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Can dance be considered a sport?

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When listing off sports, many would raise their eyebrow at the mention of dance. This is despite the fact that dancers have just as rigorous training regimes as rugby players do, for example. For some reason, this art form is not considered to be under the same category as hockey, baseball or even Zumba.

So why is Zumba (a Latin-inspired dance-fitness programme) more widely accepted as a sport than dance itself? I believe the answer lies in the following three views:

1) Dance does not require as much physical strength.
If we look at traditional sports such as tennis, athletics and javelin, the common threads seems to be physical exertion, discipline and use of muscles. All of these characteristics apply equally to dance. Whilst it may look effortless, dance requires a lot of sweat and determination. Dance improves strength and stamina just as much as football and skiing do.

For this reason, it also boasts the same health benefits as many other sports; reduced stress, less risk of high blood pressure or of osteoporosis (a condition which weakens bones), to name but a few.

2) Dance has no overall goal or objective (as opposed to a runner who wants to beat a time, or a footballer who wants to score goals).
There are actually dance competitions but even if there weren’t, would it matter? Besides, I believe the aim of dance is to communicate a story/emotions, or purely to entertain.

 3) Anybody can dance as it is a game of memory, not of skill.
Firstly, the same could be said of any sport. Secondly, some people are more naturally graceful and have more natural rhythm than others. Thus, to say a professional dancer does not require skill would be unjust.

From an early age I have tried my hand at ballet, tap, hip hop and contemporary dance, and I can safely say that I was at my fittest when I was dancing. Without dance, I would walk up a set of stairs slowly and start panting; with dance, I would stroll up those stairs with no problem. And this is just from doing a couple of hours of training a week! All things considered, I would definitely consider dance a sport.

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Do you think dance is a sport? 


DANCE_IS_A_SPORT's picture
DANCE_IS_A_SPORT 26 July, 2020 - 09:36

Your First point;
Dance does not require as much physical strength.
This is rubbish.
Dance is one of the few sports in which, not only do you need immense strength in your upper body or lower body, but you need immense strength in BOTH. You need exponential levels of strength and better yet, CONTROL. that is the upmost difficult type of strength.
Your second point.
This is not true. As well as doing it for other peoples entertainment, you compete against others in competitions. If you dont see an objective in that then your a little bit dull. Also, we constantly strive to get new steps, that are more and more complicated (and subsequently, difficult) and advanced.

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unicorne's picture
unicorne 6 April, 2016 - 07:23

Of course it's a sport because when you train long time it's verry hard ans there is a lot of possibility to do

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Lavender's picture
Lavender 8 January, 2016 - 01:43

I agree that dance helps with enhancing health effectively, like strengthen flexibility and endurance. Dance requires skills and efforts just the same as other sports. The more you practice the more you master it. Still, dance is not sport for me. There are techniques but no rules in dance. For example in soccer it doesn't count if you kick the ball out of the border, and we have a referee, red cards, yellow cards... But in dancing you can do whatever you want, we can copy and paste and we can create our own game. It's a matter of preference. We so have freestyle dance. So to me dance is a kind of act, an act that is close to physical aspect.
Anyway I love dancing and I admire people who dance professionally.

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D_M's picture
D_M 12 January, 2017 - 15:43

Dance is not considered a sport by people who never practice it. I think that dance is a sport like the others

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Pilot's picture
Pilot 28 December, 2015 - 20:18

Common. Dance isn't a sport. Sport mean is fight for something then beat or lose. But never give up just fight then success. Beat is not important but in sports fight is one rule. And dance is not a sport it s just an art. But it s good art for people's body.

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iva10's picture
iva10 17 December, 2015 - 15:07

I think it could be a sport,because like in sport we have to work really hard to do some move right and some dances are really complicated.And dance is not for everyone,someone is good at english,some at math and some at dance.

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