A natural pairing
da nces po r t dan c es po r t da n c espor t dancespor t dancespor t dancespor t dancespor t
When you look at the movement of the body according to an athlete’s movements or a dancer’s movements, they are very similar: both prepare for a jump with a bent
By Lise-Anne Talhami, Owner, Ammena Dance Company
knee, inhale as they jump and exhale as The relationship between athletics and dance is a continual topic
they come back to the ground. A jump, a
of debate in the world of dance. This topic has most recently been
turn, a sway, the rotation of the hip, and the
publicized “Is dance recognized as a sport to be entered into the
placement of the foot is all the same. The
amount of endurance and stamina a dancer undergoes in a performance is extreme,
Ballroom dance is one of the main topics of discussion; should
just as any football or hockey professional
ballroom dance be considered a sport to be entered into the
player would exert in a game.
Olympics? In 1997, ballroom dance at a competitive level was recognized by the International Olympic Committee renaming it
I grew up dancing and participating in
DanceSport. DanceSport is classiﬁed as a physical activity that has
sports all my life. My feeling is that dance
a high level of difﬁculty and endurance that is governed by a set
should be recognized as a sport, purely on
of regulations from the WDSF (World DanceSport Federation) that
the amount of exertion, discipline, stamina
overlooks the level of competition and what is necessary to become
and endurance a dancer must have. The
a DanceSport competitor.
level of injury in dance is just as high as in athletics; the level of education and torture
According to Wikipedia the word sport is deﬁne as “all forms of
of the body is the same as in athletics. The
physical activity which, through casual or organized participation,
level of competition in the dance world is
aim to use, maintain or improve physical ﬁtness and provide
aggressive and mandates dancers to strive
entertainment to participants... Sports are usually governed by a
to be their best, like athletes.
set of rules and customs”. Dance is a physical activity, whether done casually or professionally. It aims to maintain and improve physical
Martha Graham, an American modern
ﬁtness and provides entertainment to participants and viewers.
dancers and choreographer, said a dancer
Dance is a disciplined art which is governed by a set of rules that have
becomes an “athlete of God” by practicing
been passed down from centuries of educated professional dancers.
dancing. With that said, how would you
Dance is a sport according to Wikipedia’s deﬁnition.
answer the question, “Is dance a sport?” AB
The amount of endurance and stamina a dancer undergoes in a performance is extreme, just as any football or hockey professional player would exert in a game. Photo courtesy of Jan Tanjar
This issue focuses on relationships between arts and sports.