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Is Dance a Sport?

Kimberly Welsh, Entertainment Editor

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Many people have argued that dance is an art rather than a sport. According to, a sport is defined as “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature.” Although dance does not require seven nights a week of lifting weights at the gym or an adequate amount of body padding, it is not anything less than a sport. Dance requires coordination and flexibility along with core strength and stamina. Some football players even take ballet classes to gain flexibility, coordination, and agility.


Dance also requires a lot of conditioning just like any other sport. Crunches, sit-ups, and push-ups, are just a few of the exercises dancers do. Everything in dance depends on strength. A common misconception is that all dance consists of is a bunch of leaps and turns and graceful arm movements. Dancers are supposed to make their movements look easy, that is what gives it its visual appeal, its art. No one goes to a ballet performance to watch a clumsy ballerina sweat and stumble. Some competition teams require their students to take a certain amount of classes during week not including weekend rehearsals. Other teams go as far as requiring their students to be homeschooled so that they can have more time to practice dance. For example, some dancers have practice in the mornings, do their schoolwork in the afternoons, and then have practice again that evening.


“The most physically challenging thing about dance is probably learning choreography and keeping your body in shape,” sophomore Brianna Sams said. “I think dance is a sport because it challenges not only your body, but your brain too because you have to memorize dances and arm placements.”


Along with tedious training, competitive dancers are constantly comparing themselves to other dancers. Dance competitions are an important part of a dancer’s career because being exposed to different styles of dance and various age groups of talent helps the dancer to grow individually. At these competitions, dancers from studios all over the state come to showcase what they have been working on. On an average competition weekend, a dancer spends eight hours during the day taking classes at conventions from professional dancers and then another four hours the same night competing dance routines to be judged by those same professionals. It takes a lot of time and energy to be a competitive dancer which also helps prove that it is a sport.


“The professional dance world is extremely competitive with a lot of dancers striving for the same view positions,” senior Isabella Lepp said. “I consider dance a sport but also an art because there are no boundaries about what is considered right or wrong (besides basic technique). What I like about going to competitions and conventions is the opportunity to learn and grow from watching other dancers in your age group fight for the same positions you are.”




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Is Dance a Sport?