You know you’re working your butt off every time onstage, whether you’re popping out of the wings for a quick run of Hot Chocolate in The Nutcracker, or if you have an entire 2.5-hour show to get through. But how hard are you actually — scientifically — working?
That’s what ESPN’s Sport Science set out to explore with its latest collaboration — featuring Broadway’s The Lion King!
ESPN enlisted ensemble member India Bolds to show just how much stamina and endurance it takes to get through a 2.5-hour run of the show — during which she portrays nine different characters (lioness and hyena and gazelle, oh my!) and rocks 14 costume changes. The crew hooked Bolds up with a wireless sensor that measured her breathing, heart rate, and movement to analyze her athleticism during the show.
She’s working pretty darn hard! (No surprise there, of course.)
Throughout the show, Bolds averages a heart rate of 125 beats per minute, peaking at 192. Her breathing rate peaks at 40 breaths per minute — proving that the aerobic capacity of dancers is on par with that of elite soccer players! Factor in the fact that the show is a musical — singing and dancing, NBD — and her endurance skyrockets.
Oh, and no need to count steps: Bolds travels a whopping 2.68 miles over the course of the show. That’s more than NBA point guard Steph Curry travels during a single game!
Consider this #proof that dancers are, in fact, all-star athletes. (We knew that already, of course — but it’s nice to have science on our side!)
Check it out!