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But is dance even a sport?

Susana G., Opinion Editor

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With the beginning of the school year come the awkward ice-breaking games and the “get to know each other” questions, so when my turn comes and someone asks: “Do you play any sports?” and I  confidently  answer:  “Yes, I dance!”, that person looks back at me with disappointment and says the worst thing a dancer can be told: “Dance is easy so it’s not sport.” That phrase has haunted me for years and has created a widely discussed question- Is dance a sport?

First let’s start by breaking down  the definition of a sport, according to The Oxford Dictionary a sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

“Dancers condition just as much as football players, and we do things that not even they can do”, said sophomore Juicy Kersten. Not only do dancers condition but performing a full two-minute routine takes a lot of stamina and strength, and even the most conditioned dancers leave the dance floor breathless, not to mention that dancers are able to develop muscles that other athletes can only obtain going to the gym 24/7. So “activity involving physical exertion” Check!

What many people don’t know is that dance is not just a hobby, or something people do at homecoming and prom, for us dancers, dance is serious and most dance teams and companies go to at least 5 competitions per season, including national competitions where teams from all over the country compete against each other in different genres to gain recognition as a National Champions. Competitive aspect, Check!

So if dance fits into the definition of a sport, what is it that makes it such a controversial topic? When asked Lake Mary’s dance teacher and Marionette coach Stephanie Kersten said ” I wouldn’t consider dance a sport , but dancers are definitely athletes. Dance is scored in a subjective scoring sheet, which makes it hard to  tell who the real winner is”,  and although judges can change their scoring depending on their own pet peeves, just like in gymnastics there are certain deductions taken  if a trick is not performed with certain technique or if there’s a fall. So is dance not a sport because there’s no objective way to determine a winner? or is it because as Senior Tanner Eaves said – “Dance is supposed to be done for entertainment and expression”?  Although many use dance as an outlet for their emotions, when it comes down to competitions dancers DO NOT PLAY and they can be the meanest people you meet, because for them that title is just as prestigious as a gold medal is for an Olympian.

The answers for this question are endless, and maybe this debate will end the day dance is admitted into the Olympic games (yes, rumor has it ballroom  will be in the 2020 Olympics), but as of now two sides of the spectrum exist, but if you want to be in a dancers good side I recommend you choose your words wisely,and as a as senior Kayla Kersten stated- “we work just as hard as other athletes do, we put just as much work into what we do, we run our routines over and over again and memorize multiple routines. So now tell me can you do that or pull your leg to your ear?”

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But is dance even a sport?