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Is Dance a Sport or an Art? Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 982

Essay

Abstract

Over the years, sports have become predominantly recognized as public displays of physical achievement. Professional athletes train for years to compete at world championships and Olympics. They work for years to improve their skills, endurance, and physical abilities. While the most televised and acclaimed sports in the United States are football, basketball, boxing, golf, tennis, hockey and baseball, recently the sports industry has started to heavily promote sports like the X-games, automobile racing, soccer, and mixed martial arts (Perform, 2012). Globally televised sports networks have even embraced significantly less physical activities, like poker, darts, considering them as sports. Despite the expansion of the sport category in the Western world, dance is still not viewed as a sport. Dance fails to gain recognition as a sport, even though it is a more challenging physical activity than many other athletic activities that currently retain sports status, such as Darts. The author of the current study is attempting to examine the criteria for a physical activity to be considered as a sport through the review of research and policies.

Introduction

After the broad success of the figure skating competition in the 2014 Winter Olympics, one might assume the world is ready to consider dancing, figure skating, or similar activities as a professional sport. Based on the physical fitness level required to complete the actions, these activities should be considered as a sport. The main problem, however, is that many people and experts argue that activities which require a dramatic musical scores as an integral part of their function fall into the arts category, and thus can’t be classified as sports. Further, many state that difficulty level of an activity should not be used as the primary criteria for classifying an activity as a sport. The author argues that while dancing has artistic features, it also includes a high dynamic component. Indeed, when looking at the Olympic games’s female gymnastics competition’s floor exercises, it is evident that they contain a good deal of artistic features, and are rated based on  perfection  of the movements, rhytm, and balance/control. According to the USA Gymnastics’ rules and policies (USA Gymnastics, 2014), performances are rated based on music, synchronization, choreography, and even the appearance of the gymnast.

Rationale

Sports are recognized worldwide as demonstrations of physical ability, and are also uused for marketing and entertainment. Dance has never fallen within the sports category, despite being an extremely physical and competitive physical exercise.

Dance can be for practice, performances or competition. In these ways, dance is comparable to virtually every physical sport. Webster’s dictionary defines physical conditioning as, “the process of becoming stronger and healthier by following a regular exercise program and diet. Or the process of training to become physically fit by a regimen of exercise, diet, and rest, resulting he state of physical fitness” (Merriam-Webster 1861-2015).

Practice, performances and competitions can all take place with some type of physical activity. Dancers have several rehearsals to prepare them for a performance, similar to basketball players having several practices to prepare them for a game. When football players are on the field, this is the time that they take to show off their skills. When dancers are performing their routine they are showing off their skills also known as talent as well.

Literature Review

The traditional and commonly accepted classification of sports is detailed in Mitchell et al.’s (2005) article. The authors determine the dynamic and static component as crucial for determining sports’ intensity. Bowling, for example, has a low dynamic and low static component, however, as it is a competitive sport and points can be determined without scoring, it is considered to be a sport, even though it requires less practice and fitness than dancing.

According to Pro Player Insiders (2012, para. 1), “dance is a creative, expressive art for without winners and loser and not defined by crass comparisons. Conventional sports like basketball and athletics have simple, non-subjective winning criteria- numbers of basket scored or time to run race or distance javelin thrown. Dance competitions are won or lost based on subjective judges decisions”, however, there are other sports (even in the olympics) that are judged and scored, such as gymnastics and synchronized swimming. On the other hand,  basketball games’ winning criteria are based on the number of baskets scored, but also fouls and mistakes. The game is still conducted by a referee, who can deny a player of a shot if wanted too, that can change or alter the teams finals score.

Ingram (1978) states that the primary difference between dance and sport is the motivation for participating in these activities. Indeed, dance has been considered as an art for a long time, and a crucial part of the entertainment industry.  Therefore, many of those who engage in this activity might be professional artist, but the activity is not restricted for people who are looking to improve their fitness level.

Garecht (2013), however, argues that dancing can be classified as both sport and art because it has elements of physical activity and creativity.

Conclusion

Dance involves physical movements that support a healthier way of living. Just like other sports, it can be performed for practice, performances or competition. In these ways, dance is comparable to virtually every physical sport.

References

Garecht J. (2013). Is Dance a Sport or an Art? Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jenna-garecht/is-dance-a-sport-or-an-ar_b_2681008.html

Ingram I. (1978). Dance and Sport. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 13(1): 85-97.

Merriam-Webster (1861-2015) Definition of Sports. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/

Mitchell, J., Haskell, W., Snell, P. & Van Camp, S. (2005) Task Force 8: Classification of sports. JACC Vol. 45, No. 8, 2005 April 19, 2005:1364–7

Perform (2012) Global sports media consumption report 2012. Retrieved from http://www.iabuk.net/sites/default/files/research-docs/Great_Britain_EMAIL.pdf

Pro Player Insiders. (2014) Is dance really a sport? Hell yes. Retrieved from http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/dance-really-sport-2/

Rotter M. (2014). Dance team: A sport that doesn’t get the respect it deserves. Star Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/243594181.html

USA Gymnastics. (2013) Gymnastics for all. Power TeamGym rules & policies 2014-2015. Retrieved from https://usagym.org/docs/Group/ptg/rules/PTG_rules_2014_2015.pdf

Merriam-Webster (1861-2015) Definition of Sports. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/

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