Tuesday, January 29, 2013

First Competition

Souvenirs of a First Dance Competition
by Heather Diodati

There I was, knees quaking with anticipation, hardly noticing my partner, whose knees were equally quivering.

"We dance for laughter, we dance for tears,
we dance for madness, we dance for fears,
we dance for hopes, we dance for screams,
we are the dancers, we create the dreams."

Just moments before, our category of the competition was called early; a well-planned surprise attack by the organizers, I'm sure. My partner, figuring he had a couple of hours before being called up onto the ballroom dance floor, had drifted out into the hallway of the classy hotel to drool over the concessionaires' many items for dance fanatics.

"Novice Latin!" the announcer exclaimed. I whipped my head around to look at him in disbelief. Cold beads of perspiration dotted my forehead as I listened to the numbers of the couples being called up to the dance floor. "#143!" the announcer bellowed.

"Frenesi" - Artie Shaw

In shock I sprang to my feet, my partner nowhere in site. Finally, after a few seconds which felt like centuries, my partner raced in to join me. I uttered a sigh of relief but that still didn't quell the flurry of butterfly wings in my stomach. I'm sure my eyes were as large as the taillights of the latest Alero! (as a matter-of-fact they were as shown in photos taken by a wandering photographer hoping to profit from the numerous couples dancing that day.)

 And now, feeling like specimens beneath a magnifying glass under the scrutiny of the dance judges strategically positioned around the ballroom floor, here we were, about to embark upon our first ballroom dance competition experience, dazed and shocked at actually being on a competition floor. The myriad of watchful eyes surrounded us from the crowd of people consisting of family members of the competitors, friends, general public, the competitors themselves waiting to be called or just biding their time in hopes of a callback or a win.

"That's My Desire" - Frankie Laine

"Cha Cha!" called the announcer. "Cha Cha? What's a Cha Cha???" the thought passed through my dazed brain. The beat of the Cha Cha permeated through the ballroom as my partner thankfully led me through the dance without a stumble or without me passing out from sheer terror.

With cold, clammy hands we moved from one dance step to another, desperately scanning our memory banks for clues to the routines we had practiced for the last few months in preparation for our very first dance competition. "Oh God, please let this be over soon!" conveyed my subconscious. Finally, after about a minute and a half, the disk jockey ended the Cha Cha and the competitors scattered to find the perfect positioning on the ballroom floor for the next dance to be called.

"And now the Rumba - dancers please take your positions" bellowed the announcer. We waited tensely for that first beat; I glanced nervously around and couldn't help wondering if the other couples felt as stressed as we did. As my partner and I took our first Rumba step I had the strangest feeling come over me - a sense of pride at actually being a good-enough dancer to participate in a ballroom dance competition.

"Maria Elena" - Jimmy Dorsey

We completed the Rumba and as we drifted off the dance floor to take our seats, my partner and I glanced at each other. In a fleeting moment I felt his elation; I knew that whether we won or not, we still had accomplished something that many dance couples never experience in their lifetimes, and from that moment on we would never again experience the fear of the unknown as we stepped out onto the competition dance floor.

"It is just as easy to give good advice to yourself as
well as to others - and quite as useless."

Pub's Side Note: To see the slide show in Dancing in the Dark. You must double click the icon. Then when the entire photos appear, you must click "slideshow" in the upper left hand side. Used to be easier than this before they got the fancy programmers.

 
 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Salsa Competition

Salsa Competitions By German Acevedo,
Mr. Salsa 411 in Los Angeles

I have nothing against the public giving their opinions, the competitors put their stuff out there for people to see, and opinions will be like noses (everyone's got one.) Here's yet another one, my own. I'm really bugged by the competitors themselves (and their team members) complaining about the results and complaining about one another.

"You can't have any successes unless you can accept failure."

Salsa dancing is supposed to be fun, or am I wrong? And a good percentage of these competitors don't appear to be having fun. Not for the ones that hear it (or read it,) not for the ones that it effects and not for the ones that say it.

It is my opinion that only those who can handle the heat without getting ugly should stay in the world of competition. Those who can not, should stay out. Somebody should put a job description pamphlet together to be given to all those considering to join the world of competition.

