I'm a competitive Latin dancer, and I have mixed feelings about dance being termed a "sport." Certainly, there is no denying that dance at a competitive level is very physically demanding! In fact, even as an avid exerciser in very good shape, I've found few activities that test my stamina as much as practice "rounds" (all five Latin dances at tempo, two minutes per dance, with 10-15 seconds of transition between dances) of my open choreography do. After pumping out three of those "rounds" in an hour, I dare anyone to say that athleticism is not required of competitive dancers!
Even with that, I don't like the notion of dance being classified as a sport. The athleticism involved is only a *part* of what makes dance so fascinating and challenging. There is so much artistry involved, and a connection between partners that is emotional as well as physical...to call it sport seems to ignore the complexity that keeps me so passionately involved with dance.
So, what's my hope? I would like to see the physical demands of "dancesport" recognized, that's for sure! However, I don't want the current push for "dance as sport" to take precedence over the beauty and elegance of dance.
I am a ballroom dance teacher in the State of Ohio and I am here to say the ballroom is definately a sport. It is to an exhibition in the upcoming Olympics with hopes of becoming an Olympic sport. If the Olympic commitee sees enough potential for it to be in the Olympics, it must exhibit enough of the qualities of a sport. Also consider, all of the Olympic ice dancing couples use professional ballroom dance coaches for training and choreography.
Another interesting bit of information, an article I recently read sited scientific studies in which ballroom dancers were hooked up to heart monitors etc. After compiling data the scientists discovered that professional ballroom dancers exert as much energy etc. as that of Olympic runners, cyclist, etc.
I think that should be enough evidence to provide someone with the proper perspective and let them decide for themselves if ballroom dancing is a sport. Keep in mind, I am talking about someone dancing with proper techinque and control.
I think it's possible. Certainly the people who do it think so. The question is whether or not the general public will ever accept it as a sport. I think the answer lies in the amount of exposure we get in the coming years, as well as the type of publicity, good or bad, and the methods we as dancers choose to expose it.
Should ballroom dancing be seen as a sport? I think so, as long as the sport element in it doesn't overtake the artistic element. Like all forms of dancing, I think ballroom should be thought of first and foremost as art.
I believe dance can be a sport. It depends on the level of dancing. Social dancing - no. But for competitive dancing, we go into training physically and mentally, we spend all our time and money, we seek out the best coaches in the world, and we get as technical as 'inside edge of right toe'. The best in the world start training as children, and spend a good part of their lives striving to be Number One. I call that an athlete, which would make Ballroom Dancing a sport.
The name Dancesport seems apt to me, not because of the physical demands, but because of the competitive atmosphere, which does encourage cheering and waving, and the presence of physical activity.
There are many activities, such as lawn bowls and darts, which are undoubtedly sports, since they are competitive pursuits with physical activity being a component. Now with those sports, there is little need for strength, and much less need for stamina than in dancesport, but there is certainly a need for physical skill. As there is in dancesport.
There are also activities such as ballet and bricklaying which require considerable stamina and/or strength, but without the competitive element we would not call them sports.
(There might be non-competitive recreational activities with physical activity that are regarded as sports, but I can't think of any.)
Basketball need not be called 'BigballSport' since the game itself must be sport, since it is always competitive and physical. So it would never need a name change for people to regard it as a sport.
Having said all this, I must admit that I initially recoiled when I first heard the name DanceSport. But that was because I think there is something inherently a bit silly in dancing competitively, although I have often done so happily! I just find it strange that our main goal seems to become competition results, rather than artistic reward. (The man that Strictly Ballroom was based on said a similar thing to me 8 years ago, but that is another story.) Also, the name 'dancesport' used in ballroom dancing ignores single person competitive dancing, such as highland dancing, and other partner dancers such as Swing, unless they also use it. But it still seems a reasonably clear and useful name; it is certainly simpler than 'competition ballroom dancing' or 'competition partner dancing'.
(This is my first post for a long time; I have been lurking too long, not being sure what to say! Thanks for all your work, Jonathan and Melissa.)
I'm not interested in arguing whether or not this style of dancing is a sport or not. How we categorize it doesn't change what it is one way or the other. It is both art and athletic endeavor, always has been, and always will be.
What concerns me is the changing of its name from ballroom dancing to dancesport. It is dancing on a ballroom floor. When people go to a ball, they dance this style of dancing. Those who consider it an art form and not a sport certainly can't like the name.
