Adeene Denton giving her TedX talk, "Netflix and Chill at 0 Kelvin". TedXProvidence, Courtesy Denton

Love Dance and Science? Adeene Denton on How They Can Work Together

Choreographer and dancer Adeene Denton, who's pursuing a PhD in planetary geology at Purdue University, shares how her interests in dance and science complement one another.


Find parallels

Dance and science may seem to live in two polar spheres, but they have one crucial similarity. "At their core, the arts and sciences are tools for trying to understand the universe," Denton says. "Both look at the same problem of what it is to be alive."

Find time

Once she began graduate school, Denton thought that at some point, she would stop dancing. "But I just kept finding ways to do both." All of her choreographic work has had ties to her scientific research. "I became a much better dancer and choreographer when I was able to stop apologizing for the diversity of my interests," says Denton.

Find new perspectives

The possibilities are infinite when it comes to cross-collaboration. Last summer, Denton participated in Doug Varone's DEVICES, a choreographic workshop and mentorship program, where she created a solo based on her relationship to space exploration. It coincided with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. "As a dancer and a scientist, I try to push the boundaries of my own creativity," she says.

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Martha Nichols' Skyrocketing Career Almost Never Happened

Since placing in the Top 10 on "So You Think You Can Dance" in 2006, Martha Nichols' career has been steadily on the rise: She spent two years dancing with Cirque du Soleil, has toured with the likes of Rihanna and Madonna, and has appeared in films like La La Land, The Greatest Showman and, soon, In the Heights.

But it just as easily could have never happened.

"I actually did not want to audition for 'SYTYCD,' " she says with a laugh. "My mother had passed 10 days after I graduated high school, and so I stopped dancing. We were watching the show, and my adopted dad kept saying, 'Hey, you should do this.' " Nichols finally gave it a shot, and the rest is history.

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