Ronda and Emergence

Emergence is what happens when a whole is greater than the sum of its part.

An example of emergence is a good improv comedy scene. Everything improv players do or say is improvised, but when they connect well among themselves and respond well to what goes on at each moment, magically, the scene begins to assume a life and will of its own and begins to unfold naturally and effortlessly. The improv players are short-sighted in that they focus on what to do and say at the very next moment, but through this short-sighted connectedness, the big picture of the scene is gradually revealed as if the big picture was designed in the first place. It is an awe-inspiring experience.

A good ronda is like that. When the dancing couples on the floor are connected well among themselves, examples of which include responding to one another to avoid collision and to catch up to the speed of the couple in front of them, the ronda begins to assume a life of its own with specific characters including its speed of rotation.

When the people on the floor are not connected to each other – when they are busy with their own dancing and do not pay attention to other couples on the floor – the ronda is absent or weak, and there is nothing on the floor, in terms of ronda. People on the floor feel as if they were thrown into a chaotic environment, for them to survive on their own. However, when the couples on the floor pay attention to one another while connecting to the music, a certain form and manner of the collective body of dancing couples on the floor begins to appear. This is the emergence of a ronda. When the ronda becomes strong enough, the people in it begin to feel that they are a part of something greater than them. Then, the ronda acts as a guide for them, and the fact that they are dancing in it gives pleasure to the people in it.