Giphy

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.

Related Articles From Your Site
Related Articles Around the Web

Latest Posts


Project 21 dancers (from left) Selena Hamilton, Gracyn French, and Dyllan Blackburn (Photo by Quinn Wharton; hair and makeup throughout by Angela Huff for Mark Edward Inc.)

How Project 21 Is Shaping the Next Generation of Competition-Dance Standouts

"I wish I had a better story about the name," says Molly Long, founder of the Orange County, CA–based dance studio Project 21. In truth, it's a play on the fact that she was born on the twenty-first of August, and 21 is her favorite number. "I was away on a teaching tour, the audition announcement was going live on Instagram the next day, and I desperately needed a name. Project 21 was just the least cheesy of the options I thought of!"

The fact that fans might expect the name to have some profound meaning speaks to the near-mythic status Project 21 has achieved on the competition and convention scene since its founding in 2014. Long's dancers are all wholly individual, yet jell seamlessly as a group, and are consistently snagging top prizes everywhere on the circuit. Each season brings a slew of new accolades, high-caliber faculty, and legions of devoted followers.

The industry has taken notice of the studio's unique ethos. "Molly gets through to her dancers in a special way, and they have this incomparable level of commitment to their craft as a result," says dancer and choreographer Billy Bell, who's worked closely with Long and her dancers. "That's what sets them apart—it's like a little dose of magic."

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Because this is stock art that exists in 2020. (Getty Images)

How to Dance in a Face Mask

There's a new must-have accessory for the dancers who've begun to venture back into the studio. Face masks are essential to protect your teachers and fellow dancers (not to mention their families) from coronavirus. But they definitely make dancing more complicated.

How can you prepare for—and adjust to—the new masked normal? Here's practical advice from Dr. Steven Karageanes, a primary care sports medicine specialist who's worked with the Rockettes and "So You Think You Can Dance," and Anna Dreslinski Cooke, a Chicago-based professional dancer who has experience dancing in cloth masks, disposable masks, N95 masks, and face shields.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search