Unpopular Opinion: Dance is a Sport


Anisha Agrawal

One of the authors, freshman Bora Cecia, takes a leap while performing a dance. (Photo by Anisha Agrawal)

Bora Cecia and Anisha Agrawal

Football, soccer, and basketball are some of the most popular sports here at Mason. All of these require extensive training and grueling sessions that pay off when athletes compete in games.

As we have both participated in many different sports in the past and even now, we know the process that athletes have to go through on a daily basis. When it comes to dance, however, many people debate about whether it is a sport or a form of art.

According to the Oxford Dictionaries, “a sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” Dance abides by each aspect of this definition.

Dancers use the same amount of energy as most athletes – dance requires stamina, strength, and flexibility. Dancers work as hard as any other athletes. They train the same amount, and sometimes even more. On average, dancers train three hours a day, and 21 hours a week.

“I believe that dance is a sport because it builds the foundation for strength, balance, and endurance. Did you know that on average a 30-second ballet routine on pointe shoes takes as much energy as a whole quarter for a football player?” said freshman Daria Dewald, a ballet dancer who trains five times a week.

Stress and pressure are also significant factors in dance. In basketball, for example, the athletes have to remember the plays and techniques. Similarly, dancers need to remember their moves and their dance sequence.

Just as with any other sport, one has to stretch before and after and be cautious of injuries. If an athlete ends up getting injured, they have to treat it as soon as they can so that they can recover and play again. This process is the same for dancers. Furthermore, injuries are pretty common in the dance world.

Some people may argue instead that dance is a form of art as you are able to express your emotions and are able to convey a message. When dancers choreograph their own routines, they connect it to something in their lives and portray the emotions that they have felt during that time. This doesn’t mean it’s not a sport, though. It just means it’s a sport that allows for the athletes to express themselves, unlike basketball or football.

Knowing the endless hours of training, strength, flexibility and energy required in dance makes it hard to believe that dance is not considered a sport to some. Dance can be classified as many things – an activity, a hobby, an art. It’s all these things, but above all, it’s a sport.