Harvard students aren’t really known for dancing. And dancers aren’t really known for physics. Except for one: Merritt A. Moore ’10.
This year, Moore took a year off from Einstein and relativity to focus on a different kind of motion: ballet. Currently on the Swiss stage with the Zurich Ballet Company, the physics concentrator began dancing at the age of 13 in Southern California. She practiced ballet throughout high school and performed with the Harvard Ballet Company on campus.
Moore’s partner in many HBC dances has been Kevin Shee ’10. “[Merrit’s] pretty much one of the most fun people I’ve ever known—quirky, and everything awesome,” says Shee.
So when vacation rolled around last year, Moore didn’t follow the age-old tradition of going home, watching television, and eating leftovers from the previous break. Instead, from Thanksgiving through spring break, she traveled to Europe to audition for ballet companies.
Having now joined the ZBC ranks, she faces the struggles that come with the position. “So far the experience has been frankly brutal and somewhat like fighting a war on several fronts...my feet look like raw hamburger...at the end my brain felt like cooked hamburger,” says Moore.
Processed beef metaphors aside, she toured with the company in Shanghai. In retrospect, says Moore, “Sacrificing my feet has been worth it.”
For some students, globe-trotting and rehearsing forty hours each week might take up all their energy. But not Moore. In addition to honing her talents as a dancer, she is honing her knowledge as a physics student by attending lectures at the University of Zurich.
Elizabeth W. Bergmann, Dance Director for the Office of the Arts at Harvard, says of Moore, “You know the ‘it’ thing others talk about, she’s got ‘it.’”