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Re: Is dance a sport?
Posted by Anonymous
10/12/2007  4:17:00 PM
I think in the UK where the people who do the monthly letter service call the social side of things the Hobby Class which is seperated from the Medal and Competition Dancing. They often say this group is suitable for the high grade medal or competition class. I think Hobby Class just about explains itself and doesn't fit into the term sport.In my oppinion we have two seperate entities here if that is the corect word to use.
Re: Is dance a sport?
Posted by Dr. Elle
1/30/2008  7:40:00 PM
Hi Je Yeon,
You have raised a fantastic, straight to the point, question but unfortuantely I believe the answer is very ambiguous.
In my opinion I believe that dancing can't be classified as either a sport or an art but is rather defined by each person that experiences it. Basically what I am saying is dancing is neither sport nor art but is rather whatever the dancer or spectator defines it as.

In my opinion dancing is an art and not a sport. I can't argue against the fact that it is not a sport, but I can say that the reasons why one would classify dancing as a sport can also be the criteria that classify dance as an art.

Firstly dance is an expression. It is physical movement that conveys emotions, story's and character. There is a point to each movement (we don't just do something for no reason, it has meening) and there are special techniques that are used to be able to convey and communicate our story to those that watch us. This is similar to visual arts where artists use special techniques (ie brush technique, texture, etc) to help create a story that people can interpret. Art is a form of creation, artists create meening and definition by touching peoples emotions. Dancing involves physical movement to create story's which is a characteristic of art.

People tend to argue the fact that when one performs dancing in competition it immediately turns in to sport. I will not criticise this opinion and nor shall I try to disprove it but I will provide with my reasoning as to why competition dancing for me is still defined as art. Consider an art exhibition in an art gallery. Judges have certain criteria that they use to choose a winner. In almost all cases the winner is the artwork that has the greatest impact on the judges (touches their emotions, greatest depth, etc). Each artwork is judged on its own merrits. Rather than competing against eachother, each artwork presents what it has to offer- the story hidden in it, the emotions conveyed the technical expertise. Same in dancing. I do not believe that dancers compete against one another. I do not view it as competition but I do believe that it is an exhibition with each couple having their individual strong points. These strong points are the different characteristics of their art. The winner will be the one who has the greatest impact on the spectators and judges. It is not saying that they are better than the others, but is rather saying that what that artwork has to offer has the greatest impact on people.

Finally someone argued that dancers are athletes because they have to keep their body in tip top shape. I argue that dancers are not required to keep their body in great shape, they choose to. One can still create if they are out of shape but will that have such a strong impact on people? If one finds your artwork offensive then they will not try to interpret it nor find the many meanings that are hidden in it.
Re: Is dance a sport?
Posted by Serendipidy
2/1/2008  11:03:00 PM
Dr Elle. Its impossible to answer question. Take Figure Skating, its a sport and yet Ballet isn't. They both move to music. They both interpret the music and also they both act. With the Skating I have in mind the Pair Skaters featured in, " Andre Rieu in Vienna ", skating and acting to the theme from the Titanic My Heart will go On. In some countries because dancing is classed as a sport they have access to their various Institutes of Sport and have done for years. Then there is local funding for Ballroom Dancing on an equall to Soccer or Baseball or Athletics and so on.
Re: Is dance a sport?
Posted by dheun
2/2/2008  4:05:00 PM
Not that I can add much to a posting that has more than 30 entries, but I was a sportswriter by trade for many years, and still freelance sports stories for a daily newspaper for side income to this day. For whatever it is worth, the editors at the paper also assign me any dancing or ballroom dancing type features or events stories. Partly because they know I am interested in it and dance in local shows and such, but also because I think they view it as an athletic endeavor as well as an art form.
One of my favorite sports to watch is boxing, one of my favorite activities is ballroom dancing. The two are similar in the training, footwork, strength, balance and practice they take. One is violent, the other elegant. I learned both at a young age, and they are both dear to my heart to this day, some 50 years later. Both are sports -- athletic and artistic.
Re: Is dance a sport?
Posted by De Elle
2/4/2008  2:38:00 AM
Serendipity as I said previosly I believe that only in my opinion can dance not be classified as a sport and in saying so I would also argue that Ballet and Figure Skating are artistic are a form of art. I am not saying that people have no right to call Skating a sport, but what I am trying to say is the exact opposite- Activities such as Dancesport, Ballet and Figure Skating can not be categorically fixed as sport or art, but rather those that participate in and experience these activities must decide how to define them for themselves.
Serendipity I am also aware that in some countries dance is classified as a sport and is thus funded by government organisations. But in my opinion I do not believe that just because dancesport is sanctioned by the IOC as a sport it is deffinately a sport. I am sure that there is a large population of dancers in these countries that do not agree with the definition that their government has applied to dance. But we must face the fact that as a sport dance will be much more succesful than an art due to the large amouont of media coverage it will attract. Since the IOC accepted dancesport, I would argue that our activities popularity has grown and grown with a higher demand for it shown through the creation of shows like Strictly Dancing, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With The Stars, etc. In my opinion those that do believe that dancing is a form of art will remain quiet when so many benneficial things are happening to what they love just because the world around them believes it to be a sport and not an art.
I think that you are right, it is impossible to answer the question raised. However answer me this question; Are those that participate in dancesport artists or athletes? I believe that once we have answered this question we will be able to understand Ji Yeon's question more thoroughly.
Re: Is dance a sport?
Posted by Serendipidy
2/4/2008  6:31:00 PM
DeElle. I am of no importance and my oppinion counts for nothing. If it was left to me I would never have been instrumental in having Ballroom dancing
classed as a sport. And to even consider that it could become an Olympic Sport is too stupid for words. Look at the problems. A Russian dancing with an American. And none of them just for the sake of a few days would even consider dancing with one of their own nationality and cause a break with their regular partner. But now the IDSF have caused another problem by joining the IOC. Now they could call at my house anytime any day in or out of competition and ask for a sample.But they will never call on me because I am a nobody. Some guy in St Petersburg got lumbered because he wasn't in the home that was down as his residence when they called. There was no competition pending neither had there been. Incidently if you are a professional competitor and they asked for a sample, which they wouldn't. You could tell them where to shove their bottle.
Re: Is dance a sport?
Posted by Dr Elle
2/5/2008  2:05:00 AM
Serendipity I am not to sure how relevant your last comment was to the question at hand and I can't say that I clearly made a connection between what you and I posted.
It sounds to me that what you wrote has got more relevance to politics than philosophy. I will not argue for or against the IDSF and I will not critique their policies.
I am currently aware of the present tension in our dancing world between the major organisations and I REFUSE to involve myself in it.

