The dance community consists of many different factions and styles. You can dance at a club for fun, as a hobby, as a serious passion, or you can dance as a career.
What many people are uninformed about is the competitive dance world. Competitions are held throughout the country, where dance studios can come and show off their talent.
Teams practice for more than twenty hours a week at times in order to perfect and synchronize their movement.
“We condition every rehearsal, which includes a six minute plank, three hundred sit ups, fifty burpees, we run laps, and a lot more. We become complete athletes. I have practice for twenty hours a week in order to prepare for the competitions,” said SRHS Senior Lauren Allaire, dancer of fourteen years (pictured above).
Another important argument to address when discussing whether dance is a sport or not is the fact that the winning team is determined by a panel of judges. Some may argue that because the teams are not facing off head to head, dance is not qualified as a sport— but let’s all take a quick look at the sport of gymnastics.
No doubt gymnastics is an extremely difficult sport, which is why it is presented along with many other sports in the Olympics. The scores of the competitors are solely determined on the scores that the panel of judges decides to give them. There is a strict set of guidelines, which the judges follow in order to determine their scores.
The same rules apply at dance competitions, so why would one qualify and not the other?
Many people argue that since dance is not an Olympics sport and since you do not see dance competitions on the sports networks it is not a sport. Dance should be in the Olympics, just like the other thirty sports the International Olympic Committee recognizes. According to the Olympic officials, in order to qualify as a sport in the Olympics it must be “Widely practiced by men in at least 75 countries and on four continents, and by women in at least 40 countries and on three continents.” Rhythmic gymnastics has gained recognition in the Olympics yet it is really just dance. So, as much as dance competitions are not shown on networks like TSN, there is a very popular dance competition show called ‘So You Think You Can Dance?’ on the Fox Network. This is a dance competition.
People think that the ability to dance is not unique. This is not true. Anyone can dribble a basketball, and anyone can shoot a puck, and everyone can play these games if they want to participate. Yet, only the best people compete in those sports. Comparatively, few people participate in dance for recreation. Many competitive dancers practice for five hours a day to perfect their technique, while some rep hockey teams practice five hours in a week. How else are you going to spin around eight times and not fall over? It also takes a lot of flexibility. If you were to ask Sydney Crosby to do a pirouette, he’d fall out of it, or even an arabesque or a penche. Dancing takes hours of practice and years of dedication to master, just like other recognized sports.
If dance fits the definition of a sport, if dancers fit the definition of athletes, if dancers are being injured and treated for sports injuries like other athletes, and if dance is participated in all over the world then why isn’t dance considered a sport? Dance is a form of celebration. It is artistic. It takes endurance and strength. It has rules. It is a competition to be the best, so why isn’t it an art and a sport? Dancers have lost out on many opportunities to show the world what they can do. Dance is a sport.