Is Dance a Sport?

Posted by Dana Burnett on

Across the country, children participate in sports for recreation and some in hopes of gaining a scholarship to the college of their dreams. These children are looked up to by their peers and the sacrifices they make are considered “normal”. Unfortunately, dance is often not given the same respect, even though there is little doubt in the dance community that it should be considered a sport just like any other activity.

The dictionary defines a sport as “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature”. Dance most certainly fits that description. It requires years of physical training and conditioning.

There are those that argue dance should not be considered a sport as it is a learned art and required no natural talent. (Insert eye roll here). If we are to use that argument, then why do other sports hold practices?

The entire argument is exhausting! I mean seriously, most players couldn’t survive a dance warm-up, let alone a class. That’s why it makes me cringe to hear “ballerina” used in a derogatory way…Especially by coaches of other sports. I once heard a football coach tell his players to stop acting like ballerinas…I mean seriously?

It’s a sad fact that many dancers will quit right around middle school thanks to peer pressure and the desire to be a part of the school experience that rarely involves dance. Don’t even get me started on male dancers and what they have to go through!

I’m not saying that one sport is better than another, but can we not just have respect for ALL athletes? Why do we have to slam one and praise the other? Why are school dance teams so short funded?

We need to get it together and recognize and encourage athletic talent…Especially in dance.

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