Believe it or not, many people are confused as to whether dancing is a sport mainly due to it being an interpretive activity rather than something that has a set goal or a way to win.
Some other examples of interpretive physical skills include figure skating, synchronized swimming, and kite flying.
Would most people consider them sports? Yes, and in fact, all of those examples have their own featured tournaments or competitions that you can compete in for prestige and so you can win against other people.
That is not unlike any other sport such as soccer, football, basketball, and basically any other traditional sport you can think of.
Does that mean dancing is a sport then?
Yes, dancing is absolutely one-hundred percent a sport and that’s because it fits the textbook definition of what a sport is: a physical activity performed to compete against another person.
Since dancing requires a high degree of physical fitness and can fit the requirements for competition, this means dancing is not just a hobby but is also a sport at the same time.
As a caveat, not all dancers partake in the competitive aspect of the sport meaning it doesn’t always fit the category of one; in those cases, it’s closer to being a hobby or more of a way to pass the time.
So, in truth, dancing can actually be both a sport and a hobby depending on what your approach is and whether you want to be involved in a competition against other people.
But why do people dispute dance as being a sport?
Dancing is open to interpretation meaning there’s no clear way to win and it can depend on the judge’s opinion to favor you in regards to whether you win or not.
To some people, it’s a hard concept to fathom and can mean that the best competitor may not always win, however, it’s important to mention that most dancing competitions have strict rules where point-scoring is concerned meaning it’s usually very fair.
On the other side of the fence, you have the flat out deniers and hyper-macho folk who claim that dancing is too fancy to be considered a sport who usually deny all logic or reason in regards to the nature of dance.
In those cases we recommend not engaging in those types of arguments as it won’t lead to anything worthwhile.
As long as you’re happy doing what you’re doing, whether as a passion or for sport, dancing is something that can be enjoyed as both.
With that said, let’s look at some of the sport-defining features of dance including the physical feats needed to perform to a high level.
Dancers Don’t Need Wings to Fly: 5 Sport-Defining Traits About Dance and Why It’s a Great Hobby
1. Interpretive Sports Are Arguably Harder
Interpretive sports like dancing require high levels of creativity, co-ordination, imagination, and a physical superiority that can allow you to manipulate the body in simply astounding ways.
Because of this, dancing is arguably harder than a wide range of traditional sports out there such as football because there’s no yardstick to measure by — you can’t simply run faster or jump higher than the other person.
Not only that, but dancing is a solo sport so you only have yourself to blame if something goes wrong meaning there’s a greater level of pressure than team sports.
You could argue that synchronized dancing is team-based, which is true, however, if you mess up the onus is still on you which is why we think dancing is a hard sport but one that can also be greatly rewarding.
2. Dancing requires incredible balance
Dancing requires you to perform some incredible feats, however, this can only be done properly if your balance is on point.
For example, if you need to do any twists, spins, and other kinds of rotations, then you must have a good sense of steadiness otherwise you can easily injure yourself or fall flat on your face which would ruin your routine.
In fact, we dare say that not many other physical sports require this level of discipline where control of the body is concerned meaning it’s actually tougher in some cases.
Lastly, this balance must be maintained not only during spins but also whilst holding obscure bodily angles meaning you’ll need to practice for many hours before you feel comfortable.
3. Dancers need to have a bulletproof diet
If you enjoy indulging every now and again in dessert or other kinds of calorie-excessive foods then you probably don’t have what it takes to become a professional dancer.
Competitive dancing, or dancing as a sport, means you need to eat high-protein foods to maintain muscle mass whilst also eating a small amount of total calories to keep your bodyweight low.
It’s much harder to maintain bodily equilibrium if you weigh too much, or if you have excess fat on your body — basically, your body needs to be in balance with itself before you can perform balancing acts.
It can be a hard life for the duration of your professional dance activities especially since you’ll have to miss most occasions that involve eating food or going out for drinks; your friends may not understand your passions which can create friction too.
Dancing, and other competitive sports, require you to maintain a year-round bulletproof diet meaning you’ll have to be seriously commited to reach the peak.
This rigidity is on the extreme side of the scale compared to other competitive sports meaning it can arguably be harder.
4. Dancers need to train every day
If you’re serious about doing dance as a sport then you’ll need to be hitting the dance floor and practicing your moves every single day.
This kind of dedication is similar to other high-ranking sports and you’ll need to work just as hard to pull off your moves with sword-like finesse.
Dancing can get a bad wrap from uneducated macho-men for being weak or effeminate, however, you’ll need to train your body just as hard (or harder) than some of the most elite-level athletes.
In fact, most professional dancers will be practicing for multiple hours every single day to nail their moves, balancing acts, and routines all whilst maintaining a bulletproof diet and hitting the gym at some point too.
If this doesn’t sound like a sport then we don’t know what else will convince you.
5. You need to rely on yourself to perform
Unlike some other sports such as soccer or basketball, dancing is arguably more stressful as it requires you to perform your moves perfectly.
Basically if you fail, even as part of a synchronized routine, the failure is on you.
In team sports, mistakes are less obvious and you can even piggyback on another players skill rather than always having to use your full potential.
Because of this, dancing is a sport unlike many others meaning you have to be 100% focused, disciplined, and completely faultless during your performances.
If anyone tries to dispute that dancing is a sport then make sure to point them to our article to give them something to think about.
In conclusion, we’ve now learned that dancing is definitely a sport as much as it is an art format or a hobby.
It requires ingenuity, creativity and a strong persistence to be the best — that is not unlike any other elite-level sports out there.
You’ll need to eat like a sportsperson, train like a sportsperson, and even forego many pleasurable activities with your friends if you want to be competitive.
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If you want to explore other hobbies similar to dance (and some different ones), then don’t forget to check out our list of hobbies.