"Moliendo Café" por Azucar Moreno

This job description should state that if someone puts his/her work out there, he/she should expect to get frank feedback from the public, should expect to lose many times before winning, should expect things to go wrong and should be able to take all in a dignified manner, without whining like a cry-baby and without opting to act like a politician by talking the public against their competition. The job description should encourage those not able to do the above, to reconsider their wishes. Have only the tough ones and the real sports compete, eliminate all the drama and all tears!


For those that realize that they are actually too sensitive to compete, yet know that having people look at them is a must, the job description could give them another option. The world of performing. It could go on to explain that in the world of performance, they would show off how wonderful they are, turn and flip and have others clap at them in awe, get their minute in the sun and only have the pressure to be the best they can be without having to be better than the next.

"Devuelveme Mi Corazon" por Patricia Gamero

It should alert to them that there will be occasions when things go wrong and the possibility of a crowd laughing at them exists. If they can take the potential laughing, they should be fine in this group. No criticizing of the other fellow performance teams would be allowed, in fear that it will dub the behavior exhibited by any bad competitor.


Maybe a pamphlet like that would downsize the amount of drama in the Salsa world? Maybe more people would realize that they got into Salsa to have fun to begin with? Maybe there will be more chance for social dancing and more friendly attitudes, the way it was supposed to be?
I know that some can compete without getting ugly. It's just a matter of everyone recognizing their own limitations. I say those that can keep it real, please go on! Those that take it so damn personally, please don't!

I want to dance in a pimple free Salsa World!  *  *  *  *

Pub's Side Note: Blog comp. I thought Da Blogosphere would be down to less than 19 per day. It dropped from 29 to 21 and then went up to 23. Surprised. Then I thought Dancing in the Dark would be going good by now and have at least 25 but actually averaging only 6 hits per day. Yes, I am overly diluted in the readership. Gotta play it by ear.




 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Blogosphere Morfs

We are progressing, slowly but surely. I expected this blog to keep going down in hits as I catered to Dancing in the Dark and helped it grow. And it did come down from 29 hits per day to about 21. It then has surprised me and bounced back up to 23. And this is a week end, it should have gone down even farther. If it stays above 20, I will probably change the venue and the name, keep it and let it go as it wishes.

"One can fail forward toward success."

Meanwhile I have been receiving some feedback on the annual "trophy." What trophy? It seems to be for the best. The best what? Man or woman or one for male and one for female? How about couples since we are talking partner dancing? I certainly don't know so I can't say. But more questions are emerging, they always do, and we will get opinions.

"Somewhere Out There" by Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram

It was first mentioned last year when there were definite indications that the Dance Pavilion would be built at the Patsy Mink Recreation Park in Waipio. And the scuttlebutt continues, but? The issue is growing in doubt, because of the Rail. Gotta pay for the Rail and the original estimates for the costs on the Rail were 5 billion, and now increasing daily as the Unions and Caldwell figure how to get more money out of it. Could get to ten billion. For sure the entire state will have to help pay for that fiasco. The city government can never afford even half of that.

Blogger's Law #35c: Some errors will go unnoticed
until after you hit the publish button.

Then there is issue of restricting it to American Style of Dance. The Internationals have rules of their own, where they can dance and the places where they dance must follow the rules of the World Dance Council. We are not going to do it their way. We are going to do it our way, and that means leaving the Internationals to their own and they are very well off in that department. They have their own kuleana and we shouldn't interfere.

"Keep Your Hands To Yourself" by Georgia Satellites
 
And we certainly cannot plan on awarding a trophy without getting plenty of feedback on the many questions that will arise in our dance world. We should make that world as big as possible to include as many as possible without disturbing those that have made it plain that they cannot or do not wish to be a part of our endeavors.

By the end of this year we may know if the rail can be stopped, the salvation of many of us in the entire Hawaiian chain. If so we may get the right buses, and public may be able to get off their cars and onto public transportation without being forced to it. The way they have it planned for the rail now by eliminating many buses that are doing good.

  "Swinging On A Star" - Bing Crosby

As much as we continue to promote social dancing we must also recognize "competition" dancing, but for the West we can make our own rules. We could make it only American with very loose rules so that it would resemble our cultural dance. Paso Doble, Quickstep and Viennese Waltz would automatically be out.

