Dancing: A Sport or an Art?

Avery, Staff Editor

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Dancing. A beautiful yet physical exercise that flourishes in the hot lights of an auditorium.

Dancers. Athletes that endure pain in their quest for perfection, but know they will never achieve it.

The question that no one can answer, though many have tried: Is dancing a sport? Even I, as a dancer, only have a glimpse of an answer.

If dance is a sport, the dancers who do not compete get left out of the equation; if it isn’t, people are given the impression that dance is just running around in tutus and princess crowns.

So I have come to a conclusion: Dance, in all its various forms, cannot simply be a sport. It reaches beyond the confines and becomes something else, its own idea. But dancers are unquestionably athletes, in every meaning of the word.

These definitions make this plain to see. What is a sport or an athlete when defined using only words?

According to the Oxford Dictionaries, a sport is ‘an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.’ Dance certainly requires ‘physical exertion and skill’- you can’t complete any performance without physical exertion, and to successfully land a pirouette requires skill. But even so, when you add in the second part of the definition, dance cannot be a true sport. In dance, only some people compete, and while there is the friendly competition in various auditions for parts or summer programs or levels of training, it is not scored really.

Dance is an art. When defined by the Oxford dictionaries, an art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form…producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty and/or emotional power. Dance fulfills each of these requirements. The dancers send their joy or grief or anger out to the audience, and it is wonderful to be in a theater and to see the reactions on people’s faces.

Yet, dancers are athletes. This word means a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise, according to the Oxford dictionaries. All dance is physical exercise, from jazz to ballet to hip-hop, and all dancers are proficient, or skilled, in their dance.

To conclude, though dance may not be a considered a sport by many, its dancers are definitely athletes. And from modern to tap to Russian character, all dance shares at least one common aspect: all dancers love to dance. And all dancers will demonstrate their crazy-good extension by kicking you on your head if you try to tell them that their type of dance is easy.

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