If dance is a sport, then GHS should have a dance team


Caitlyn Muniz leaps across the stage at a competition

CAITLYN MUNIZ, Contributor

It is no doubt that along with having artistic qualities, dance is more importantly an underrated and strenuous sport. As a dancer myself, we go through so much physical, mental, and emotional pain and get little to no acknowledgment. The journey of classes and rehearsals is hidden behind the final destination of a performance, which is just icing on the cake. Through pointe, partnering, plies, pirouettes, and more, dance is a meaningful and passionate sport. 

The first reason why dance should be considered a sport is that high schools have dance teams. Some examples of schools in Massachusetts that have dance teams or offer dance classes are Newton South High School, Lowell High School, Boston Latin School, Belmont High School, and Lexington High School. These are just a few of the many examples of schools that actually take this sport seriously and care about it. While it is true that Gloucester High School doesn’t offer dance, if we did offer a dance team or dance classes people might take this sport more seriously, just like they take football and basketball very seriously. 

Second of all, dance requires equipment and uniforms just like any other sport. A pair of pointe shoes is just as essential as a soccer ball on the soccer field. The pointe shoes move and guide dancers to look as graceful and elegant as they can. Furthermore, ballerinas are required to wear a specific uniform/dress code to classes. They are also required to wear certain costumes, hair, and makeup for performances just like football, baseball, basketball, and soccer players have to wear a certain uniform for games. You may be thinking, how does this validate dance as a sport? The answer to that question would be that wearing uniforms is something that dance has in common with any sport you can think of which can be proof that dance is in the category of sports. 

Third of all, it takes years of training. Becoming a professional dancer takes 9 years of difficult and vigorous practicing. Because it takes so much training and hard work, it is degrading when a dancer is told that her sport isn’t valid. Another point is that a normal civilian would not be able to keep up in a normal ballet class. You may say that they won’t be able to keep up because they aren’t trained to be a professional. For example, Michelle Khare, a civilian who had never tried ballet, trained as a ballerina for 6 weeks. In her YouTube video she quotes “I know it looks really simple but y’all are just at home on a couch watching this. You should try it ‘cause damn it’s really hard!” She additionally adds “going on pointe was I think one of the most painful experiences of my life” These quotes are examples of how difficult this sport really is, especially to an average person. This video shined a light on how physically and mentally challenging it is to be a dancer. 

Lastly, the definition of a sport according to dictionary.com is “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature.” Dance follows all of these criteria. All forms of dance require a lot of skill and physical prowess. You may say that dance is an art form and not a sport. Sure, dance has some artistic qualities but it takes skill and athleticism to dance which follows the definition of a sport. You also may say that it isn’t of a competitive nature, but the majority of dancers have at some point attended a dance competition whether it be for just ballet or all types of dance. Dancers are also constantly competing against each other for roles and special parts. In summary, dance follows all of the criteria of the official definition of a sport and should be considered one because of this. 

In short, there are lots of ways to prove that dance has artistic qualities, but more importantly, it’s a sport as well. Dance uses uniforms and equipment. Dance takes years of training. Dance is physically straining. Dance is mentally challenging. Dance is competitive in its own nature. Dance is an art. And mainly, dance is a sport.