by Victoria Vogler | News and Assignments Editor
Though a petty concern to many, after a lifetime of dance, the words “dance is not a sport” have become fighting words. As competition season comes to an end, I’m hearing (mostly from my ignorant guy friends) the unwanted opinions on dance’s sport-hood. Dictionary.com defines a sport as an “athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature.” With that definition, why isn’t dance defined as a sport? What exactly justifies shunning dance aside, and not giving it the credit it deserves in the sports world? I’ve heard it all.
“It’s not in the Olympics.”
Because dance is so subjective, it is difficult to put a scoring system on individual skills like gymnastics or ice skating have. It’s also hard to narrow down a particular type of dance for dancers to compete in.
“It’s not hard.”
On the contrary; have you ever done 15 fouettes into a turning disc? or kicked your face? Didn’t think so. And if you have, you most likely agree with me.
“It requires no skill what-so-ever.”
Okay, so then can you tell me how turning your body three or four times in a circle, on one foot, without moving your spot, all in 3 beats of music takes no skill? Or telling a story in two minutes without saying a word doesn’t take skill? Dance is an art form, and is as difficult as every other sport out there.
The argument is simple; dance obviously requires “skill and physical prowess,” not for recreational pastime or hobby, but for a serious career persuaded since a young age. And if you’ve ever been to a dance competition, it makes a football game look like just that, a game. So next time you start to write dance off as just a hobby, take a gander onto the floor yourself and see if you still agree that dance isn’t a sport.