Sunday, March 15, 2015

Waltz, American Style

Waltz Style: American Smooth (Ballroom) is very prominent as social dancing in West Oahu. Waltz music is some of the best music ever written. Slow ballads or instrumental music in 3/4 time. Tempo is 84 - 96 beats per minute and the basic rhythm is 1,2,3 1,2,3 (strong accent on 1.) Can't beat that.

 "We should decide how we have to act now. We are responsible for what we are
and what we wish ourselves to be. We have the power to make ourselves."

Waltz is a smooth progressive dance characterized by long, flowing movements, continuous turns, and rise & fall. Graceful and elegant, Waltz dancers glide around the floor almost effortlessly. The American style is punctuated with lavish open movements, underarm turns, and solo spins. At 28-30 measures per minute, the tempo is slow at best, but the expressive quality of the music often invites very powerful and dynamic movement from dancers.

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner

The Interest in social dance in the West is rising, slowly but surely. Fortunately there are clubs already taking advantage of the fact. Kalealoa section seems to have the most promising future, but Honokai Hale is not far behind. But it stand to reason, people avoiding the Rail Disaster with all its bad effects on the freeways.The Bars and Lounges are looking more into live music and from there they just need a dance floor.

That is all it takes to make it a Night Club. Of course, many floors will be too small. If you cannot dance American Waltz at the Bronze level comfortably, it is too small. Night Clubs still think in terms of the last century and club income is based on the sale of booze. They cannot sell anything else. On the mainland many sell food and other non alcoholic drinks to derive additional income.

From the Blue Book, for the men: Step back before guiding the woman under. Keep your free hand at waist level. Snap your fingers and hold your hand in that position. Don’t allow the “claw” or "gunslinger” look to develop. Keep your thumb positioned on top. When entering the Under Arm Turn, keep your elbow down and go under the bend of your own wrist.

And for ladies: Retract your elbow and hand of your free arm in toward your own body as you go around in the turn. Your free left hand should be kept at chest level with your fingers gently pretty well set. Put your middle finger and your thumb together. Next, spread them apart about an inch. That's it.