And how would, for example, basketball players like having their sport renamed bigballsport -- Or synchronized swimmers and syncsport -- or caber tossers and logsport -- or biathalon athletes and bisport -- it must seem idiotic to athletes in these sports, and many other sports, too.
I think Dancesport is a primarily a sport with an artistic component much like figure skating or other "artistic sports".
I would venture to say that the artistic component varies greatly depending on levels and that only at the highest levels of dancing have I seen the type of "artistic expression" which comes close to that of ballet or modern dance for instance.
To me, ballet (for example) is a true art form because even though there are ballet competitions, the primary goal of ballet is not the competition aspect but the communication of an artistic vision (of the choreographer and dancers) to an audience. However, the primary focus of ballroom dancing is to win competitions in order to achieve the highest ranking possible. The communication of an artistic vision is really secondary here.
Guys. Modern Ballroom Dancing is a Dance Sport recognized throughout the world as a Sport and also by the Olyimpic Comittee. IOC. Some countries have Ballroom dancers at their Institute of Sport. Also any of you competing can now be drug tested just like any other sport. For those of you who are aware. This has already happened. One of the best dancers in the world today, copped a three month ban because the substance used in a diet pill was on the banned list and she tested positive. Most of us if asked to pea in a bottle would tell them to shove it. But if you were at the top there is no choice. It is already a Sport, officialy.
For those who are not into competitions . In the News Letter on Video by Richard Hearn he referes to some of there groups as being suitable for the Hobby Class and some for the high grade competitor. So , if you are a walk around social dancer it is a hobby. If you are a competitor it is a sport.
""For those of you who are aware. This has already happened. One of the best dancers in the world today, copped a three month ban because the substance used in a diet pill was on the banned list and she tested positive. Most of us if asked to pea in a bottle would tell them to shove it."
You are forgetting chapter 2, in which she got the court to tell the cup-holders to "shove it" and went on to win a world title!!
Apparently some people in the world still recongize when things have gotten out of hand!
I don` t understand your paragraph Two. There was no court case. There was nothing that was a criminal offence. The same thing could happen to any of us. We might simply buy a slimmimg product over the counter at our locall chemist. If it has in it a substance listed by the IOC and we are tested . We are gone.
"I don`t understand your paragraph Two. There was no court case. There was nothing that was a criminal offence."
It was not criminal court.
She took the drug testing people to court, which suspended her suspension, as a result of which she was free to win the world championship title, which was danced during the time when the drug testing people had said she would not be allowed to dance.
There are some benifits to be had now dancing is offically a sport. It puts them on a par with other sports that receive government funding. There aren` t many countries that dont have a Minster of Sport. We here have had a lot of help getting programs into place in schools. Dance Easy is a strategicially planed developement that actively and systematecally targets the education System. It comes in a package form . More about that from Dancesport Australia. Go to Easydance.
"There are some benifits to be had now dancing is offically a sport. It puts them on a par with other sports that receive government funding."
On the other hand, the organized, government-backed intensive training of young children into future champions has pretty much signed the death warrant of serious amateur competition.
With no legitimate, actualy non-professional amateur divisions remaining on the world stage, an honorable tradition of amateur achivement has been pretty much reduced to the sunday circuit... and the audience.
It could make an interesting discussion. Lets look at this as it is. Where do you think the best dancers in the world today are coming from. Don` t be fooled into thinking that this or that couple are home produced because they dance with a flag on their back. Where did they learn there craft. They learn` t in countries that have had junior development plans in place for years. It will continue that way unless the light at the end of that tunnel is seen. You have and we have dance people who are interested in one thing only, money. The developement of dancing is the furthest thing from their minds. They are quite happy to keep everything just as it is. To be continued I am sure.
no subject Posted by terence2 7/9/2007 12:57:00 AM
They ?-- who are " they " ?--blanket statements and generalisations , supply no factual information. ( I of course, can quote instances, but the exception ,not the rule )
There are those that say( Sports announcers in particular )that if it doesnt have a ball-- then its not a sport-- my response ?-- what about Ice Hockey ?-- and -- the " sport " of Kings-- Horse racing .
Is not the very definition of " sporting event " the skills of one individual ( or more ) pitted against another ? ( pitted, interesting word-- a fighting / sporting arena )
no subject Posted by DennisBeach 7/9/2007 5:29:00 PM
If skating and gymnastics are sports, than ballroom dancing also is a sport.
Whether they call it a sport or not. For us social dancers, it can provide exercise and fun comnparable to any sport.