10 Reasons Dance Should Be Considered A Sport

10 Reasons Dance Should Be Considered A Sport

Life without ballet is pointless.
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As a former dancer, it amazes me when I hear someone say "Oh well dance, that's not really a sport" and my first thought is "well yeah it is, we do just as much as other athletes". The dictionary definition of a sport is an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature.

Competition dance does this.Yes. But dance is more than that. Consider these 10 reasons dance is a sport.

1. We put just as many hours, if not more into our training as other athletes do.

When I was in ballet, I was normally in the studio anywhere from 6-12 hours depending on what time of year it was and if we had rehearsals for a show or ballet and that was just on the weekends.

2. We compete.

And no, I'm not just talking about competition dancers, who compete every few weeks. Many ballet dancers compete yearly in the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) and some even make it to the finals in NYC.

3. It takes stamina.

I mean, really, how else are we supposed to do those three-four minute dances that are sometimes required as a part of performing. Oh, and we have to do it while looking graceful and smiling. Dance is both physically and mentally demanding.

4.We are susceptible to injury.

It's a part of life. if you fall or land wrong that can result in an ankle or foot injury. As dancers, if you jumping and landing on a hard surface shin splint are also possible.

5. We have to use our memorization skills to remember many dances at any one time.

While some athletes have to only remember a small portion of a play or set during a game, we have to remember entire dances and sometimes the order in which they are performed.

6. We gain muscle.

Conditioning class, pliès for our legs, push-ups for our arms, and everything in between. We are a lot stronger and tougher than we look, our muscles are just compacted to make our moves look prettier.

7. It is a workout.

Yes, we are tired, yes we typically come out of class with sweat-drenched faces.

8. We have uniforms, they are just called something different.

Costumes. These are our uniforms and they can be anything from the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker down to what the youngest competition dancers wear for competitions.

9. Just because it's not an Olympic sport, doesn't mean it isn't a sport.

Football (American) isn't in the Olympics, neither is softball or cheerleading. Do people say these aren't sports? No. Then why does dance have to be in the Olympics to be considered a sport?

10. It is time-consuming.

Not that we usually mind because we are doing something we love.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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I Weigh Over 200 Lbs And You Can Catch Me In A Bikini This Summer

There is no magic number that determines who can wear a bikini and who cannot.
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It is about February every year when I realize that bikini season is approaching. I know a lot of people who feel this way, too. In pursuit of the perfect "summer body," more meals are prepped and more time is spent in the gym. Obviously, making healthier choices is a good thing! But here is a reminder that you do not have to have a flat stomach and abs to rock a bikini.

Since my first semester of college, I've weighed over 200 pounds. Sometimes way more, sometimes only a few pounds more, but I have not seen a weight starting with the number "1" since the beginning of my freshman year of college.

My weight has fluctuated, my health has fluctuated, and unfortunately, my confidence has fluctuated. But no matter what, I haven't allowed myself to give up wearing the things I want to wear to please the eyes of society. And you shouldn't, either.

I weigh over 200lbs in both of these photos. To me, (and probably to you), one photo looks better than the other one. But what remains the same is, regardless, I still chose to wear the bathing suit that made me feel beautiful, and I'm still smiling in both photos. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't wear because of the way you look.

There is no magic number that equates to health. In the second photo (and the cover photo), I still weigh over 200 lbs. But I hit the gym daily, ate all around healthier and noticed differences not only on the scale but in my mood, my heart health, my skin and so many other areas. You are not unhealthy because you weigh over 200 lbs and you are not healthy because you weigh 125. And, you are not confined to certain clothing items because of it, either.

This summer, after gaining quite a bit of weight back during the second semester of my senior year, I look somewhere between those two photos. I am disappointed in myself, but ultimately still love my body and I'm proud of the motivation I have to get to where I want to be while having the confidence to still love myself where I am.

And if you think just because I look a little chubby that I won't be rocking a bikini this summer, you're out of your mind.

If YOU feel confident, and if YOU feel beautiful, don't mind what anybody else says. Rock that bikini and feel amazing doing it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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Your Health Journey Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Perfection takes time.

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When you first start to do something, you have all of the motivation in the world to accomplish that goal set out in front of you, especially when it comes to being healthier. The problem is as you continue through this journey and food and laziness kick in, motivation slips. It's human, and it happens to everyone no matter how physically strong they are.

Trying to be healthier doesn't always mean losing weight. It can be so your knees don't ache as much, so you don't feel as out of breath climbing stairs, or any goal you have set for yourself. Being healthier is personal and different from person to person.

I will be the first to admit that there are plenty of changes I would love to make about myself. From my weight to my body type and many other things about myself inside and out. I am by no means the most confident person about how I look, but I have worked hard for the past year to be an overall healthier person.

Becoming healthier isn't about looking thinner or fitting into a specific size of clothes. It is about taking care of yourself from eating better to working out more. There comes a feeling of confidence in what your body can do if you put a little love in it.

Perfection takes time, and I know firsthand how frustrating trying to be healthier can be.

Pizza tastes so much better than salad. It is so easy to fall into a rhythm of something that seems never to change whether that is your weight or your mile time. Sadly, you can't build a city, or become healthier overnight.

We see people who are thinner, curvier, smarter, faster, and so much more than us. We all waste time comparing ourselves to people around us and on our timelines, but some of our biggest strengths are our individuality and the gift of getting back up after falling down.

All I can say is, please don't give up on your goal of being healthier because this is solely for you. We can have a great support system in the world and have everyone in our corner, but that isn't enough.

You need yourself. You need to know that if you don't entirely put yourself in this journey, then you won't fully succeed. Your commitment to bettering yourself can keep you going even if you want to give up.

Your motivation may not be at its peak level right now, and you may have every cell in your body screaming at you to quit. Don't do it. Prove to yourself that you can keep going no matter what. Not giving up will be worth it. The results and taking the hard way will make you a stronger person inside and out.

You can do this. You can do anything you want to accomplish if you just believe in yourself. You need to understand that becoming healthier takes endurance. There will be periods where you slow down and may not be going at your fastest pace. The difference is that you are not giving up and you are still trying and moving.

Don't treat becoming healthier as a sprint: short term and quick. That mentality will only leave you feeling deflated and defeated. It is a life-long marathon of pacing yourself and pushing yourself further than ever before.

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