Perhaps even Bolero could be left out. It was originally made up by American Style Dance Teachers. It was the money, Sonny. But we see bolero danced only in exhibitions which is just fine, but not to be included as part of our culture. The International Style already rules the roost where they are in town and we accept that they are too good for us. So let us respect their positions and give our people a chance.



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Progress

It is coming more evident that with all the blogs I have definitely diluted the present readership. I could be patient and wait because the total hits on all of them, though slowed, continues to increase. But no, I will make the changes now.

"The true meaning of life is to plant trees,
under whose shade you do not expect to sit."

And this is mostly blogging by myself. When we get some Guest Authors, wow! The hits will go through the stratosphere. And I can safely make Town Dancer into the first independent blog as Social Media. If I do it right, I can get rid of all the best before I go. I expect to keep Dancing in the Dark until the end.

"A Woman, A Lover, A Friend" - Jackie Wilson

By the end of this month, I will know what to do with Da Blogosphere. I may even change the name. Suggestions as per usual will be welcomed. It may just convert into a big communications board for posting posters from the different dance organizations. Perhaps in the letter size proportions and later reduced to the side bar of 260 or 300 pixels wide.


The information and photo contributors will still be welcomed with open arms and if they wish their contributions to go into other blogs, they can pick the ones they want. These are the most important people that we need at the moment. The reader/dancers always, but the information and photos contributors are what make reader/dancers.

Pub's Side Note; Ordinary Communication Media. To whom it may concern, one way, newsletters, email flyers, web sites. They do their job. Just ain't da reel teeng. Social Media. Comments have been temporarily closed due to Spam comments coming in now. Town Dancer has been reopened, may be clear for now.





Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Proper Terminology

It was been firmly established from last years blogs, that the entire dance structure on this Island is misunderstood by the various factions in it. Each in their own little niche thinks that they dance, which may be true. The sad part is when they see any one from what they consider a different group moving to music, "they" decide that the other party does not know what dancing is all about. He, He, He.  Dumb Dodos.

"It’s not whether you get knocked down,
it’s whether you get up again."

An awful lot of Club dancers don't even know what an International dancer is, but "they" can judge. They sometimes accuse us of being International dancers. At the same time that the Internationals are referring to us as "junk dancers." Ha, we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Fortunately there are a helluva lot more of us than "da bodah dem."


Honolulu Dance Guide has stated their intent on avoiding the International groups which is just fine with us, they have a perfect right to that. However, to lump us in with the Internationals is not the right thing to do, specially because we are "cultural dancers" and proud of it. And if they don't wish to be a part of us, they have the perfect right to do that too. And they have really racked up the average hits per day so they have an awful lot of fans, putting them way ahead of Oahu And Beyond blog which used to be in second place.


So we have to do something to revive Oahu And Beyond and the new Guest Author will be the solution. One that will find the clubs that accept "cultural dancers." Gradually we are asserting our rights and will develop public (not private) social clubs for our kind of cultural dancing. The new nightclubs in the West will be the ones to set the precedents. A cover charge, fine, but the drinks will not carry the overhead. And since dancers, (any kine,) will get thirsty, then there will be an assortment of juices to choose from.


The Pau Hana dance will develop.  Like a Happy Hour but much less alcohol and more dancing, eating and socializing. We have the counters and that helps. We already have some of the best musicians on this Island living in the West. And we are developing the right DJs, for our kind of dance. Then because the quality of Latin Dance music is lacking, there may be a Latin Dance Palace in the future and in the West if the rail doesn't keep screwing it up. But we all know, it's the money, Sonny.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sliding Down Softly

This blog is going down in hits per day but ever so slowly which is nice. Dancing in the Dark is perking up a little, so that this one will still be used for a long time. It can be a helper for the other blogs until the time comes.

"Don't do something permanently stupid because you are temporarily upset."

And we are gradually establishing the fact that we are cultural dancers because it has been developing in our culture. The biggest misunderstanding among so many club dancers, that we are Internationals. And most of us know that it could not be farther from the truth. Patience.