The only part of your question that I will comment on is the fact that you do not agree with the IDSF's authority to request a sample for drug analysis. Personally I believe that this rule is an absolute necessary. This has nothing to do with art or sport but it has to do with law and equity. This rule ensures that those who participate in dancesport are not drug addicts or users which has a positive impact on the future of the sport. Imagine if there was no checking system in place. Younger dancers in the Juvenile and Junior age groups would be admiring not only the fact that there favourite dancers inspire them but also developing beliefs that the top dancers in the world frequently use illegal substances. They would then begin to 'experiment' in an attempt to 'be like the best'. A generation of lives destroyed to drugs. IDSF has developed this rule for this reason and also to ensure that no couple has any 'unfair' or 'morally questionable' competitive advantage over their competition.

At this point I would like to acknowledge that what I just wrote alludes to 'sporting' terms like 'competition', 'competitive advantage', 'the best'. When I think of dance, such words are not at the forefront of my vocabulary. However, the IDSF's rules are developed on the presumption that dancers are athletes. As a result we must analyse their rules from an athletic point of view and not an artistic one.

Most importantly I would like to conclude by saying even though the organisation may have defined dancing as a sport and continues to try to develop dance as a sport, not all of us dancers are on the same wavelength as the rules and must thus occasionaly adapt our beliefs 'temporarily' to those of the organisations.
Re: re: Is dance a sport?
Posted by composso
2/4/2008  6:22:00 PM
Is figure skating a sport? In response to emotional involvement, please watch any football/basketball/baseball/soccer game when the ref doles out a bad call. There is definately emotion involved!
Re: re: Is dance a sport?
Posted by Composso
2/5/2008  2:24:00 AM
Hi Composso.
I am sorry if your getting really sick of my posts on this forum because I know I am but I thought I might just give my opinion on your question.
I think figure skating is an art while football, basketball, baseball and soccer games are sports.
Although there is obvious emotion involved, emotion alone does not define art. My opinion is that in art, true emotion is created from something-it is like a product of a reaction. In figure skating, dancesport, ballet, painting, sculpting, acting, etc we are able to formulate emotions from actions. In dance by creating even very elementary movements the product is an emotion (this would be a very weak emotion. To make it powerful one would need to combine other things into the recipe). I think that the same thing occurs in figure skating.

In sports such as swimming, soccer, basketball, etc, when emotion occurs it is not intentionally created from something, it occurs just like in everyday life. I believe athletes do not 'create things' while artists do. For instance, I have a girlfriend and she always nags me to put the toilet seat down. It's like a constant nagging and it makes me express frustration and anger. Does this mean that keeping my girlfriend happy is an artform?.....................................................ill tell you sometimes i feel like it is
Re: Is dance a sport?
Posted by melissalive33
3/5/2008  12:20:00 PM
Yea, anything is possible since it is very active but when I think of sports it is more conditioning and has this whole different athletic perspective, but dance is such an art. Gymnastics that perform the floor exercises, people can debate that is reality dance but to but ballroom dancing, and etc. The Olympic committee has to rethink a way of how to judge that and accept that into the events.

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