Multitasking on the dance floor


Multitasking is used to describe daily life today.  Texting, voice mails, emails, tweets, and phone calls are grabbing everyone’s attention.  The gadgets at hand have taken control of daily life.

Multitasking is a term invented for technology, but now people are trying multitasking.  It seems that normal life today is about doing several things at once because there isn’t enough time.  People are always on the go.  Do more is their motto.

Researchers say that multitasking by humans is a myth.  We aren’t as good as we think we are at doing several things at once.  Technology allows people to do more tasks at the same time, but it’s a myth that humans can do several things simultaneously.  We switch our attention from task to task very quickly.  We simply can’t focus on more than one thing at a time.  Try writing an email and talking on the phone at the same time — it’s impossible to focus on one while doing the other.

This brings me to people dancing tango on a crowded floor at a milonga while carrying on a conversation.  They must believe they’re good at multitasking.  They’re constantly switching between dancing and talking.  They don’t give their full attention to the music or others around them. They’re dancing to have a conversation.  They are oblivious when they bump or kick others.

The milonga is where we put aside all the distractions of life and focus on the present moment with a partner.  No multitasking allowed.


2 Responses to “Multitasking on the dance floor”

  1. John Says:

    C’mon Jan. Aren’t you being a bit harsh on us guys multitasking. Jay Rabe (Portland) says, “Imagine telling a beginner man he has to learn to find the rhythm of the music, watch out for navigational hazards on the dance floor, develop a strategy on the spot for dealing with them choosing from a repertoire of movements he has learned, then lead the woman to move in the intended direction with the intended speed while maintaining the connection, and then… He has to follow the woman’s response to his lead to determine the next move (within a millisecond, after all, this is not chess), and take responsibility for whatever goes wrong. And we wonder why there aren’t enough men in tango? Yet the surviving men keep trying. It must be that the rewards of tango are greater than its obstacles”.

    How could we possibly talk and do all this at the same time?

  2. jantango Says:

    I see your point, John. Carrying on a conversation while dancing is impossible for foreigners, but somehow Argentines manage.

    During the World Cup soccer matches this month, the milongueros in Lo de Celia will be multitasking. They’ll be able to watch the games while dancing in the milonga. Here is a video of the milonga during the Sunday match.

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