Sunday, December 16, 2012

From the Waha, 20 years ago.

I keep watching many couples clumsily trying to do fancy steps that I sometimes feel sorry. They were taught LAGS. And yet I know they will get better but it is a tough row to hoe that way. Specially because there so many other more basic and easy to do enjoyable steps to learn first.

"Home alone and had a Rum & Coke? Blast your favorite song and
sing at the top of your lungs, and try a little dancing as you go."

People in such a hurry to learn fancy steps that they remain ages in intermediate level. Why? Because they never learned the basics which includes natural styling. Old saying in Dance Circles. When in beginners level, they have their eyes on the Intermediate steps. When in the Intermediate they have their eyes on the Advanced steps. And when in the Advance levels, they go back to a good dance studio to review their basics.

From the Waha 20 years ago.
By Richard Masuyama

The only comment to this trend is that many students are interested only in picking up new and very advanced dance figures without too much concern about technique and styling that goes with these. The figures in the Gold Bar and Gold Star are mostly for exhibition and competitions and are starkly out of place on the social dance floor. They generally require a great deal of space for their execution and many will agree that they look terrible when not done correctly.

With so many dance steps and figures available, it is sensible to concentrate on those that can be led and followed easily with any partner for use in social dancing. Forget the open and fancy figures that can be done only with one or very limited number of partners. Learn to do the simple figures well and leave the fancy ones to the expert exhibition dancers.  *  *  *  *

"Que Rico El Mambo" by Perez Prado.

Notes from El Intruso:
Mambo's popularity and longevity has been blown out of proportion, for commercial reasons. It has been taken out of context since the book and the movie, "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love", and gave high hopes, to some dinosaurs, of a Mambo comeback.

The Mambo's Golden Age lasted at the most 5 years - from 1955 to circa 1960. That is really nothing compared with the decades after decades of dancing to Latin Music. The Fania All Stars (nobody was talking about Mambo during their time) were on a roll for almost 10 years.

The Mambo was only one of the musical expressions attracting NY born Latinos, yes mainly NY Puerto Ricans, or NuYorkricans. For those Latinos, the musical innovations of people like Chano Pozo, Mario Bauza, and Chico O'Farril, to mention a few, provided an outlet to express their biculturality.

And yet today, for a large group of Cultural Dancers the Mambo remains a very danceable fun dance in an evening of Social Dancing.

"Aquellos Ojos Verdes" by Placido Domingo

Pub's Side Note: In Hawaii, dance blogs are enabling hundreds of dancers to express their opinions with reduced political risk simply because of the sheer number of like-minded opinions online. Facing these independent voices, the old clique machines start to crumble.

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