Saturday, April 29, 2017

Night Clubs, Live Music

Back in days before WWII, we had recorded music but not much because we couldn't afford it. And occasionally we got a chance to see a live performance of some the best orchestras at the biggest theater in town. When we heard someone's record, we knew it.  "Gene Krupa, the drummer, that’s Benny Goodman!" We knew who was playing what, because we listened to these guys impressions so much, we knew how they sounded; we knew what they did. Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman, "That's Harry James on trumpet."

"Social Dancers dance the dance they dance. They don't
dance the dance that people who dance, dance."

Now you listen to music coming from the CDs and tapes and somebody has to tell you who the person is that’s playing. But nowadays we have millions of records to remember and many do not last in our minds for long. If there are a million published every year how many can we remember as the very very best - it cannot be many. That is the big value of those musicians on Oahu that have an idea of which are the oldies but goodies. And those may be enjoyed for twenty, thirty, forty years later.

"At Last" by Glenn Miller

Disc jockeys do an excellent job of getting the latest record hits in their repertoire. They consider it the prime objective and they usually play their music non stop. But live bands cannot add new stuff as easily. They find oldies but goodies can be played for a  longer period. As an additional benefit there is a refreshing pause between each number. And as far as the more experienced dancers are concerned, that is where they will find the most enjoyable dancing. Specially with Latin music.

"String Of Pearls" by Glenn Miller

The band plays "As Time Goes By" - 75 years old, sounds beautiful and you dance a slow fox trot enjoying every movement to the music. The music ends and you and your partner go back to the table feeling very good. You have enough time to take a sip of your poison and exchange a few pleasantries with your dance partner. You have enough time to digest the good experience of the entire enchilada before they play the next one. That is social dancing, nothing frantic about it.

"Self-praise is for losers. Be a Social Dancer - stand for something.
Always have class, and be humble."

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

You wanna dance to Live Music.

Yes, I know we don't get many people willing to share their live dance information with our fellow dancers. Much of it is because they do not accept "ballroom dancers." And they do not even know what a ballroom dancer is. Only that "they don't dance like us." But, fortunately we are all slowly accepting the fact that our way does not have to the right way for everyone. We are not clones and if they can enjoy moving to music some other way, - let them.

"Social dancers often say that in dancing we can make a world where

things are done morally, done democratically, done honestly."

If you are just starting out to be a Night Club dancer to Live Music. Be a little more prepared and try to familiarize yourself with the music of the band you will be dancing to. Knowing something of their music beforehand will certainly lessen your anxiety. Arrive early at the venue, take your time to look around and establish rapport with the waiter, waitress, bartender, and the band if you can. Take a walk around and familiarize yourself with the place. You will find comfort in knowing your way around the place, every time you go there.

"Kahalaopuna" by Amy Hanaialii

As a dancer you will pace yourself very nicely in drinking. Not too fast, but all dancers know that they will get thirsty. And unfortunately Nite Spot owners "know" that dancers are not drunks. So they cannot make all their money on the sale of alcoholic beverages. The cover charge is going up because of this. A cover charge of just 10 dollars and an average of 100 people is 1000 dollars for the night. Pays for a little of the night's expenses.

"Just being able to move to your favorite music in some
prescribed manner could be sufficient."

Sunday, April 23, 2017


At present most fans of live music still refer to the person behind the bar as, "The Bartender." Though there has been a terminology for the higher class bartenders. Achieving excellence in either role requires the same degree of commitment. A mixologist is an individual with a passion for combining elixirs and creating extraordinary cocktails, whereas a bartender is an individual with a passion for making great drinks and creating well-balanced experiences.

"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."

To be successful, you really need both types of pros behind the bar. Some beverage consultants say that capably tending bar and devising sensational cocktails are different disciplines, both of which cater to the wants and needs of the guests and require years to fully develop. It may be that the renaissance of the mixologist in large part is because of the ascension of premium spirits over the past two decades.

