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Opinion: Dance is a Sport

M%26M+Dance+Academy+students+prepare+for+their+upcoming+Nutcracker+performance.
M&M Dance Academy students prepare for their upcoming Nutcracker performance.

M&M Dance Academy students prepare for their upcoming Nutcracker performance.

Photographed by Jen Bosche

Photographed by Jen Bosche

M&M Dance Academy students prepare for their upcoming Nutcracker performance.

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As a competitive dancer, My week is made up of group dance rehearsals twice a week (each 2 hours), 8 hours of dance classes weekly, a 30-minute solo rehearsal every other week, and a 30-minute duet rehearsal every week. On top of all of this, I go home and do all three  of my splits for 2 minutes each, I do at least 100 crunches, and I do leg strengthening exercises for 20 minutes after that every night. All of this effort and all of this dedication and yet, I still don’t receive the title of “athlete”?

Everyone of the dancers that I know will tell you the same thing. They go through equally rigorous and difficult training but don’t receive the credit for it.

Dance is a sport.

Why? Well for one, dancers put in long and intense hours of work in order to better their craft. They dance day in and day out to make sure that they are “performance ready”. On top of running routines over and over, dancers have to keep their bodies conditioned through flexibility training, leg strengthening and abdominal workouts. These rigorous practices resemble some of those that many other sports engage in.

Some dancers compete at competitions with their group routines and/or solo routines. This is not much different than other sports teams competing in a big game. Dancers have to prepare their dances so they can compete at a higher level, much like a football team would strive to win a game.

So if dancers train and compete just like other sports, why don’t they receive the credit for it?

Society has a preconceived notion that in order for something to be a sport, it has to involve a ball of some sort, but this couldn’t be farther from actuality.

Time and time again, people overlook dance because it doesn’t fit the stereotype of a sport. Dancers compete against other performers as a team to win competitions. How is this any different than a team sport? It does not make any sense for this topic to even be called into question.

If an athlete is applying the strength, dedication and physical exertion that a sport entails, then that activity qualifies as a sport.

Dance is more than only a hobby. The dancers that work so hard to be the best at this sport deserve the credit and the recognition that comes with being an athlete.

Unfortunately, people will continue to look down on dancers and our sport, but please reconsider because the time, dedication, and physical training that goes into dance earns it the title of a sport.

 

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Opinion: Dance is a Sport