Choreographers sometimes refer to dance studios, where their creative magic happens, as "labs." Now, thanks to David Odde, a biomedical engineer at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and Carl Flink, director of Black Label Movement and head of the university's theater and dance department, there is literally such a thing as a dance laboratory.
As a non-sciencey person, I might butcher this explanation, so be sure to read the detailed version here. But long story short(er): Odde wanted a way to illustrate how molecules bump into each other as they move around within a cell. He and Flink thought they might be able to use dancers to do just that. It took them a bit of experimenting to work out the logistics—bumping into another person hurts, after all, and various forms of padding, including sumo wrestler suits (!), were investigated before they figured out a non-padded, movement-based solution. (The dancers learned to spread the impact over as large an area of their bodies as possible, lessening the ouch factor.)
The result was apparently pretty great—great enough that Odde began using the dancers to test out various scientific hypotheses. Forget brainstorming: This is bodystorming.
Nifty, right? And the dance experiments look cool, too. So cool, in fact, that Flink was inspired to choreograph a dance, HIT, based on movements from the project. Check it out:
We've said it before and we'll say it again: New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns is some SERIOUS #goals. Her strength and power onstage borders on superhuman. But what's extra magical about Mearns is that she really puts in the fitness and cross-training work outside of the rehearsal studio. And she's overcome her fair share of injuries. Which is why she was the perfect source for Vogue's latest ballet fitness story.
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In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.