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:

Latest Posts

Because you know you've always wondered... (Getty Images)

Sounding Off: Here's What Your Favorite Musicians Think of Dance Routines Set to Their Songs

In the competition world, a small group of musicians has attained almost cultlike status, with choreographers turning to their tracks over and over. We know how we feel about these bangers—there's a reason we can't stop dancing to them—but how do the musicians feel about us? We caught up with three contemporary artists whose music has dominated the competition scene recently, and gauged their reactions to the dances set to their life's work.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
King Kong on Broadway (Joan Marcus, courtesy Bonneau/Brian-Brown)

Follow the Path of a Broadway Musical from Concept to Opening Night

The curtain rises, the crowd goes wild, and the bright lights of Broadway shine down as you make your debut on opening night…it's every Broadway baby's dream. But you may be surprised to learn that a show's journey to the Great White Way can be months, or even years, in the making. How does a production go from concept to curtain call? We spoke to industry veterans about what happens at every stage.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Jordan Fisher (center) in a dance scene from Work It (Brendan Adam-Zwelling/Netflix)

Here's Why Jordan Fisher Thinks You Should Be Excited for Netflix's New Dance Film, "Work It"

If you're looking for a sign that 2020 might *just* be turning around, look no further than Netflix's new dance-centric film Work It. The movie comes out this Friday, August 7, and the hype is real. ICYMI, the film follows high school senior Quinn Ackerman, played by none other than Sabrina Carpenter, as she attempts to lead her dance team to a competition win in order to bolster her chances of being admitted to the college of her dreams. One small challenge: Quinn isn't a dancer.

Enter Jordan Fisher as Jake Taylor, a talented-but-troubled choreographer and dancer, to help Quinn lead the team. We had the chance to speak with Fisher about his experience on set, and why Work It just might be the dance movie we've all been waiting for.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search