Harnessing an Unusual Kind of Natural Energy: Dancers’ Body Heat

In Interviews
Published in The New York Times | December 2021

The power of dance? It’s literal at a Glasgow arts center that is installing a geothermal heating and cooling system that runs on heat from dancing bodies.

At rest, the human body produces about 100 watts of energy. Strenuous dancing might multiply that output by a factor of five or six. Dr. Selina Shah, a specialist in dance and sports medicine, said club dance floors can be especially good at creating heat. “If it’s really high-energy music, that generally results in very fast and high-energy movement, so you’re looking at a significant level of heat generation — potentially even the equivalent of running,” she said.