Is dance a sport

More stories from Megan Lee

April 28, 2016

When it comes to the topic of dance, most of us will readily agree that it is a great way to express yourself, while also exercising. Where this agreement usually ends, is the question of whether or not dance should be considered a sport.

I believe dance is not only art through its performance, but also a sport, because it has many sport related aspects. Although I am a dancer, so my answer may be biased. But why can’t dance be considered a form of art as well as a sport? Dancers put in the same amount of physical activity towards their routines as football, basketball, soccer,  and lacrosse players do their plays. Dancers put in long rehearsal hours, just like athletes put in long practice hours. When a dancer memorizes a choreography piece, it is the same as when a football player memorizes a certain play.

Dancers work and form together as a team, just like any sports teams. Together, athletes and dancers are able to succeed in a particular task, such as games or competitions. Dancing needs teamwork and if one person in the group makes a mistake during their routine, the whole group will be penalized for it. This can also be seen in sports like basketball, if the ball is turned over by a mistake from a player then the whole team suffers, i.e. the opposing team scoring a basket.

More recently, dance has become very competitive. There are dance competitions at every level, all over the country, and one can even consider underground dance battles as another form of competition. When considering all sports, it is based on a competition between more than one to two people or teams. People on a team are coached and taught to win; therefore, during many of these games and competitions rivalry is a key component.

The only sports aspect dance does not include is physical contact. People generally assume that you have to have physical contact with your opponent to be considered a sport. These physical contact sports such as football or hockey consist of tackling each other and/or pushing one another around. Today, many people who play sports can easily and often get hurt. The injury may include an ankle sprain or a torn ACL, or even worse. And most of the time, these athletes obtain these injuries from their opponents. Since such physical contact is considered normal in sports and in our society, we are often viewed as desensitized and violent people. If an activity needs to have physical contact in order to be considered a sport, it only portrays how our society has become so aggressive.

Sports have become a phenomenal part of our society today. The question is: can only sports that  have physical contact be considered a true sport?