The total blogosphere is moving up in hits from the beginning of the year as expected. Not much because of the transportation problem. But the city has to cannibalize the bus system for the rail. A messed up deal like I have never seen in my life. We are talking ten years. There is still an outside chance that the "Fiasco" can be stopped.
 

"We Three (My Echo, My Shadow, And Me)" by the Ink Spots

Town Dancer has regained its first place in the hit order and like all the other blogs, the Guest Author is crucial. One more Guest Author blogging twice per month will send the hits up to 300. Not many understand synergism. And it even affects our other blogs. We must be patient.


Oahu And Beyond is still to make regular contact with a neighbor island, but that will happen too. And Calvin does a good job on the overseas stuff. Richie needs some help in the Club Circuit. The Web sites on the neighbor islands are still very powerful, but there will be Blogging there. They had a nice one on Kauai, don't know what happened there.


Our five blogs on the bottom will remain in the twenties (hits per day) for a while. The new year and my accessibility to the functions will settle things. I expect Oahu - West to emerge from all the bottom ones, mainly because of the Kokua from Kapolei Chapter HBDA, and perhaps from the dance functions at Aliamanu Intermediate which will now be included in Oahu - West.


Dance Hawaii may help, but most are not very much interested in blogging,  so we must be patient there too. They have a Web site so that makes it doubly difficult. Who needs a Blog? We must be patient and the hits keep going up ever so slowly. The reader/dancers are there we just need a little more information and photo sharing to make this real Social Media.

Pub's Side Note: Blogs are more personal, direct and more current communication, They leave an opening for comments in each blog and they are receptive to more formal answers and opinions in the blog itself. The hits go through the ceiling. Real Social Media is much different than anything we have come across before.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Update

The entire enchilada is moving slowly but all in the right direction. Dancing in the Dark is beginning to get a few hits even though still not in the search engines. I am beginning to transfer over more steady functions to that blog. And one of the things that Web sites are good at, is the exhibition of photos.

"Yes, it was in the news, that brushing alone will not prevent cavities. There are
an awful lot of us that brush alone, what should we do? Get a companion?"

So I will probably have to set something up in Dancing in the Dark so that it need be updated only two or three times per month. The emphasis is to get blogs away from anything like Face book. At present they have 250 million photos uploaded daily.

Hey, let's get real. These are blogs and the text is very, very important, besides the fact that each group will represent a unique view.  I will have to define the best photos, which will be four to seven people and preferably not in a Peas in a Pod kind. We will go over that slowly. I have plenty of photos from the other blogs to make the initial test. We will be getting suggestions as we go along. The reader/dancers will decide. And I am willing to take the heat for the ones that I post.

"Ballerina" - Vaughn Monroe

This year we skipped the "Good People" part in the Oahu - West blog and no one complained so that we can hold off on that until we make some kind of set up in the Dancing in the Dark. Perhaps the photos of the special couple with a short Bio. Names, Resident location, length of dance experience. Clubs.


Then I will include occasional you tube videos with the terrific music that I enjoy to share with our fellow reader/dancers. Unfortunately for some it will be the goodies from my time. I will eventually put them on disk in digital format so that they can be copied to a computer and with some good speakers you can have the music and the show to play at your leisure.


So it is evolving that Dancing in the Dark will be more like a Web site and have less hits simply because it will not be up to date. It is taking time so that it may be a few months before I decide which one of the blogs will be deleted. Needless to say, the blog most indicated will take a new life with just one Guest Author. Experience has given me a little knowledge. Of course, someone may want a going blog and they could have it. I could always coach them on the process.






Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The New Look

Just a few days into the new year and things are already looking different according to my stats. And I am getting more confident in what they tell me. No one in the entire Pacific has the stats that I do. It is not that they can't, it is that they won't.

"Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events.
Small minds discuss people."

The Club Dancers astound me, there seems to be a lot more of them than I thought. Town Dancer had been the number one blog in hits from the very beginning with Oahu And Beyond in second place. Last year, Honolulu Dance Guide went back and forth with Oahu And Beyond and finally in December took over definitely as the number two blog.

This year it is now firmly number one ahead of Town Dancer. Of course, it has all depended on the Information and Photo Contributors for all the blogs. The importance of that factor has become quite simple. The Club Dancers are more willing to share with each other which makes for very good and interesting dance reading.

"Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy" - Red Foley

Two things holding our possible Guest Authors back. They think they must go for the Pulitzer in Journalism and the intensive commitment that they think is required. And we have gone over that a few times. NOT! Then most Web sites covering the clubs are two, three weeks behind. Whereas Honolulu Dance Guide is up to date. Big difference.


The nightclub remains about the same and the entire enchilada still hinges on the 20th century thinking of making it on the Bar tab. Not anymore. There are so many places on the Mainland now that have full featured juice bars. Dancers just naturally get thirsty, but in a Nightclub on Oahu, they insist you drink alcohol. What you may want is of no interest to them. It's the bread, Fred. And only from Alcoholic drinking. Auwe!

I went to one on New Year's Eve and paid nine dollars for a glass a little larger than thimble. And that afternoon I had purchased (on special) a 1.75 liter bottle of Bacardi for 19.95. Yeah, I like that? Of course, at the bar they had few buyers. I would suggest changing the prices to $20 a glass and bring the entire bar structure to a screeching halt.  So we lives and we learns.

Our Dancing Marches On.

Pub's Side Note: Through these blogs read the most informed cultural dancers in the Pacific.





Sunday, January 6, 2013

The New Year Is Shaping Up

It is taking a little while that the new blog Dancing in the Dark will have a new look. It will look more like a Web site and be converted into my own personal blog. Beating the bushes for all the other blogs and trying to get guest authors to make each blog an independent entity.

"Dancing can reveal all the mystery that music conceals." ~Charles Baudelaire

I have nice job ahead of me. The biggest difficulty is the deterioration of the bus system that at one time was one of the best. Standing up from Nanakuli to town is not the best way to go. I cannot travel as easily as I could before the City decided to punish the riders. But as they say in "Transportation" those are all ethnics (sub-humans.) But the unions, Caldwell and PRP have taken over. The real corruption begins and many are becoming aware of it.


Some of you have been steady readers for a long time. If you think I should add someone or something to the Dancing in the Dark blog, please send it in. Most anyone can get my email, I just cannot include it here because of the spam. This year will be very good when we get more people and their very valuable opinions in the blogs. I see no limit to the readership, throughout the Pacific Rim too. Our group gets larger every day and we welcome you all. Meanwhile, check out Oahu - West blog. Willy Dionisio sent in some nice photos and it turned out into a very nice blog with a Happy New Year for everyone.

Pub's Side Note: "Of the dancers, by the dancers and for the dancers" All the dancers? Of course not, they do not all want to be involved and we must respect.



Thursday, January 3, 2013

Interim, Pending

Our Guest Authors seem to know that the reader/dancers are interested in other things besides "strictly ballroom." And they are racking up the hits to prove it. Each blog is developing its own unique style which of course is what I have been in favor of from the very beginning. The reader/dancers are not interested in clones. With at least one Guest Author in each blog, wow, what a beautiful blogosphere, with so many different viewpoints and presentations.

"To know how to grow old is the master work of wisdom, and one of the most
difficult chapters in the great art of living."


Dancing in the Dark will now be my own personal blog.  The address will take
a while to be picked up by the search engines. Meanwhile, to access, you must
click the name in the side bar of anyone of our dance blogs.

In our blogs we do not have to do it exactly as anyone else does but we are all new to this game and we certainly can learn from each other. And why do we do it? For the reader/dancers. And that is difficult to believe by the Creative Researchers and Producers and the other group, the Rootzi Tootzis. But we have come a long ways and we are not going to stop now.

The Creative Researchers And Producers: "They will occasionally
stumble over the truth, but they usually manage to pick
themselves up, walk over or around it, and carry on."


In the couple of decades since the search engine was first invented, the field of Search Engine Optimization has evolved. For us some obsolete information and old wives' tales still persist, but do not really affect our small stuff. Just because a blog is small and local, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need to polish here and there to increase its readership.

 
Also an address change, click on name on side bar of any of other blogs.

Small blogs still have to do technical work, build links, provide good and relevant content, and demonstrate that they are know their way around their field. At a local level, blogs need links from other people and blogs in their same region. In addition, the content should be specific and localized.

"In Hawaii, sure there is such a thing as a free ride.
But you have to paddle out and catch it."