Scene on Campus

Bodies in motion

Dance and physics in the same classroom.

Last fall, 22 students gathered for nearly two hours twice a week in a dance studio on Elm Street for a new interdisciplinary course, The Physics of Dance. During each session, students explored the relationship between physics and dance through lectures and studio practice. The course was led by Emily Coates ’06, ’11MA—a theater studies lecturer and former New York City Ballet dancer—and Assistant Professor of Physics Sarah Demers.

The class pushes students to think about the physics concepts behind dance—force, torque, and center of mass, for example. And those concepts become ever more concrete during dance exercises, such as when class members try to lift each other off the ground. “We get to the point where you can really talk about physics in real life,” says Demers. “You can’t escape it here.” 

Christopher Capozziello

Christopher Capozziello

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