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.
School of American Ballet students (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy SAB)
Do you have a "Strictly Ballet"–sized hole in your heart? Good news: The upcoming docuseries "On Pointe" just might fill it.
The School of American Ballet is teaming up with Imagine Documentaries and DCTV for the project. Though it's not yet clear where "On Pointe" will air, we do know that it'll follow talented SAB students preparing for professional ballet careers—much as Teen Vogue's popular "Strictly Ballet" web series did back in the day. But "On Pointe" marks the first time documentary filmmakers have been allowed access to the school, and it sounds like it'll paint an even more complete picture of the dancers' lives inside and outside the studio.
Choreographer Bob Fosse's signature style—with its jazz hands, inverted knees, and slouched shoulders—is still a huge influence in the dance world (and, thanks to the gloriously dancyFX series "Fosse/Verdon," the TV world). But while you know to expect plenty of Fosse-isms during a stage performance of Chicago or Sweet Charity, Fosse's legacy has also seeped into pop music culture, inspiring the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. Here are just six of the many music videos that reference Fosse's iconic works.
Gabrielle Hamilton in John Heginbotham's dream ballet from Oklahoma! Photo by Little Fang Photo, courtesy DKC/O&M
Last night, longtime theater legends (including Chita Rivera herself!) as well as rising stars gathered to celebrate one of Broadway's danciest events: the third annual Chita Rivera Awards.
The evening paid tribute to this season's dancer standouts, extraordinary ensembles, and jaw-dropping choreography—on- and off-Broadway and on film.
As usual, several Dance Spirit faves made it into the mix. (With such a fabulous talent pool of nominees to choose from, we're glad that ties were allowed.) Here are the highlights from the winner's list: