Entanglement Tango? pt. 1

The gift of science often is not in telling us something new but confirming what we already know. And then giving a fancy name to it. Case in point... 

Quantum Entanglement.* (read below for a definition)

This is the latest scientific rage, telling us what we already know about connection but adding some precision to our awareness. And a fancy name. Hence ...  


… Entanglement Tango?


Let’s take that to the dance floor:

Dance partners can exchange information instantaneously and completely bypass the cumbersome physical processes of I move - you move, I lead - you follow that we initially learn with our dance.

Does this happen? Absolutely.  Often.


Take screw-ups, for example. Not normal screw-ups. Most screw-ups are easily identified as someone’s fault: missing a lead, missing the beat, tripping over an extended foot, etc.

But there is a particular type of mistake that can only be adequately explained by Quantum Entanglement. Let me describe:

Our dance is going very smoothly, very connected. Then my mind wanders for a fraction of a second. I get distracted, I lose focus or feeling. Instantaneously, before my brain fart has time to translate into a screwed up lead, my partner falters and we stumble together. We then immediately break into an antiphonal stream of apologies, each claiming responsibility for the misstep.  

Whose fault is it? Impossible to say and irrelevant. The disruption happened to both of us simultaneously before there was opportunity for either of us to assume responsibility.  

Entanglement. Or as Nita Little, a pioneer in Contact Improvisation, calls it - communing: We participate in a shared reality, experienced and communicated simultaneously.

Of course, this experience of entanglement or engagement, attunement, communion, or shared reality, is not primarily about screw-ups.

It is experienced regularly as the flow of the dance:

When both my partner and I are attuned or entangled with each other I never cease to be amazed how we are able to internalize each other’s sense of timing. When I stretch a beat or skip it altogether my partner is right there with me, actually anticipating my movement before I am even consciously intending anything. This is no simply lead and follow routine. This is complete synchronization, synergy, communion, attunement, entanglement.


Two questions:

- Why is this a big deal? 

- How do we support such an attachment or cultivate such a shared reality?

Stay with me for pt.2 where I try to answer questions you maybe never thought to ask. 


*Quantum entanglement basically states that when two bodies (we are talking really small bodies - bits of atoms) become entangled, they share the same reality, even if separated spatially. Whatever happens to one, happens to the other, instantly, without the normal delays caused by Time and Space. (Believe me, this has Einstein turning in his grave.) Obviously, when we are talking about dance we are talking about really large bodies, i.e., people, so when we relate the findings of science to human activity scientists caution us to speak more metaphorically rather than literally..