Ballet Is Not A Sport

Ballet Is Not A Sport

Neither "art" nor "sport" can capture the essence that ballet offers to the world.

"Dancing requires major skill and hard work, but it's not a sport."

This comment on my Pinterest feed sparked a huge debate about the nature of ballet. One side of the argument claimed that ballet was not a sport because it didn't contain a winner and a loser. It didn't depend on competitiveness and measurable achievements. The other side of the disagreement reasoned that ballet deserves the title of "sport" because of its close to impossible physical expectations and the passion of dancers.

I believe that they are both wrong.

I know ballet. I've studied, lived and loved it for 13 years and counting, but I can say with confidence that ballet is not a sport. Ballet is also not an art. It is more than either of those two words have to offer, and more than society knows how to label. Ballet lives in the grey area between athletic challenges and artistic abilities. It dances with the acknowledgement that people won't understand it, growing in the place where the heart meets the body.

It is true that ballet, like a sport, requires intense physical ability. A ballerina must jump splits in the air, turn circles around the stage and control every part of her body. Not to mention she does all of this on her toes. A danseur (male ballet dancer) must possess the strength to leap high enough to split twice in the air, turn long enough to rotate six times and lift ballerinas countless times.

I can't count the number of times that I left practice red and sweaty. My toes grow callouses so thick that I can't tell where my toenail begins. My whole body aches with soreness and tiredness after a long run of rehearsals.

Unlike soccer or football, though, ballet doesn't do these physical feats for a score or a game. This frees ballet to be dance for the sake of dance itself. It isn't measured or controlled by a league or referee; it's monitored by technique and measured by art.

This in no way deprives ballet of a competitive and achievement-oriented nature. Rather, in ballet, the competition isn't an opponent, it is perfection. This goal drives ballerinas to spend hours on end perfecting every little and big movement alike. This prize can't be won at the end of the game or even performance. It is one a dancer strives for, but never quite achieves, and that is the mystery of ballet, the artistry of a dancer.

Ballet gives to the world what no other sport or art can give. It gives the effort of being effortless. It pairs mental challenges, physical extremes and artistic technique to create something that can only hold one name, and that isn't "sport" or "art." It is ballet.

Therefore, ballet remains in the place where the heart meets the body, waiting for society to come to its embrace and forget the world for a moment. It grows in the place where the impossible seems true, where women dance on their toes until they fly away. It is the effort of effortlessness. It is ballet.
Cover Image Credit: Tademy Photography

Popular Right Now

5 'Ruff' Stages You And Your S.O. Go Through When You Get Your First Dog Together

From Scooping Poo to realizing you might love the dog more than you love him..

There's something different about the milestone "getting your first dog together." I'm not saying other milestones like buying a house or getting engaged isn't close to the very top of the list-because I'm sure to several it is.

But for me? Dogs are my weakness.

My boyfriend is my weakness.

So putting them both together is surreal, and I encourage anyone who is truly in love to get some type of animal (even if it isn't a dog) with your significant other. You learn what kind of responsibility they put into raising something they so desperately love.

You think you love this person all you're capable of loving them, then you see them giving all their love to something that is both of yours...together. It all becomes that much more special, and still to this day it is one of my greatest accomplishments.

I'm sure that will all change one day when I'm a mom or when I get married, but for right now I think I'll bask in the wonderfulness that is my dog and boyfriend.

Though it's a beautiful journey, it's a hectic one too. I believe this prepares you for what it will be like one day to have a family of your own, and even though it's exciting to get to go through some of the motions, it's tough, "ruff," and scary all at the same time.

1. You question whether or not you may actually love this dog more than your boyfriend

Boyfriend: "If me and Benjy were both drowning, AND YOU COULD ONLY SAVE ONE, who would you save?"

Me: "Well lucky for you Benjy is an excellent swimmer so..."

Boyfriend: " that wasn't the question. We are both submerged underwater, WHO WOULD YOU SAVE?!"

Me: "What kind of freaking question is this? Why would you ever make me choose?"

2. The infamous "I took him out last time"

You took him out last time? Well, I cleaned up the shit that stuck to the bottom of my shoe two hours ago.


You took him out last time? Well, I picked up every piece of toilet paper from the hallway that he got out of the garbage, and every sock he took out of the hamper.




3. The "what's in your mouth?" game

I don't know why I feel like asking my boyfriend what our dog has in their mouth is actually going to get me anywhere because it never does.

Me: "Babe what does he have in his mouth?"

Boyfriend: "Benjy what do you have in your mouth?"

Me: "Do you really think asking Benjy is going to get us anywhere?"

Boyfriend: "Do you really think asking me is going to get anywhere?

Benjy: *Eats entire sock then shits it out later*

4. The first vet scare

The first time you have to take your baby to the vet (for something other than a check-up) is probably one of the scariest feelings in the world. It makes all the times you fought over who would take them outside or argued about what they were chewing (and why they were chewing it in the first place) irrelevant.

It's watching them shake as they go back to that room, and waiting not so patiently for what the vet has to say and if your baby will be okay.

To find out it was something minor that both you and your significant other worried about for no reason.

"Yes he did eat your bracelet, but give it a few days and it'll be right back out of him in no time."

At this point, neither of us care. We're just trying to hold back tears and get our baby back in our arms.

5. Saying Goodbye

One of the hardest and most difficult things you will have to do in your life is saying goodbye to a pet you love.

An even harder thing you'll have to do is say goodbye to a pet you love with someone you love. I think the difficult part is to imagine every stage of this dog's life you got to enjoy with your partner, and now it will continue with your partner, but potentially start with a new dog. It's weird to even have to come to terms with starting over, but telling each other that it's what your first fur-baby would have wanted helps a little.

Getting a dog with the love of your life will change it. It will make little things seem big, and smaller things look huge. The first time they go up and down stairs, to the first time they fall asleep on you with their belly facing up.

There are all these cute memories that you don't just watch alone—you watch with the person you love.

If we are this much in love, can you imagine what it'll be like when we have kids? God, I can't.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

March Madness Is The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

From Upsets to Buzzer Beaters

March Madness. My favorite month of the year.

For those unaware, March Madness is the month long NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament. By March 31st, one team will be cutting down those nets and celebrating in the biggest party of the year.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved making a bracket. Choosing teams with the best jerseys or the coolest mascots was my strategy as a kid, but now I focus more on what upsets might happen.

The BEST part about March Madness is seeing what underdog team can pull out a win against a team destined for victory. March Madness is known for its upsets, buzzer beaters, and shocking wins. A team's high ranking might not mean anything more than an easier schedule, but lower ranked teams have time and time again come out to shock the #1 and #2 seeds.

As a Freshmen at Villanova University, I'm ecstatic for March. The Men's team recently won the Big East Championship and received that coveted automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. To make things even better, they are ranked #1 in the East Division--and projected to win the division. The Wildcats are hoping for 2018 to be there 3rd NCAA Division win, full of many more buzzer beaters.

With all that March has to offer, I'm excited to see the upsets and the buzzer beaters, and of course, how Villanova shapes out this year.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Related Content

Facebook Comments