I confess I’m a bit like a four year old—easily distracted by shiny objects, other people’s conversations, anything moving, computer screens, and television shows. Many years ago (too many to mention) some friends were trying to teach me to play Bridge. Now numbers are not exactly my strong suit to start with, but that was only part of the problem. You see, we played in a room with a television that was always on, and I’m quite sure at the end of the evening I could have told you more about the TV shows that were playing than the cards that were played. The odd thing is that my partner and I won fairly often, but it was usually because we underbid our hands–I figured I didn’t have a chance of making the bid I should make so. . . . I assure you it was NOT because I learned the finer points of the game. Like strategy? Or counting cards? Were they kidding? I could barely keep up with how many trumps I had–how was I supposed to keep track of everyone else’s?
When I started dance lessons, I quickly discovered that the ballroom is a hotbed of distractions. First of all there are LOTS of shiny things. In addition, although there aren’t any TV shows, there are multiple lessons going on at the same time in the same space (any of you remember the “open” concept in schools back in the uh, well, a while ago?–it’s exactly like that). This means that there are multiple conversations (well, instructions is more accurate) going on. There are people moving at different speeds in different directions and half of them have no idea what they’re doing. AND, get this, the music that is playing may have absolutely nothing to do with the dance you’re learning. I know–crazy, huh?
The first time my teacher asked me to do a cha cha step while a rumba was playing, I looked at him like he’d lost his mind. After all, he was always telling me to listen to the music. Then he wants me to do one dance while music for another dance is playing? I can assure you it wasn’t my finest hour, but that was almost 12 years ago, and I keep coming back for more.
These days I hardly ever notice what music is playing, I mean, I’m hardly ever distracted by other people’s music.