Many people consider activities suchas, football, baseball, volleyball, and track to be a sport. The qualities thattend to make these activities considered sports are features such as running,tackling, hitting a ball, participating in relays, and so much more. Notmentioned in this list of sports is dance. People tend to believe that dance isnothing more than moving one’s body to some music; it also happens to be mentallyengaging as well as being a physically demanding activity.
The question thatmany might ask is whether or not dance is classified as a sport. Dancers spend countlesshours of exercising, training, and stretching, just as much (if not more) thanother sports. To perfect the art of dancing comes with years of training and dedication.With this brief explanation of dance, it should be considered a sport for multiplereasons. Alongwith other sports, dance involves physical exertion and requires skill. It canbe inferred that when athletes undergo physical activity, they push themselvesto their limit, which results in them becoming sore and possibly even injuredin some cases. This also pertains to dancers. Dancers can pull a muscle by overstretchingor by not stretching enough.
They can also break any bone by doing turns,flips, jumps, and tricks. In Ronald Smith’s article, he proceeds to explain that “theinjury rate for ballet dancers over an eight-month period was 61 percent. Thisis comparable to rates found in other studies for athletes in collision sportssuch as football and wrestling” (“Ballet Dancer” n.
p.). In other words, dancerstend to experience almost the same amount of injuries as athletes in othersports, proving the fact that dance is not just a delicate activity as manyindividuals believe it to be. When a dancer has an injury, he or she has to sitout of his or her performance. In other sports, an injury requires one to missperformances as well. Being a dancer also requires physical skill and training.One cannot consider his orherself an athlete if he or she does not have any knowledge of what is going onin the sport.
This knowledge can include rules, physical requirements, and thetype of teamwork that the sport entails. Athletes have to be trained in orderto perform the right skill. Dancers dedicate countless hours of their lives trainingjust like any other athlete and work very hard to perfect their technique. Forexample, in baseball, there are techniques one must learn, such as how to swingthe bat the right way and how to hit the ball.
In dance, there are differenttechniques regarding how to do turns, jumps, and other moves. Dancing does take immensephysical activity along with mental activity. Walk into a dance class; see whatthey actually do: turns, leaps, and jumps. Dancers need incredible strength andflexibility to do those moves, and not everyone is cut out for it. Mentalactivity is also involved in dance because dancers have to memorize every movein a dance. Once a dancer does the dance over and over again, it then becomes almostmuscle memory to the dancer. Because of the extreme physical requirements,flexibility, and skill that is mandatory in being dancer, it is considered asport. While the physical and mental aspects of dance play a major role, italso provides the benefit of a healthy lifestyle.
Dancing has many beneficial healthattributes such as strengthening bones and muscles, reducing stress andtension, and improving posture and balance; “All sports can help strengthenbones, effectively develop muscle strength and endurance, and contribute to afuller range of motion, which helps with achieving a proper posture” (Stevens n.p.).Dance has great health benefits as it helps to burn calories. Doing a three-minutedance every single day is a great work out. A small study out of the University of Brighton in theUK showed that, “Dancing burns about 600 calories per hour, which is about thesame or more than going for a swim or a run for the same amount of time”(Stahl n.p.
). A person who has dancedbefore knows that he or she will be sweaty and breathless at the end of a goodpractice. If a person wants to have a good work out, he or she needs to take adance class. For most basic sports, it is important that the player builds upendurance to run across a field numerous times. On the other hand, a dancermust perform challenging and intense dances that range from three to fourminutes. This may not seem like a long time, but when speaking in terms ofdancing, it can be very difficult to keep up with the intensity of aperformance, while also holding the correct form and skill of the moves in thedance. Olympic runners undergo hard core training and skill work, and in orderto achieve this to succeed, they must build up a stamina for the training.
Inorder for a dancer to complete a performance to the best of their ability, heor she needs the same amount of stamina as an Olympic runner, which is not easyto achieve in the slightest and takes so much work to achieve this. Also, it is aknown fact that professional football players take ballet classes. They takedance classes because it helps them with flexibility, speed and agility,strength, balance, mental focus, and endurance (Stevens n.p.
). There are many similarities between ballet and football. Many of thesame muscle groups are used; both require finesse, strength and balance inbursts, and even similar injuries can be found between football players andballet dancers.
These facts provethat dance is a sport because dance helps to maintain a healthy lifestyle justlike any other sport. Athletes in both sports and dance practice, perform, andcompete. Dancers practice just as much as any other sport; “footballplayers spent more than 44 hours a week with their teammates conditioning,lifting, reviewing footage of games, and running plays” (“How Often” n.p.). Dancers also compete and practice just as much as anyfootball player. “A typical day of work for a dancer starts earlywith an hour and half class to warm up and refine their technique.
Class isfollowed by four to six hours of rehearsals, sometimes followed by an eveningperformance” (“Ballet FAQS” n.p.).
In addition to practicing, dancers perform and compete. Universally, dancersperform in a number of competitions as a way to showcase the skills in whichthey have acquired throughout their numerous hours dedicated to training andperfecting their performance. This goes hand-in-hand with how athletes of othersports practice for hours on end to perform their perfected skills in games orrelays against other teams.
Dancers compete against eachother in different divisions, andthey are judged based on technique and performance. At the end of competitions,the dancers get their scores, and if they place in the competition, theyreceive awards similarly to how the team with the highest score receives awardsin sports. Similar to receiving a college football orbaseball scholarship, there is competition amongst the dance industry forreceiving an individual job as a professional dancer or a scholarship to anarts school. Dance does take an extreme amount of physical skill and dedicationin order to stand out in the industry. Dance is not a sport listed in theOlympics, but ice skating and gymnastics are listed. Both of those sports require a certainamount of dance background (“Database Stanzas” n.p.).
Dance should be considered a sport for various reasons. Althoughthese reasons are all valid, there are three main reasons that hold the mostimportance. The first reason of the three is the fact that the majority ofdance requires some sort physical activity, as well as upholding the correctskill and form just as any other sport would. The second reason is dance helpingthe performer maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle, just as any other sportthat requires physical activity would. The sport of dancing, just like anyother, requires the steps of practicing to perfect performance and skill andcompeting. Although dance is classified as a form of art, it still entails justas much requirements as any other sport, thus making it a sport as well.