A Sport or an Art form?


Shanna Lafleur is a professional dancer. She has always had an ambition and passion for dance. This quote  is one of her many inspirational quotes about dance and her interpretation. The first time I laid my eyes on this quote I realized there was a whole debate backed up in a single sentence. She was trying to say that dance and sports can be related if we looked in the right context.

What is the criteria for something to be considered a sport?

“An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” This is the definition of what a sport is according to the Oxford Dictionary. In order for us to come to a conclusion whether dance is a sport or a type of art form we must certainly know what is considered a sport and what is considered an art form.

According to the oxford definition dance needs to have physical exertion of some sort, skill, and competition. I think all of these fall under dance. In order to attain a professional level of dancing you need years of training and a lot of stamina. Through the years of perfecting the type of dance you build physical endurance and skill. Dancers do workouts before dancing as a warm up to get their body ready for the vigor of the dance style. When it comes to the topic of competition there’s a bunch of competitions in the dance industry. Some are as famous as the show “So You Think You Can Dance” which is also aired on television for entertainment purposes for the audience.

There is an article on the odyssey that discusses the same issue on why dance should be considered a sport. The reasons the author points out in this article are also very prominent and she has a different take as to why she believes dance is a sport.https://www.theodysseyonline.com/10-reasons-why-dance-is-sport

What is the criteria for something to be considered an art form?

I believe dancing is an art form because it is solely based on creativity and it has no set rules or structure. Why then do people still widely debate the fact that dance is a sport? Yes, dancing is a very tiring art form indeed and dancers need a lot of stamina. “To be able to dance well, one needs to be flexible, strong, have stamina, have endurance and most importantly have a love for what they do.” (Jenna Garecht) But not all dance forms are as demanding. Some artforms are mainly focused on pedestrian movements which takes up more artistic ability than athletic ability.

Dancing has helped various sports like basketball and hockey. As this art form allows people to expand their ideas as there are no rules or boundaries people experience the extent to how and why their brain and body function the way they do and how it is connected to emotions which is communicates to the body through dance.

If you take into the consideration of Dancing on Ice it literally brings the two, dance and sports together. Dancing on Ice is a show where athletes get to bring in their inner dancer and compete against each other. Here is a beautiful video of a piece from Dancing on Ice.

After watching this video and thinking about the debate whether dance would fall under a sport or under an art form I am under a real dilemma. Before researching both the sides of the argument I always thought that dance was a type of art form. But now knowing more about what is a sport and learning how much dance has influenced sports I can’t say that dance will fall under one category or the other.

Dancing is both an art and a sport. Here is a Ted Talk about Marc Bamuthi Joseph who shares his own personal experiences while growing up and how dance and soccer played an essential role in his life.

When we take into consideration as to what Marc Joseph talks about in this ted talk he discusses how art can help sports. He then goes into detail how soccer and dance are very much alike and what emotions both of these things bring out in him. He conveys the idea that dancing can be a sport as much as it can be a type of art because it has all the elements combines. It has competition, team work, and skills involved which matches the Oxford definition of what is considered a sport. At the same time it has all the components any art form would have including creativity and passion.


Throughout this journey of researching on what dance is I have learned that everything is connected in some way. Debates on whether dance is a sport or an art form only exist because people have opinions on it being one or the other. However, have we ever considered that it can be both?

I believe dancing is an athletic form of art.

 

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