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The Essence of Dance by Samantha Lynn Birk

Multiple Image - Contrived Category

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School: Oceanside High School

Teacher: Mr. Sheinkopf

The photograph illustrates motion, which brings Physics in immediately for a variety of reasons. For instance, Newton's first Law of Motion, an object in motion will stay in motion and an object in rest will stay in rest unless acted upon by outside force, can be applied to dance. Once in motion, the dancer will remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force, which in the case that you gain too much momentum will typically be the floor. Moreover, in regards to force in general, balance is a key component to dancing. There are forces acting on a balanced dancer, as on all objects. These forces include the force of gravity pulling down on the dancer and the force of the floor pushing back up on the dancer, acting at the dancer's feet. These forces balance each other out and allow for the dancer to maintain their balance. In this photo, I am spinning in a circle, and the forces of gravity and the grass pushing up are balanced in order to allow me to stay straight up. In cases when balancing is more difficult, such as balancing on one foot, dancers pull their arms in, therefore reducing the radius of motion, which increases the centripetal acceleration and forces as seen in the photograph.

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