Merritt Moore’s life might have been dreamt up by Disney, says Louise Levene in the Financial Times. Part professional ballerina, part quantum physicist, Moore, 33, grew up in California, and only tried dance because her mother was worried about her slouchy teenage posture. She was 13 when she took her first class and was hooked within weeks.
In ballet years, 13 is ancient – most bunheads start when they’re toddlers – so Moore had her work cut out for her. At first she was one of the worst, she recalls: “I don’t have particularly bendy feet and I couldn’t do the splits until I was 15.” But she was determined. “I would train on my own. I would put my feet under sofas.” It paid off. Today she is an alumna of four leading ballet companies, although she keeps trying to improve. “Even now… I force myself to sleep in the splits.”