arthur did not like that and he took Fred to the courts and he won. Fred would not be allowed to use the Arthur Murray invention.

"Green Eyes" by Jimmy Dorsey

So Fred responded by using the guaracha quick, quick, slow starting with side together step. This puts the slow step over the three and four count. And he got away with it. Although the Arthur Murray box makes more sense musically Fred Astaire owned the U. S. Ballroom Championships and the quick, quick, slow box became the recognized American standard for competitions, and more people dancing American Rumba started this way. Although in Hawaii, the standard is the Arthur Murray version.

"Begin The Beguine"  by Artie Shaw

Ten years ago World Music released CDs called Forbidden Cuban Music, and one of the series was Rumba. The brilliant Cuban musicians featured did not know of or cared about Arthur Murray -- Fred Astaire or any Dance Council's concept of what a rumba is. They played the rumbas as the energetic son music of their ancestors.

Some of the material in these CDs have been given critical acclaim. In some cases they have confused the world more. But, it really has asked the world to take a second look at the music and their interpretations of the music. If dance is a physical expression of music, some review in Hawaii is long overdue.

So if everyone uses the Salsa basic (known  for centuries in the Caribbean) instead of either one of the other two schools of dancing, the rest of the step patterns remain the same. Solution is at hand for the Rumba and that is Universal dancing.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Things are going slowly for Baile Latino, the blog. Averaging less than 3 hits per day. But I checked Google and there too many that have chosen the same name. I must get a new name.

Most of the other blogs are in the 40 and 50s. Town Dancer is, of course, way in front with over 100 average hits per day. That is over 3000 hits per month. No one on these islands comes even close to that.

So first we need reader/dancers. First and Foremost. Then we need the Information Contributors that can contribute something they think the reader/dancers would find interesting. Just whenever you feel like it. Of course, a few good group photos of our dancers on the Island would be icing on the cake.

"Good judgement comes from experience, and experience
often comes from bad judgements."

We may have to start with the Salsa dancing in all its aspects, dance classes and some of the Night Clubs. Some are "not strictly" with us and we should respect their preferences. We have too much other ground to cover.

For sure we have to include Charlie Castro's classes and his Sunday Social. Then there is DJ Rod, and the Dream to Dance studio Saturday night Salsa Dance. We have Noe Hernandez  Zumbia classes also at the Dream to Dance Studio and last but not least is Greg's Honolulu Salsa on Friday Nights.

Just heard Placido Domingo singing a beautiful Waltz, "Maria Elena" from his album, "De Mi Alma Latina." So the new Latin Palace will have Waltz, that is almost sure. With Waltz, Rumba. Cha Cha Cha and a little Swing, you have a solid Latin start. Something like "Da Reel Teeng."

"Nothing ever built could arise to touch the skies unless
someone dreamed that it could, some one believed that it
should and some one willed that it would."