As I have mentioned before, I believe that dance is both an art form and a sport. While many origins of dance are rooted in religious, cultural, and entertainment practices, today, dance has developed to the point where it can be considered a sport, despite its artistic inclinations.
To begin, the definition of a sport according to Google is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” Right away, the key word is entertainment. Specific types of dance such as ballet were created with the purpose of entertaining the upper class (now the general public) and later other types of dance such as hiphop and modern serve as a milieu of entertainment. Next, dance is an activity that, like a sport, involves an individual or a team to forgo physical exertion and skill when competing against another or others. It is very common for dance companies or dance teams to perform not only for entertainment, but also to participate in competitions. Even ballet, which is often viewed as a classical performing art, has numerous competition venues including world renowned ballet competitions such as Youth American Grand Prix and The Prix de Lausanne.
To put things into perspective, ten reasons why dance should be considered a sport is due to its sport like elements and practices. Here are ten reasons why dance is obviously a sport…
- Dance is entertaining
- Dance is competitive in its form and in practice (competitions)
- Dancers stretch
- Dancers gain lean muscle
- Dance is a workout
- Dancers have uniforms (costumes, tights, leotard, bun, pointe shoes, jazz shoes…)
- Dancers have equipment (bars, thera-bands, stretchers…)
- Dancers have and need good stamina
- Dancers have to remember technique, terminology, choreography, among other things
- Dancers get injured
It is important to note that dancers get injured due to dance’s extreme physical demands. Not to mention that it is more likely for a professional dancer to have longterm injuries and effects than an “athlete”. There is no artform, other than dance, that is prone to injuries or demands rigorous physical training. So why is it that dance is not yet considered a sport even though it checks off all of the needed requirements?!
To be honest, I have no idea. I strongly believe that the arguments that validate dance as a sport far outweigh the arguments that validate dance as solely an art form because dance embodies so much more than that. Together, dance is an artistic sport, like ice skating. There has a certain unexplainable beauty and grace to it, but in its beauty it also requires a certain physique. Try spinning on your big toe or pulling your leg up by your ear, because I guarantee that it’s a lot harder than it looks and when you perfect it, you will understand why dance is considered an artistic sport.