ESPN Sport Science Shows Lion King Dancers Match Top Athletes

News   ESPN Sport Science Shows Lion King Dancers Match Top Athletes
The three-part video series reveals the fitness of a Broadway dancer compared to professional athletes.
A scene from The Lion King.
A scene from The Lion King. Joan Marcus

As theatre becomes more physically and mentally demanding year after year, Broadway’s performers must meet demands of Olympic proportions. Disney’s The Lion King teamed up with ESPN Sport Science to unearth hard evidence of their athletic abilities.

In an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to execute The Lion King eight times a week, Disney and ESPN have produced Sport Science Lion King Edition—Stamina. The video is the first in a three-part series; the remaining videos, Biomechanics and Puppetry and Brain Waves, will be released in the coming weeks.

This first installation features ensemble member India Bolds in her nine-role track. As her heart rate, breathing rate, and distance traveled during the show illustrates, Broadway dancers “have an aerobic capacity on par with the world’s top soccer players” and travel farther “than an NBA MVP averages in a single game.”

Watch the full four-minute video here:

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