Many involves physical exertion and requires skill. It

Many people consider activities such
as, football, baseball, volleyball, and track to be a sport. The qualities that
tend to make these activities considered sports are features such as running,
tackling, hitting a ball, participating in relays, and so much more. Not
mentioned in this list of sports is dance. People tend to believe that dance is
nothing more than moving one’s body to some music; it also happens to be mentally
engaging as well as being a physically demanding activity. The question that
many might ask is whether or not dance is classified as a sport. Dancers spend countless
hours of exercising, training, and stretching, just as much (if not more) than
other 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 multiple
reasons.

            Along
with other sports, dance involves physical exertion and requires skill. It can
be inferred that when athletes undergo physical activity, they push themselves
to their limit, which results in them becoming sore and possibly even injured
in some cases. This also pertains to dancers. Dancers can pull a muscle by overstretching
or 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 “the
injury rate for ballet dancers over an eight-month period was 61 percent. This
is comparable to rates found in other studies for athletes in collision sports
such as football and wrestling” (“Ballet Dancer” n.p.). In other words, dancers
tend to experience almost the same amount of injuries as athletes in other
sports, proving the fact that dance is not just a delicate activity as many
individuals believe it to be. When a dancer has an injury, he or she has to sit
out of his or her performance. In other sports, an injury requires one to miss
performances as well. Being a dancer also requires physical skill and training.

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One cannot consider his or
herself an athlete if he or she does not have any knowledge of what is going on
in the sport. This knowledge can include rules, physical requirements, and the
type of teamwork that the sport entails. Athletes have to be trained in order
to perform the right skill. Dancers dedicate countless hours of their lives training
just like any other athlete and work very hard to perfect their technique. For
example, in baseball, there are techniques one must learn, such as how to swing
the bat the right way and how to hit the ball. In dance, there are different
techniques regarding how to do turns, jumps, and other moves. Dancing does take immense
physical activity along with mental activity. Walk into a dance class; see what
they actually do: turns, leaps, and jumps. Dancers need incredible strength and
flexibility to do those moves, and not everyone is cut out for it. Mental
activity is also involved in dance because dancers have to memorize every move
in a dance. Once a dancer does the dance over and over again, it then becomes almost
muscle memory to the dancer. Because of the extreme physical requirements,
flexibility, and skill that is mandatory in being dancer, it is considered a
sport. While the physical and mental aspects of dance play a major role, it
also provides the benefit of a healthy lifestyle.

            Dancing has many beneficial health
attributes such as strengthening bones and muscles, reducing stress and
tension, and improving posture and balance; “All sports can help strengthen
bones, effectively develop muscle strength and endurance, and contribute to a
fuller 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-minute
dance every single day is a great work out. A small study out of the University of Brighton in the
UK showed that, “Dancing burns about 600 calories per hour, which is about the
same or more than going for a swim or a run for the same amount of time”
(Stahl n.p.). A person who has danced
before knows that he or she will be sweaty and breathless at the end of a good
practice. If a person wants to have a good work out, he or she needs to take a
dance class. For most basic sports, it is important that the player builds up
endurance to run across a field numerous times. On the other hand, a dancer
must perform challenging and intense dances that range from three to four
minutes. This may not seem like a long time, but when speaking in terms of
dancing, it can be very difficult to keep up with the intensity of a
performance, while also holding the correct form and skill of the moves in the
dance. Olympic runners undergo hard core training and skill work, and in order
to achieve this to succeed, they must build up a stamina for the training. In
order for a dancer to complete a performance to the best of their ability, he
or she needs the same amount of stamina as an Olympic runner, which is not easy
to achieve in the slightest and takes so much work to achieve this.  Also, it is a
known fact that professional football players take ballet classes. They take
dance 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 the
same muscle groups are used; both require finesse, strength and balance in
bursts, and even similar injuries can be found between football players and
ballet dancers. These facts prove
that dance is a sport because dance helps to maintain a healthy lifestyle just
like any other sport. Athletes in both sports and dance practice, perform, and
compete.

Dancers practice just as much as any other sport; “football
players 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 any
football player. “A typical day of work for a dancer starts early
with an hour and half class to warm up and refine their technique. Class is
followed by four to six hours of rehearsals, sometimes followed by an evening
performance” (“Ballet FAQS” n.p.). In addition to practicing, dancers perform and compete. Universally, dancers
perform in a number of competitions as a way to showcase the skills in which
they have acquired throughout their numerous hours dedicated to training and
perfecting their performance. This goes hand-in-hand with how athletes of other
sports practice for hours on end to perform their perfected skills in games or
relays against other teams.

Dancers compete against each
other in different divisions, and
they are judged based on technique and performance. At the end of competitions,
the dancers get their scores, and if they place in the competition, they
receive awards similarly to how the team with the highest score receives awards
in sports. Similar to receiving a college football or
baseball scholarship, there is competition amongst the dance industry for
receiving an individual job as a professional dancer or a scholarship to an
arts school. Dance does take an extreme amount of physical skill and dedication
in order to stand out in the industry. Dance is not a sport listed in the
Olympics, but ice skating and gymnastics are listed. Both of those sports require a certain
amount of dance background (“Database Stanzas” n.p.).

             Dance should be considered a sport for various reasons. Although
these reasons are all valid, there are three main reasons that hold the most
importance. The first reason of the three is the fact that the majority of
dance requires some sort physical activity, as well as upholding the correct
skill and form just as any other sport would. The second reason is dance helping
the performer maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle, just as any other sport
that requires physical activity would. The sport of dancing, just like any
other, requires the steps of practicing to perfect performance and skill and
competing. Although dance is classified as a form of art, it still entails just
as much requirements as any other sport, thus making it a sport as well. 

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