- a proposal for America’s space program during the current Administration -


These notes resulted from an interview of Whitney Herr-Buchholz of the University of Arizona (Tucson) School of Dance

Dance on the Moon could prove to be very interesting at quite different than dance on Earth. At one-sixth gravity, not only would existing dance steps be modified but entirely new dance moves could be created. In some sense the moves could be along the lines of what high divers to in that there would be more air time allowing for more complicated steps.

Within the UniHab there could be a specific room designed for performances whether dance, gymnasitcs, or music. The room could be shaped in such a way whereby trained performers could use the side walls and even the ceiling as part of their performances.

One could also have small wings allowing for additial float time and control surfaces. Certain things about the physical environment would be the same (e.g. momentum) while others would be different (e.g. vertical float time). Collaboration between space advocates and the local University could occur including:
   - An interdisciplinary, lunch-time meeting between faculty representatives from dance and physics to discuss what the possibilities are.
   - A dance, gymnastics, or physics student writing a paper what the possibilities are for dance in the lunar environment.
   - Systematically modifying and developing dance steps in one of the analogous environments.
   - A gymnastics or dance student developing and performing a routine in which about 5/6ths of their weight was being suspended.
Because students pass through school in a limited amount of time, these different collaborations would likely be done by different students. Developing a routine in the simulated environments might be difficult for a student to do because their training would be in steps in the Earth environment setting and certain environments (especially the indoor skydiving) could take a lot of time and expense before achieving a level of performance competence. Also, the University of Arizona School of Dance does not have the tether hardware so there would have to be a real committment to develop this capability.

There are some Earth-based analogous environments in which these new dance steps could be developed including:

Indoor skydiving
Bungee cords

Although the School of Dance has a costume room, cool space suit costumes would probably best be developed in collaboration with the School of Theater, Film, and TV.

The University of Arizona (Tucson) offers a bachelors and masters in fine arts. Students have to both design and perform their own thesis performances before they graduates. Perhaps there is a simulator program that could be tweaked so as to simulate 1/6th gravity and the moves of a dancer. In this way a routine could be coreographed without needing the physical equipment.

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