It's so simple to be wise.  Just think of something stupid to say, and then don't say it.     Sam Levenson (1911-1980)

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Fear of LImited Energy, Part 2

Last night I dropped in on a local dance class for the second week in a row (I'm on vacation in California). Like last week, the group was pretty clearly divided:

25% The junior high dancing set (girls who basically live in the dance studio and take ten classes a week in every modality, from ballet to hip-hop);

60% The late teen/early 20's set, who take dancing seriously but it's not necessarily their primary occupation;

15% The rest of us, i.e. women in our mid-30's who already have a life (husband, kids, career) and are squeezing this class into whatever free time and brain space we can find. (OK, so right now, on vacation, finding the time is less of an issue. The brain space, however...).

At the end of class, I casually asked the teacher if the entire class structure would be based on learning routines, since, as I put it, "some of us are a bit older, with a few kids, and we no longer have the brain space to simultaneously learn a routine and concentrate on perfecting our steps."

Last week, three of us were eyeing each other throughout the class, sweating and half-smiling while desperately trying to keep up with the routine, as the instructor piled one move on top of the next. This week, before we even walked in the studio door, we stopped to exchange greetings and mutual support.

One, a mother and physician of internal medicine, put it to me: Between work, kids, and everything else, don't you feel like you can barely fit it all in? These kids in the class, they don't do all of that; they have plenty of brain space left for this.

I smiled in agreement. When we're learning a routine, I told her, I just can't remember what comes next. It's as though I've lost the ability to move the information from one side of my brain to the other. We entered the class together with another 30-something, our newly-formed comraderie boosting our spirits, and our efforts.

I think it worked -- we all seemed to remember the steps much better than last week. Of course, by the time I'd gotten home half an hour later, all was forgotten. Oh well... 'til next week.

(Anyone else out there feel you're losing brain cells as time goes by?)

Keep the balance,



muse said...

Brain cells? What brain?
Actually, if it's the same music every time, your body picks it up more easily.
When I learned/taught Israeli folk dance, we'd sing the steps instead of the song's words. Sure helps.

A Living Nadneyda said...

Actually, we only work on a routine for two weeks, then we switch. And we don't know what the music is going to be until we start learning the routine. So we don't have a lot of time to get used to it. But generally speaking, you're right. Practice also helps, but for that you have to be able to remember the steps in the first place.... acck.