Is competitive dance a sport?

Avery Koehler

More stories from Avery Koehler

Offseason training at FHC
November 28, 2022
Is disc golf a sport?
November 16, 2022
Disc golf at FHC
November 9, 2022
Is+competitive+dance+a+sport%3F

To give a definition, a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” So, by this definition, competitive dance is a sport.

Competitive dance is an activity that involves physical exertion, especially while practicing; dancers need to have good cardiovascular endurance to last through extremely long dance numbers. Muscular strength is important for dancers when they do partner lifts, animated hip-hop moves, and strong ability in all genres.  Anyone who has been to a dance competition has seen amazing flexibility and muscle strength.

Furthermore, competitive dance requires a serious aptitude for music and team coordination. Not only does one need to be skilled at keeping timing with the music to be on a competitive dance team, but one also needs to be able to keep timing with others on their team. Being able to keep oneself in time and together while dancing is difficult enough, but one step different than the rest of the team, and the moment is ruined. It takes coordination and skill to be synchronized with a team like that.

Though most of us have never seen a real competitive dance competition, they are much more complicated than one may think. The teams compete in categories separated by dance styles, the number of dancers, the dancer’s age, and the dance music. The teams are judged based on elements such as techniques, facial expressions, costumes, overall impression, proper form and transition, the difficulty of the routine, music, and choreography. In extreme cases, these tiring competitions can last anywhere from one to four days.

Yes, dance is entertaining. The lengthy and difficult routines the dancers do are engaging, impressive pieces of work. They work tirelessly to create flawless, mystical dance numbers. They create grace and precision everywhere they compete. Additionally, naming dance as a sport almost sells it short. Dance is not just athleticism and strength, it is also a beautiful art form. They work hard to bring musical pieces to life in the most creative way possible. 

So, why do some people not consider competitive dance a sport? Well, oftentimes they don’t realize just how much work is put in by the dancer. They often don’t know about the tiring hours of practice put in each day to perfect the routines and synchronization of the team. People also often claim that dancers do not actually compete and therefore dance is not a sport, or maybe they say dance is simply too delicate to be a sport. Neither of these is true. Dance teams do compete in competitions, and, if you saw a used ballet shoe, I don’t think there would ever be a doubt in your mind about the grit it takes to dance. Competitive dance fits the definition of a sport, so why say it’s not?

Just because it doesn’t involve a ball does not mean it’s not a sport. Just because you don’t like it does not mean it’s not a sport. Just because it’s not always rightfully appreciated does not mean it’s not a sport. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you can learn to appreciate it: competitive dance is a sport.