"One Night Fling" by Willie K

But bars and night clubs change ever so slowly and the night clubs of today are quite different than the night clubs of yesteryear. In Hawaii we have yet to establish a Latin Dance club dedicated to an all Latin venue of music and dance, from Mexico to Argentina and Chile. And they have Mariachis all the way down. Moving to Rumba-Bolero music at less than 140 beats per minute is still about the best dancing one can do in Latin America.

"Adoro" by Graciela Susana

Throughout the Southwest United States, he said, mariachis are making greater efforts to preserve the music, including the "Son's" spirit evolved from 19th-Century hybrids of Spanish and Indian music. The newer repertoires are mostly rancheras, heartfelt, often self-pitying ballads more equivalent to country music of the United States. But change is coming, the groups are getting smaller and are playing more for dancers than for listeners in night clubs.

"We may be fools whether we dance or not. So we may as well dance." 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Gotta Work It.

I must get out of the vacation mode and get to work and make more contact with the dance world. It has taken a while for many of the reader/dancers to recognize the names of the blogs. I will try the clubs where I don't have to pay to get in. I made my starting point at Wahiawa because of Wahiawa Ballroom Dance Club. They are doing very well. Next I made contact with Dots in Wahiawa and they seem to have good thing going. They have a Web site and probably enough business so that they do not need additional Pubic Relations. Or they think I am selling something. Patience.

"Social Dancers occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them
pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.”

Next I will try Mililani. I have been told to go to Salsa at Just Tacos but I have to pay to get in, no press privilege. Perhaps someone can help me make another connection. Same thing goes for Waipio. They are already developing a nice social dance group of residents in the Central Valley interested in live music and those dancers can avoid the Rail Disaster.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Jimmy Borges

Beautiful Business Park planned for West Oahu for over to 8000
employees. Vetoed down by the Present Rail Party, naturally.
"And I coulda been home in 20 minutes."

"Just In Time" by Tony Bennett

Then after that I can do my best in Kapolei. For now the Present Rail Party is stopping anything that resembles competition with Honolulu and the original intent was to make Kapolei into Second City. The Rail Disaster is obsolete right now and the residents will regain control of their city. Meanwhile, we all know it's the cash, Nash, it's the dough, Moe. And the Present Rail Party is making millions and millions of dollars on the "Gravy Train." And no one knows where the money is going, He He.

"Dancing allows us to learn our limitations and strengths, our ability to
cope with adversity and to get farther than we thought we could.
We find out what we are made of."

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Comments, anyone?

Had a busy week and my Depression is almost gone. I get a bit in the morning when I realize where I live now, a prison of my own making. I use to live in Paradise when I lived in Nanakuli. If I could move back there again, I would jump at the chance. Now I have too many things to do to get rid of my best blog and do the best I can with my remaining days.

"One critical consideration when blogging is what you write when there
is nobody standing over your shoulder telling you what to write."

Platinum Horseshoe blog is still blogging among the stars. And Town Dancer is bouncing back with good legit hits - few robots or search engines. With all the rearranging, I thought we were going to lose more hits than we did but we are holding steady now. Blogging Hawaii and Dancing Nights doing fine. The two bottom blogs are Extrava Danza, covering the live music and dance scene. And Ritmo Mestizo, covering the Latin music and dance scene. Both are still in the "unknown and uncharted waters."

We still have dancers that dance strictly to prescribed steps in the prescribed way not caring that they are not being judged by the right people like in a competition. They must dance that way. The more experienced social dancer knows that there is actually much more to dancing than this way and the music is first and foremost. All beginners will first learn any new dance by the use and application of prescribed steps but they gradually learn to move to the music of their choice a bit differently. The leader usually leads in simple moves and the followers do beautifully just by enjoying moving in their fashion. Fortunately most are basic moves that have been done for millenniums. Standing her on her head is not it.

"Alcohol is not in my vodkabulary, so I looked it up in my wiskeypedia,
and I learned that if you drink too much of it, it is likely to tequilya."


