There's the infamous scene in Black Swan when Natalie Portman's dark alter ego dances on stage for the first time and mesmerizes the audience in one fell swoop of her swan wings. Portman's dancing chops were certainly impressive (doesn't hurt that she's married to ballet dancer Benjamin Millepied), but for full-time ballet performers, they need to channel the same raw power of Portman in that scene on a daily basis. Thus, the video piece "The Washington Ballet's Hardest Dance Moves" is a potent vantage into the inimitable talent of some of America's most graceful dancers.
The short clip includes six moves, including a five double tours (doing a 720° spin, five times in a row…) and something called The Butterfly that truly looks superhuman—especially as the positions and jumps are slowed down, allowing viewers to fully see the kinetics of each movement in full scope as we wouldn't be able to normally see.
Dancer Andile Ndlovu explained that The Butterfly is so difficult because it requires "The coordination of getting off the floor and reaching the height in one count, and reaching the floor in the second count." You can see the full process, thanks to the slow-mo. It makes sense why many basketball players often take ballet as athletic training.
The other dance moves include a 540 Battemen Ten Rond, Grande Jeté a la Don Quixote, Seven Double and One Triple Fouettés en Tournant, and a Chershire Cat Lift. Each one looks like something you'd only see in extreme sports. They might not inspire us to take up dancing any time soon, but we know we're now going to stretch after work today.
h/t Laughing Squid