Just for fun

10 Reasons Dance Is Undeniably a Sport

It's the age-old debate: Is dance a sport? The answer is, without a doubt, YES. Of course, dance is much more than just a sport. But when we get down to the logistics of it all, it's impossible not to recognize it as the athletic endeavor it is. Here are 10 reasons why dance absolutely qualifies as a sport.


It Demands Crazy Stamina


What's that, soccer players? You have to run back and forth down the field for 90 minutes? Well, dancers need to have the stamina to make it through a show of that same length—and we're not supposed to show the audience how hard we're breathing.

It's Super Competitive


No, we're not playing in the Super Bowl, but we might be in the race for Best Dancer. And even beyond the world of competitive dance, dancers are in constant competition for roles and jobs.

It Shapes Our Bodies


Just as you can identify a serious athlete walking down the street by musculature and posture, you can pick out a dancer immediately, too. Our bodies are our instruments, after all.

It Makes Stretching a Must


Just like other athletes—more than the majority of them!—we have to stretch like crazy to perform at our best.

It Emphasizes Strength


In pretty much any sport, strength is key. In dance, without strength, there's no way we could get through an entire show.

It Often Leads to Serious Injuries


With all the crazy feats dancers have to perform, it's no surprise that we get injured just as often as—if not more so than—other athletes.

It Requires the Best Equipment


A baseball player would never use a less-than-perfect glove; a dancer would never wear a less-than-perfect pointe shoe.

Uniforms Might Be Required


Dance teamers know a thing or two about sporting team colors. And ballet students who have to wear certain leos for certain classes understand the power of uniformity, too.

It Takes Years of Training


Like all professional athletes, dancers need years and years of study to become the best they can be—a process that takes determination, drive, and a whole lot of work.

It Demands Sacrifice and Discipline


Like any sport, being a dancer is far from easy. But it's what we love to do—which makes all the blood, sweat, and tears worth it.

Teaching Tips
A 2019 Dancewave training. Photo by Effy Grey, courtesy Dancewave

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Of course, there's no easy answer, and no perfect approach. As social justice advocate David King emphasized at a recent interactive webinar, "Cultivating Racial Equity in the Classroom," this work is never-ending. The event, hosted by Dancewave (which just launched a new racial-equity curriculum) was a good starting point, though, and offered some helpful takeaways for dance educators committed to racial justice.

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The author, Robyn Watson. Photo courtesy Watson

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But along with the back-to-school excitement, dancers might be feeling rusty from being away from the studio for so long. A loss of flexibility, strength and stamina is to be expected, not to mention emotional fatigue from all of the uncertainty and reacclimating to social activities.

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