NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1063103
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-1529-0824
Is Dance a Sport?: A Twenty-First-Century Debate
Guarino, Lindsay
Journal of Dance Education, v15 n2 p77-80 2015
This article discusses a new debate which has emerged for dancers. For many years dancers debated dance as art versus entertainment. This age-old debate still exists without a consensus, yet there is suddenly a new generation of dancers with a fresh debate. Legions of young performers are fervently proclaiming that their dance is actually a sport. How did this debate emerge? Is dance a sport? Perhaps more important, should dance be considered a sport? From the beginning of time, dance has been a method of communication. In today's society, dancers train to develop skill, but skill alone does not make a dancer "great." Artistry separates a capable dancer from a truly memorable one; this quality transforms the physicality of movement into something more profound. This consideration is at the heart of the debate when dance is called a sport. Those who argue that dance is a sport might not be fully aware of the resulting implications. In sports there is always a winner, and usually a clear one. When dance is competitive, and likened to a sport, dancers might not be able to reap the rewards or experience great satisfaction without the "win." As more and more dancers grow into understanding dance through the lens of today's competition culture, and as dancers continue to accomplish new feats of athleticism, it is likely that this conversation will continue. This debate is not black and white, and the edges blur when dancers assert that they are both artists and athletes. The gray areas of the debate expand in the presence of formal dance competitions that designate winners, and in a culture that extolls sporting events with religious fervor. Whether labeled art or sport or both, dancers should pride themselves not just on technical virtuosity but on individuality, creative ingenuity, and passion. These are the concepts that elevate movement beyond the kinetic experience and have allowed for generations of dancers to embrace movement as the language for all things that cannot be expressed through any other medium.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A