Monday, April 10, 2017

What Snew?

We just ran into another classification for dancers. Where do you fit in?

0. Zeros: "What's dancing?"

1. No I never, I just came in to look around. Where are all the ladies? Where are all the men? I don't know if this is my kind of music.

2. Ladies say, "Not enough men." Men say, Not enough pretty ones." I just came in for the exercise, and pass the time. This is transitional period for most people. They come and go and sometimes even come back again.

3. Good beginners with a loose style, and good execution of the basic movements. Most will dance stiffly, the steps are important and the styling is nothing - yet.

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner

4. Experienced beginners and intermediates, regular attendees to most social functions, some night club attendance too. They begin to develop their own loose, relaxed styling to most basic moves.

5. Very good intermediates, which would include some of our amateur instructors who are developing some good styling along the way. Can interact very nicely with night club dancers.

6. Best intermediates, cultural, recreational dancers with a repertoire of over 40 basic steps and patterns in most dances. Good styling and can advise most beginners along the better lines and sometimes become instructors.

"Tiny Bubbles" by Don Ho

7. Solid advanced dancers that are well versed in Gold level and beyond, some exhibitions, and will be specializing into the International style of dance in order to compete.

8. Close to top of the line in all dances, repertoire of perhaps one hundred steps and patterns in every dance, They can become good instructors and usually terrific exhibition dancers.

9. These are verging on the professional and many do move over into the professional, usually for the pleasure of helping others and incidentally picking up a little cash along the way.

10. Nobody is perfect, except you, of course. So where does everyone else fit in?

"Getting Sentimental Over You" by Tommy Dorsey

The amount of dancers in each group are according to the normal curve. Most of our dancers in the 5 and 6 class. The value of our blogs will be in the uniqueness of every blogger that contributes information to share with our fellow dancers. That will be the ultimate and we must be patient.

Thursday, April 6, 2017


By Steven Cabanilla, Whitmore Village

Apparently no one knows how much we drink or how much we should drink. But are all pretty sure that social dancers are not drunks. And that why bar owners have not been very happy with dancers of any kind. On the mainland there are many that now have a "juice bar." Dancers can get thirsty and there is money there. And they sell food in little bits that can be spooned and many dancers snack all night. You can see a couple hundred dollars in one night. Eat, drink and be merry.

"Freedom of the press. The staff of life for any vital democracy.
One of the greatest bulwarks of liberty."

Together with the cover charge most places on the mainland that do this do pretty good. There are people that go to Night Clubs to get drink, relax and enjoy the environment. Dancers go to Night Clubs primarily to dance. Anything odd about that? The rep has been following them - not much drinking money spent. But bar owners are picking up on other action on Oahu now and somebody is going to lead the way. We do understand that drinking establishments on Oahu have been accustomed to making their profits only in the sale of alcoholic beverages.

"Tiny Bubbles" by Don Ho

What happens to the customer after he leaves is of no consequence to the Bar Owner. With Dancers they have less to worry about drunk drivers. Dancers are well aware of it all and it does hold them back from drinking too much. Some supporters do recommend a two drink minimum and we could suggest that one drink per hour would be even better for everyone all around. So for a three hour stay, it would be three drinks. That is not bad for the time involved. And we understand that when you are dancing the thirst is still there.

"Hawaiian Drinking Song" by Hilo Hattie

I suppose you can even have some pop or plain water. Of course, few nightclubs are interested in making the effort to sell non-alcoholic drinks, a juice bar? Unheard of, and they lose. But all of us understand that the cover charge has to go up, to cover the non-drinkers. Suggestions and other dialog from and to the dancers and night club owners could occur for the benefit of everyone. Outside of downtown Honolulu the area can develop into quite a different environment, more for the locals and still satisfy everyone.

"We dance because there no greater feeling in the world than moving
to a favorite tune and letting the rest of the world go by."