News & Media

The Secret Science of Ballet… Fouetté Face-off

With a host of celebrities struggling with two left feet on Strictly Come Dancing, Your Life has decided to find out how it’s really done and how physics can help. Stars of Dance Mums, Tayluer Amos and Sam Dennis, go head-to-head in our ballet challenge. We’ll see how science helps achieve amazing physical feats…

1. Fouetté
A fouetté is one of the most difficult moves in ballet, where you spin continuously on the spot.

2. Swan Lake
In the final act of Swan Lake, the Black Swan completes an incredible 32 fouettés!

3. Torque
For a dancer to complete a fouetté they need to generate torque, a twisting force causing rotation. They do this by pushing off with their foot.

4. Resistance
Air resistance and friction will slow the dancer down. By lifting their foot up and down every few turns they generate more torque.

5. Kicks
Leg kicks keep their momentum going. The dancer can store momentum by extending the leg, which is then released when it is brought back in to the body.

Check out the video to see them compete and find out who wins!