“Dance isn’t a sport!"
Now if you've ever said that phrase in the presence of a dancer I can promise you they’ve thought about five different ways to tackle you to the ground until you say mercy. We consider things like golf, bowling, table tennis, sailing and even chess a "sport" however, things that have the same athletic fit as football and baseball such as cheerleading and dance are debated endlessly about whether they should be considered one.
Anyone who as ever uttered those words has never stepped foot into a dance studio because if they did they'd understand the frustrations we have when someone decides to insult us like that. There's certain elements that we contribute to sports having and I can promise you all of them can also be tied to dance in the same way making those people look like buffoons.
Anyone who knows a dancer or is a dancer for that matter is quite use to never making plans. Our go to remark is "sorry I can't go, I have dance." In reality a dancer is always practicing.We're always going over the dances in our head, stretching every night and extra long practices squeezed in before the shows or competitions. Our practices consist of us defying the natural instincts of our bodies. Do you think your body is made to turn out, balance on a wooden block, grind away cartilage to turn out your leg for a fan kick or your knees catching your weight in a jump split or roll out of a leap?
No we don't have games or tournaments. No, we don't play on fields or turfs. Our game day is recital day and competition day. Our arena is the stage. We put on multiple shows a year with a ton of dances in them. We have competitions were we face other dancers and compete for the first place prize. No, we aren't on a field competing for the ball, but we're competing for the same first place trophy. There isn't an physical contact in bowling and golf matches but they're still considered a sport.
3. Athletic Fit
As a dancer your body is your equipment. Every inch of your body is used in a dance. Your arms, your legs, your abdominal, and your back all tie in together to do each move so there is no way to be a dancer and not be athletically fit. Countless hours stretching and toning all your muscles just like any other athlete. There's a reason football players take on the challenge of a ballet class and it's not because they want to experiment with tights. No, we aren't running the track for three hours but you try to do a kick-line dance for three minutes and let me know if you'd rather do a mile run.
No, we don't have an actual team but I can promise you a group of girls doing one dance is more in-tune with each other than any football team ever will be. Our dance studio or company is our team. When you dance with someone you know how their body moves and you share the most intimate bond or making a masterpiece.
6. Hard work and dedication
As a dancer you're dedicated just as much as any other athlete probably more. We don't go out and chase a ball. We have to feel the music, interpret it and tell a story all while executing the dance moves. Dance is a full time commitment. It takes a commitment to practice, to pain and sweat and tears and every one of those dancers would make that commitment over and over again.
Dance is an art, yes. What we do with our bodies and music is amazing but it's not enough to the public eye. All anyone sees is the finished product we put out. Those who have no danced and have the audacity to say it isn't a sport hasn't gotten a behinds the scene look because they think it's all simply prancing around on a stage when in reality there's more tears and injuries behind the curtains than on the sidelines of the field. What we hold to as a "sport" is a double standard. We look at football, baseball and basketball as sports and not a single person doubts it. We've come to an agreement that golf, synchronized swimming, bowling and sailing are all sports. Yet people look at dance, which has the same attributes as any other "sport" but it's not a sport. Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too therefore, it's an art and a sport.