Why Dancing With Just A Few Steps Does Better

When we dance, a step we do at a moment comes from our active memory at that time – the memory area that are readily available without “thinking”. While dancing, we don’t have time for digging our archival memory (for example, to find the best step for the next beat from a library of 100 steps).

Active memory has limited capacity – a popular notion was that it can contain about 7 elements. The capacity of one’s active memory is the limit of his/her dancing vocabulary that he/she can employ without breaking the natural state of dancing. Trying larger vocabulary means that he/she goes into his/hear head losing the touch with the outside (partner, music, and ronda). Updating the active memory also requires the time for going into his/her head.

When someone goes into his/her head to choose what to do while dancing, he/she is now busy digging the archive of steps and possibilities in his/her mind. Thus, he/she becomes blind to what is going on in his/her partner, the music, and the ronda and cannot respond to them properly. Also, dancing flows from emotion/inspiration to active memory to body, and while this mind digging is happening, one’s focus is not taking care of this flow. Thus, his/her dancing becomes lifeless.

Having just a few favorite things to do while dancing and keeping the emotion-active memory-body flow going is better than trying to do many things at the expense of responsiveness and naturalness.