Dancing in the Sky

Dancing in the SkyAs a dancer I’m acutely aware of how balance and inertia both play major roles in determining whether a dancer is going to be successful in doing various moves, or end up falling on their face for trying such a thing. Any other dancers out there struggling with this need look only to their center of gravity and then learn how to work around it once they locate it, which will help a lot in maintaining balance. These same balance and inertia issues also affect the performance of flying machines, like planes, helicopters and even recreational quadcopters, which I actually enjoy using now and then.

To me it’s almost like dancing in the sky, the way the multiple propellers keep the entire body moving as one, fluid object rather than the bulky thing it appears to be. Have you ever seen one of these quadcopters before? At first glance they might not even appear to be capable of flight with the way they’re built. But I’m no engineer here and it really shows in this instance, since these drones do indeed fly. I had to learn how to operate my copter myself, taking the time to figure out how much pressure on the controller was enough when I wanted it to rise or turn, descend or hover in one spot.

Dancing in the Sky-1It was almost like stepping into the quadcopter itself and learning how to “dance” with a new set of legs and a new body on top of that. If you don’t believe me, you can read more here about these devices and how complicated they can get. I don’t even use the recording kind that comes with a camera; that would be another set of controls to figure out and oh so many buttons all crammed onto one little remote. You don’t even need to be a dancer to understand and appreciate the metaphor here.

These things are hardly cheap, and some of the higher quality drones can cost a thousand pounds or more, so if you’re thinking of taking up the hobby too, I actually suggest starting with a very cheap model which you won’t miss if it gets broken. Using that as a sort of training vehicle to teach you the basics before you spend a ton of money on what you actually want is a great idea, I think. But I don’t have the information you would need to make a purchase. I recommend checking out http://quadcopterguru.com/ if you’re looking for reviews or product specs.

Whether you do or don’t, I’m going to keep using my own copter and getting better with it. Piloting that machine really is like dancing in the sky, and it gets me wondering what it might look like to have several of them flying together in a formation, doing stunts and whirling around each other and whatnot, like the Blue Angels in the US who do annual air shows. Maybe I could end up being a part of something like that, but until then I’ll just enjoy the hobby for what it is.