The answer may surprise you. Not only do dancers have to jump, land, twist and stretch, but they have to appear elegant and effortless at the same time.
Engineers such as Dr James Shippen know a great deal about loads in structures. Thinking of a dancer’s body as very complicated structure has led to has enabled engineers such as him to solve some of the demanding biomechanical problems that dancers present.
Dr Shippen is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer with industrial experience in the medical, automotive, defence and aerospace industries. He is currently employed in the Industrial Design department at Coventry University where he researches mathematical modelling and stimulation of biomechanics and develops analysis code to solve biomechanical problems.