And it is true that we are the physical equivalent of a polymath, if such a thing exists.
It's not enough to be able to jump like a high jumper.
Every human movement - from simple breathing to soft shoe shuffling - is controlled in the brain: the most complex and the least understood component of the human body - home to a million million nerve cells - or neurons: more neurons than there are stars in the milky way.
It's the almost infinite potential for connections between those neurons that allows the brain to produce the blend of precision, coordination, balance, speed, accuracy, learning, memory and spatial awareness which we call dancing.
We can lose brain cells at the astonishing rate of between 10 and 100,000 every day.
Even before a baby is born, its developing brain is involved in an ongoing sculpting process known as apoptosis, or programmed cell death: strengthening and rationalising connections which are useful and pruning out those which aren't.
And it's the brain I'm going to talk about tonight: mine...
Moving muscles – however striking, however impressive – are just the visible consequence of an invisible ballet of firing neurons, electronic impulses and chemical reactions which is more complex, faster and, frankly, more beautiful than anything a choreographer could possibly invent.On top of that, we have to be able to learn, master and remember impossibly complex sequences of movement, all the time displaying the dramatic skills of an Olivier.Honing all those neural processes to the levels of refinement required in classical ballet demands an early start.The neurons in the brain increase in number for the first seven or so years of a child's life – and then commence a slow but steady decline towards old age.No, we have to spin like a figure skater, achieve the flexibility of a gymnast, the balance of a high wire walker, the strength of a weight lifter, the coordination of a master juggler, the endurance of a middle distance runner and the speed of a sprinter.
The dancer's body is without doubt an extraordinary machine: a particular blend of good genetics and good fortune, adapted through years of training to meet the intense physical demands of classical ballet technique.