Dance is a unique sport because it combines the grit and sweat of sporting events, such as track and field, with the style and extravagance of a fashion show (D.Fowler, 2000).
With such an atypical style, dance can be found in various forms. Dance can be entertainment, tradition, recreation, a competitive event, or even a simple act of joy. So should dance be classified as a sport....or what? Many people believe that dance is a "cute" activity that is "fun" but shouldn't be taken seriously. Why is this? Dance has been around for generations, but, as it seems, dance is still a thing of the past, that hasn't caught up with modern trends. Although dance may be considered old-fashioned - should dance be excluded from being classified a sport?
After surveying a group of fifty of my peers on their perception of dance as a sport View Appendix 1 - survey template, I found the following results. Forty-seven out of the Fifty people surveyed have been involved in a dance of some type. Most of those who had had danced at school for educational purposes. The debate of whether dance should be an Olympic sport or not was a fairly even split between Agree and Disagree. Thirty-seven of the people surveyed agreed that dance is classified as a sport. View appendix 2,3,4. These responses are close to what I had expected. I knew that most people would have been involved in dance because of school Heath & Physical Education. However I thought that there would be far more people who believed dance is NOT a sport. Some opinions linked with appendix 2 (Is dance a sport?) were as follows...
YES, especially ballet, tap etc., because it is hard work.
I personally disagree with this statement because I don't believe that ballet, tap and other types of stage dances should be considered a sport just because they are 'hard work'. An activity cannot be classified as a sport simply because it involves physical exertion. Stage dances, I believe are intended mainly to entertain an audience. Yet, this does not exclude them from being classified as a type of sport, as many sports are mainly spectator sports (e.g.. football). Also, Ballet and tap etc. are not naturally competitive in the traditional meaning of competing in sport S.Kelly, 2000 - View appendix 5 . I believe stage dances are an artistic form of dance in which the dancer can express their own interpretation of movement and music. This, therefore has no specific rules.
Dance is a sport, whether it is recreational or competitive.
I agree with this statement as it applies to many sports as well as dance. An individual may participate in dance in many different ways, whether it be recreational, artistic, or competitive. Whether dance is taken seriously, or is participated in as just a recreational pastime - the person participating is still taking part in a sport. To involve oneself in a sport doesn't need the individual to compete in that sport. The sport of dancing is exactly the same as other sports - you don't need to actually compete to call yourself a dance sportsman S.Kelly, 2000 - view Appendix 5.
Some opinions linked with appendix 4 (An Olympic sport - Agree/Disagree) are as follows...
YES. It is similar to ice-skating and gymnastics - a creative form of sport.
I agree with this answer as dance is a sport - a creative sport. Ice-skating and gymnastics are both accepted Olympic sports. Like dancing, they can be difficult to judge. Though they may not be traditional track and field sports, ice-skaters and gymnasts have been given the chance to compete worldwide in the most competitive games in the world. I believe dance deserves this same chance, and in the year 2004 games they will receive it. This is a great achievement for dancers worldwide, as they finally get the chance to show the world their results of their demanding training. "Dancing is a full-on sport _ a lot of training goes into it" says Julian, Gold Coast Champion ballroom dancer.
NO, there are other places where it is competitive etc. - they don't need Olympics
I think this statement is ignoring the spirit of the Olympic games. Many sports have various competitions outside the Olympics. These sports don't need the Olympics either, but they deserve the right to compete, just as dance does. It is unfair to say that dance does not need the Olympics because there are other places where it is competitive, that is like saying Javelin shouldn't be included because it has plenty of coemptions outside of the Olympics. That ridiculous.
Definition of Sport: A type of physical activity that must involve physical exertion, have defined rules, be competitive and organised by a controlling body, require a development of skills and require a degree of fitness.
Dance complies with this definition of sport. Though dance maybe hard to define and categorise, it most definitely is a sport and is considered by many to be the summer time equivalent of ice skating. At the higher levels of competitive Dance the fitness levels and agility required are as high and in some cases higher than in many of the traditional sports (D.Roebuck, 2000). Dancing can be enjoyed by people of all ages, abilities, and fitness levels, as a social activity, to keep fit or to meet new people. The justification that dance should not be included in the Olympics because it is a sport which is judged and not clearly won (like in races), is a weak excuse. Many sports in the Olympics are judged (e.g.. Diving, gymnastics, ice skating, boxing and synchronised swimming). Though this makes the sport more complicated when it comes to selecting gold medal winners, I still believe that each country should be given the chance to show the world their talent in dance just as they show their talent in running, swimming, jumping and every other sport. The fifty people interviewed perceived sport as Social, Fun, Stylish, Physical, Expressive, Creative, Active and Powerful. With all these aspects of dance in mind, it seems that dance something everyone can enjoy and be apart of.
Kelly, Steve. 2000. Dance Scape.
(9 March 2000)
Fowler, Daniel. 2000. Tufts U. Ballroom dance club continues to grow.
(10 March 2000)
Roebuck, Darren. 2000. Adelaide Academy of Dancing.
(5 March 2000)