Dancers kick butt

Natalie Houalla

When I hear comments such as “Dance doesn’t count. It’s not a sport, it’s an art,” it really gets on my nerves. Anyone who dances knows what I am talking about. When discussing extra-curricular activities or athletics, the question will frequently arise… “Do you participate in any sports?”

I never hesitated. Yes, I do take part in a sport. I dance. It never occurred to me that dance didn’t “count.”

Mind you, I am not going to discredit the latter statement about dance as an art. But consider this; it could be both.

After hearing rude comments that were often followed by the mockery and belittling of dance itself, especially in regards to its level of difficulty, I decided to set things straight once and for all.

What is a sport? The exact dictionary definition is as follows. Sport- (noun) an athletic or physical activity requiring skill or physical prowess, often of a competitive nature, especially when governed by a set of rules or customs.

Obviously, dance is a physical activity. It gets you moving, ups your heart rate, makes you sweat and gives you sore muscles for the two days following.

As for skill and physical ability, that almost goes without saying. Building up a strong technique in any form of dance takes just as much effort, practice and determination as sports you see on television.

I would challenge anyone who disagrees to pick a Tuesday night, march themselves over to Jimmy Defore (dance studio), take a jazz class with LeAnn Alduenda and be humbled by the experience.

Dancing isn’t limited to classrooms. Nor is it showcased only in theatres. There are hundreds of dance competitions in the United States alone, including Youth America Grand Prix, Starpower and Hall of Fame.

Students and professionals often travel across the country to perform and compete in these competitions.

There are too many rules and customs that have to do with dance to name.

Dance is an art as well. Here is one of many definitions of art. Art- (noun) the conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty.

Clearly, the purpose of nearly every dance style is to use movements that depict some level of beauty or aesthetic appreciation.

Dancing incorporates athleticism and grace alike. It entails the same dedication and level of physical exertion as any other sport.

As Shanna LeFleur, a former dancer and teacher said, “It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer.”

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