Just for fun
The multitalented Merritt Moore (photo by James Glader, courtesy Moore)

For the past decade, Merritt Moore has been living a double life as both a professional ballerina and a quantum physicist. While dancing with Zurich Ballet and Boston Ballet, she received her undergrad degree from Harvard in physics, and she's currently pursuing a PhD in quantum physics at Oxford while performing with English National Ballet and London Contemporary Ballet.

Now, Moore is hoping to add another ball to her juggling act: becoming an astronaut. She's one of 12 contestants competing on the BBC reality show " Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?" For six weeks, Moore and her competitors face a series of demanding physical and psychological challenges to see if they're astronaut material. (Show mentor Chris Hadfield, former Commander of the International Space Station, will recommend the winner to space agencies recruiting for astronauts.) Even in a cast of extremely accomplished people—the contestants include a military pilot, a surgeon, and a dentist who has summited Mount EverestMoore's unusual combination of skills stands out.

We leveled with the renaissance woman about how she's managed to pursue all her different passions.

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Fouettés are mysterious. When they're on, they create a practically transcendental relationship between gravity and alignment, making everything feel effortless. But when they're off, they're way off. It can feel like you don't know how to stand up, let alone turn.

There are a million different aspects of your technique to keep in mind, and even more ways to visualize a successful fouetté sequence. But when was the last time you considered the science behind the step?

This TEDx talk gets into the nitty-gritty of force, momentum and torque, explaining how your plié, legs and arms work together to sustain the turn. Sure, the narrator gives a cringe-worthy pronunciation of fouetté, but the clear explanation of angular momentum might be just what you need to pull in for that triple.

Check it out below!

 

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