Geoffrey Lee-Dadswell – From the National Ballet of Canada to Physics

The physics of dance (2)For CBU associate professor, Geoffrey Lee-Dadswell, ballet is something that was passed down to him by his mother.

After starting ballet at the age of eight, Geoffrey made his way to auditioning to the National Ballet School of Canada (NBS) and was accepted in grade six. A highly competitive atmosphere, Geoffrey spent three years at the NBS and discontinued his participation in grade nine, leaving because of troubles with his hip flexibility. “They told me I could graduate from the NBS and have a career in professional ballet, but my hip flexibility limited me from the soloist career I wanted to pursue.” says Geoffrey.

At the age of 15, after leaving the NBS, Geoffrey decided that he would pursue a career in science. “I was always interested in the sciences,” says Geoffrey. “It made sense to focus on science, I guess I was a weird kid to already have a well-developed idea of my future career when I was only 15.”

Now, an Associate Professor in the CBU Department of Math, Physics, and Geology, Geoffrey maintains his love for ballet by finding a connection between ballet and physics.

“There is a lot of very cool physics to think about in how our bodies move when we dance,” he adds. “Dance makes us do rather strange things with our bodies and the ability to do these odd things is easier to understand if you know the physics behind them.”

When asked what he enjoys most about teaching physics, Geoffrey answered “What’s not to love! Physics is about the innermost workings of the universe and it is mysterious, beautiful and powerful. Sharing that with students is pure joy!”

Geoffrey still teaches and participates in ballet, once giving drop-in ballet classes here on campus at CBU. It’s also not uncommon for Geoffrey to teach a “ballet intensive” workshop at a local dance school in the summer. “I enjoy ballet in that it is exercise and art the same time, says Geoffrey. “So teaching it, you are going back and forth between teaching students about the physical aspects and the emotional/express aspects.”

You can catch Geoffrey at Children’s University on February 9, 2016 where he’ll present, The Physics of Dance.