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Folk Dance Federation of California, South, Inc.

Dancing Seems Faster
By Lou Pechi

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Lou Pechi logo Dances seem faster, as one gets older.

Just the other day while looking through one of my "nerdy" electronic design magazines, which by the way I still get free despite several cancellation notices sent over the last three years, when I came across an article titled "When One Plus One Has To Be Less Than One."

I will not bore you with the details, but the author stated that when testing an electronic device, adding additional testing steps makes sense only if the additional steps would result in less overall work.

Confusing! I am sure. But we "nerds" eat stuff like that for breakfast. Anyhow, not really understanding all this gibberish, except the words "steps," I thought, of course, about folk dancing.

The article made me realize that some folk dance teachers and choreographers in order to make dances interesting and challenging, keep adding different step patterns into a single dance. One or two patterns to a dance are okay, but six or seven? Give me a break! Who can remember them all, let alone the order they are supposed to be executed. Unless there is a leader, who calls out the required pattern, I can handle no more than two step patterns per dance.

Do the Macedonians, Greeks, or Bulgarians ever do those patterns in one dance? NO! They do only one pattern in a simple Lesnoto, Syrto, or Pravo, and they do the same steps as long as the music plays, which may be for hours. They get out of the circle, whenever they feel, have a drink of ouzo, rakija, slivovitz, or any other local gut-rot, maybe eat a few bites of roast lamb, talk to their friends, and eventually get back into the same dance circle, not having missed a beat.

We, on the other hand, mostly dance just the simple dances and usually sit out the complicated ones that change the dance patterns every few beats. In one evening, we might dance only half of the dances they play and as a result get less exercise than we would if did them all. Wouldn't it make more sense to split those six or seven different step patterns of the complicated dance into several separate simple dances? Not only would this make each dance simpler, but by doing one step pattern over and over, we would really learn the steps well. And when you dance more, you exercise more, and as a result loose more weight.

In other words, adding more simple dances means less fat.

Maybe the writer of "When One Plus One Has To Be Less Than One" had a point.

What do you think? Should I keep my subscription to Electronic Design longer, in order to get such good ideas for future articles?

Or maybe, after you have read this article, I should immediately cancel my subscription?

Used with permission of the author.
As appearing in "Dancing with Two Left Feet (48)," Folk Dance Scene.