The Jacket Journal

Is Dance a Sport?

Should dance be considered a sport?

Kristen Bailey, Staff Reporter

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By definition, a sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. For a while now, whether or not dance should be considered a sport has been a controversy. Everybody has a different opinion, thus making this topic still undecided.

Dancers compete in many different competitions per year, as well as prepare and practice almost all year long. In a typical dance competition, dance teams or soloists compete against each other to win. Judges will give each dance a score, which is used to figure out who the winner is. You can also get a special award, which a judge can give out when they see a dance with a certain flair. They use a creative title for the special award that can go with the title, theme, or talent of the dance/dancer.

Dances can also be performed for entertainment. An example of this occurred at the Mr. WCHS event last January, which was an event for boys to compete for the title of Mr. WCHS. The JSOD, (Janes School of Dance) Diamond tap team performed a tap dance entitled ‘Somebody to Love’ to entertain the audience. It also gave the audience a break from what they were watching and let them become relaxed.

Unlike what a lot of people think, dance is hardcore. Most people think that it’s easy, but it’s really quite the opposite. To just hold themselves in first position, which is a position in ballet, dancers must turn out their feet from their hips, engage their entire leg, make sure they are not rolling in on their feet, engage their abs, keep a tight stomach, hold arms in the correct position while keeping them strong, keep their neck and eyes up, and smile. Dance takes dedication at the studio and at home. Dancers spend countless hours at the studio, and they still work and practice at home to make themselves the best they can be. Also, there are many different types of dance that dancers take. Some examples include ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, pointe, and Broadway.

Dance truly fits the definition of a sport, but people still argue whether or not dance should be considered a sport. A lot of people overlook dance since they don’t understand it as well as they do other sports. Or, they believe that a ball must be involved in order for something to be a sport, but according to the actual definition of a sport, that is not the case. 

Another issue that has come up is gender inequality in sports. It is well known that football is a sport, as it is a mostly masculine activity. Feminine activities such as tennis, gymnastics, and dance are not widely known as sports. Masculine sports are better known on the media since there are many channels showing sports like basketball and football. Feminine sports are not on television a lot, which is another reason why they are not as well known. Feminine sports take just as much work as masculine sports and should be considered equal.

Five students at WCHS were interviewed regarding the topic of whether dance is a sport or not.

Julia Hill (9)

Julia Hill is a Freshman here at WCHS and was previously a dancer at Janes School of Dance.

1. What do you think makes a sport, a sport?

JH: “I think a sport is made officially a sport when there is a muscle being used in a competitive manner.”

2.  Do you think dance should be considered a sport? Why or why not?

JH: “I do think dance is a sport because it complies to the definition of a sport I gave above. However, unlike other sports, dance is also an art. Dance puts on a performance that an audience enjoys watching.”

3. Do you think that there is gender inequality when it comes to sports, since masculine sports are considered sports, but feminine activities aren’t?

JH: “I do not think that there is gender inequality when it comes to sports. I think that, while one sport may be perceived more towards one gender or another, there is nothing stopping the opposite sex from breaking the gender stigma. I do think some sports complement one gender more than the other. However, I have seen many fantastic male dancers and female football players, etc.”

Storm Curtis (9)

Storm Curtis is a Freshman here at WCHS and is not affiliated with dance.

1. What do you think makes a sport a sport?

SC: “What makes a sport a sport is it being competitive, and involving physical activity of some sort. While some may say that the possibility of a reward for doing good in a sport makes it one, they forgot that ultimate frisbee’s seen as a sport, and I can’t remember the last time someone was paid for playing ultimate frisbee. If there are some professional players of ultimate frisbee out there getting paid for playing, then that’s my mistake.”

2. Do you think dance should be considered a sport? Why or why not?

SC: “Dance, more specifically, competitive dance, should definitely be considered a sport. It is competitive in the quality of the dancers’ dancing, and you can’t dance without doing any physical activity at all.”

3. Do you think that there is gender inequality when it comes to sports, since masculine sports are considered sports, but feminine activities aren’t?

SC: “It depends on which ‘feminine activities’ you’re referring to. If you’re referring to society seeing activities like dance as not sports, then yeah, there’s some gender inequality in masculine and feminine competitions being considered sports by society. If you’re thinking of non-athletic activities, like gossip or bragging, those definitely aren’t sports, and shouldn’t be considered so.”

Emma Wesely (11)

Emma Wesely is a Junior here at WCHS and is currently a competitive dancer at Janes School of Dance.

1. What do you think makes a sport a sport?

EW: “I think a sport is an activity that participates in competitions and involves physical activity.”

2. Do you think dance should be considered a sport? Why or why not? 

EW: “I believe that dance should be considered a sport because it is gender neutral and is a popular activity around the world. Dance is a controversial activity since it is considered an art form, can we also say its a sport?

Dance is a sport that requires lots of work and dedication.”

— Emma Wesely

3. Do you think that there is gender inequality when it comes to sports, since masculine sports are considered sports, but feminine activities aren’t?

EW: “Yes, I do believe that there is a gender inequality in sports. I think that this is a problem of society and that it is not a priority to towns to provide certain sports for girls and boys. For instance, many towns do not provide football for girls and usually focuses on the boy’s football. Although, I do feel that some circumstances there is gender inequality because of the physical aspects of men and women. It is a fact that women are, on average, weaker than men but that is not a sexist statement.”

Tara Rapoport (9)

Tara Rapoport is a Freshman here at WCHS and is a dancer currently a Bluegrass Youth Ballet.

1. What do you think makes a sport a sport?

TR: “A sport is something that involves some type of physical activity and includes organized rules or procedures. It can also be competitive but does not have to be.”

2. Do you think dance should be considered a sport? Why or why not?

TR: “Dance should be considered a sport because it involves rigorous physical activity, requires advanced athletic ability, has organized rules and procedures, and can be competitive sometimes. Dance is more along the border of arts and sports but should be considered both as it is both a form of artistic expression and is a physical activity.”

3. Do you think that there is gender inequality when it comes to sports, since masculine sports are considered sports, but feminine activities aren’t?

TR: “Yes, there is gender inequality in sports. For example, girls are often barred from playing American football and other sports that are considered masculine. Boys, while not banned from doing ballet or gymnastics or generally “feminine” sports can face bullying or criticism. Boys who do ballet have been known to been called “gay”(as an insult) by their peers.”

Therefore, dance is a sport but is also much more than that. Dance is an art, which is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. Dance should not be limited to just either being a sport or not being a sport. Dance is a sport and an art, which adds to its uniqueness and value. Gender inequality is still a major problem. Feminine sports should be considered as worthy as masculine sports.

Should dance be considered a sport?

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About the Writer
Kristen Bailey, Staff Reporter

Kristen Bailey is a freshman at Woodford County High School, and this is her first year as a staff member on The Jacket Journal. Kristen is a competitive...

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Is Dance a Sport?