As seen throughout the past forty to fifty years, ballet has evolved from being one of the core entertainments of society to an art form maintained by wealthy donors and supporters. The ballet world, if not remodified and diversified, will become a dying industry. One of the major barriers of ballet is that it is exclusive. While the foundation of art is to be freely expressive and inclusive, ballet requires a certain “type of dancer”. As a result, ballet has been unable to evolve to the ever-changing, diverse world.
The Grey Area
What I believe to be one of the main characteristics holding ballet back is whether or not it should be considered a sport. What’s difficult about ballet is that it was not created as a sport, rather an art; however, in the past century, ballet has evolved to not only entertain, but to showcase exceptional an athletic abilities and talent. We are in a time where measuring the athletic and artistic components of ballet is a new phenomena. Ballet is graceful and artistic yet athletic and demanding on the body. There is no one category for ballet, and today, the ballet as well as the outside world is very divided as to whether ballet is an art or a sport. But, why can’t it be both? Why can’t some outlets of ballet be more artistically driven and others more competitively driven? Why do we have to consider ballet either a sport or an art? Why can’t we just say it’s both, because it can be.
A Future in the Olympics
In the past 30 years, ballet has grown to develop some of the world’s most competitive showcasings of talent. Competitions such as the Youth American Grand Prix and Prix de Lausanne attract the greatest of the greatest. Similar to gymnastics, ballet competitions are scored based on a numerical value. Basically, these ballet competitions are like gymnastics competitions but with more elegance and less muscle-build. So could ballet be a part of the Olympics in the next 10-15 years? Most definitely. Figure Skating and Gymnastics are in the Olympics, so why shouldn’t ballet? The only thing holding ballet back from entering the Olympics is the fact that some people strongly believe that ballet is uniquely an art and can not be held to the height and standards of a sport. Let us remember that archery is considered an Olympics sport. So think again before you say that ballet is not enough of a sport to be considered in the Olympics.
There is so much potential for the ballet world, especially with the upcoming generation of athletically trained and diversely minded dancers. Moving forward, ballet will have to diversify itself in order to remain a living art form. But most importantly, with the direction that ballet has taken the past decade, it is almost certain that it will be universally considered an artistic sport in the next decade.