So there’s been this everlasting debate on whether or not dance is really a sport. Some people feel that dance is a creative, expressive art form without winners or losers, while others believe that dance is very competitive and that it takes the same amount of preparation and focus as any sport, it’s just channeled differently. Well since I’m both an athlete and trained dancer, I decided to compare both disciplines and come up with my own conclusion. In my opinion dance is a sport so let the breakdown begin!
Sport: An athletic activity requiring skill or prowess and often a competitive nature; an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.
Dance: Moving rhythmically to music, typically following a set of steps; a series of movements that match the speed and rhythm of a piece of music in competition or as a source of entertainment.
The only difference between the two, one is mainly performed to music. Both activities require individuals to use both aerobic and anaerobic energy. The Aerobic energy system uses carbohydrates, fat and oxygen to produce glucose that is then converted into ATP. The Anaerobic system replenishes the ATP in our bodies. Aerobic and Anaerobic systems are important to both athletes and dancers because it enhances their endurance for a long sustained period. Sports science supports the findings that ballet and other dance genres can enhance balance which is a key aspect of agility , improves flexibility , endurance and injury prevention which are all important factors for athletes. Not to mention they are both competitive while in competition there is always a winner and loser. I know some of you out there watch So You Think You Can Dance and ABDC which are televised dance competitions that have a winner and a loser & nothing in between.
I ran track throughout middle school till my sophomore year of college and when I added dance to the equation my freshman year I noticed I became a overall stronger and faster athlete but I just love to dance so that’s what I did.
- A healthier mental state that promotes self-awareness
- The ability to make split-second decisions
These points are all desirable attributes for many competitive sport. Some researchers have even compared body movements of track and field athletes with dancers. They found there is no difference until it came down to balancing on a platform blindfolded and the study revealed dancers were more stable than the track athletes. I honestly believe that the only difference between the two is where the “action” takes place while their performing . I personally combined my track workouts with my dance workouts to prepare my body for any competition or performance. Both activities use the same body mechanics , they just have different objects when executing that movement. Having a strong core is essential for both, athletes need a strong core so they can have and improve their body control and dancers need to have strong cores to perform different isolations, stabilizing their torso while leaping as well as body control.
Athletes and dancers have a lot in common and they do similar actions just in a different combination and for different reasons.
- Turning- Pivots in soccer/basketball/football
- Contraction- Goalies(soccer)
- Shifting weight- Cutting in football/ basketball/soccer
- Jumping- Interceptions-Football/ Headers-Soccer/ Jumping in Basketball
One thing I found interesting is that DANCE actually serves as a performance enhancer for some sports and for obvious reasons the sport I will be covering is FOOTBALL we LOVE football over here at PPI .
Football is a sport that involves jumps, leaps,turns, weight shifting, contractions, running, precisions and control, strength, and flexibility which are some of the core concepts of Ballet. Football players benefit from this genre because it teaches them self awareness and prevents injury. When football players are learning how to do leaps and jumps their also learning how to shift their weight. These are skills that make it safer for them to catch , intercept and tackle with out injuring themselves. Leaping also teaches them how to land without losing their footing. When players are learning how to shift their weight they are also improving on their speed and cutting ability. When the athlete understands how to do both it will most definitely give them an advantage over their opponent.
Now I know some of you out there are probably reading this like “Nuh uh” well I planned for that because my next point will most certainly keep you on your toes!
John A. Bergfeld , medical advisor for the Cleveland Browns, saw fewer groin strain injuries after team members participated in a 12-week series of ballet classes. Bergfeld claims ballet leads to heightened body awareness and increased hip and joint range of motion, factors that can help prevent groin strain. I would also like to add that Mr. Willie Gault who played in the NFL for 11 seasons with the Bears and the Raiders said that ballet played a role in his injury resistant method.
Grace and Gridiron (Rick Reilly describes how Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon uses ballet as a means to improve his football performance.)
I hope this little bit of information got your juices flowing on this debate because this was just the warm up, I’ll be back soon with more reasons on why dance is actually a SPORT & a performance enhancer but if you think otherwise hit me up on twitter @La_KJ or send me a message on Tumblr @barrebully.tumblr.com. You may even find your comment or our debate in one of these stories because your voice does matter.
Featured Song : Deep by Grandtheft & Christian Rich
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