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.
Expressions Dance Alliance president Liz Ladley addressing the company (Sabrina Thadani, courtesy Liz Ladley)
Do you dream of running your student dance company or becoming captain of your dance team? Are you a triple threat eager to direct your school's next musical? If you have big ideas and the drive to make them a reality—as well as a strong rapport with your fellow performers—you might be a good fit for a leadership role. But even the most dedicated dancers can stumble during the transition from peer to peer leader. Try these tips to make the most of your tenure at the top.
In today's dance world, versatility is key. It's not enough to be a master of one style—even when they specialize in one area, dancers are frequently asked to fuse multiple genres, or step out of their comfort zone for specific projects. With their wide variety of summer programs, Joffrey Ballet School aims to prepare dancers for the demands of a professional career. We asked five faculty members to share how they do this:
Right now, it seems like the entire world is equal parts obsessed with and thoroughly creeped out by Jordan Peele's Us, the horror film about devilish doppelgängers that's currently rated 94% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
But while the normal human reaction to Us is to hide under the covers for approximately 17 years, "Step Up: High Water" superhero Kendra "K.O." Oyesanya's reaction was to make a totally bananas dance video.