Dancing: Activity or Sport?

Dancers on Paces Dance team believe its incorrect to not consider dancing a sport. Photo Courtesy of Pace U Athletics.

Dancers on Pace’s Dance team believe it’s incorrect to not consider dancing a sport. Photo Courtesy of Pace U Athletics.

Kwadar Ray , Managing Editor

There are a plethora of debates in the world of sports: Lebron versus Jordan, Brady versus Manning, Bonds versus Ruth. The list never ends.

However, a debate that does not gain much traction, yet nonetheless worthy, is whether or not dancing is a sport.

Some may be quick to discount it and just consider it an activity or an art. However, the physical toll and sacrifices needed for dancing are more than some may know.

“I remember when I first joined the team freshman year and we had a diet diary,” said junior Infiniti Bowie, a member of Pace’s dance team. “Fitness is so important and the workouts are strenuous. Crunches, squats, lunges… it’s all intense.”

Freshman Carmen Sofia Torio believes the intricacies of dancing is more complicated than most know.

“I don’t think people understand how complicated dance is,” said Torio, who is a member of the dance team. “Even when I tried out and got into it, I thought we were just going to perform hip-hop routines, but once I got on the team I realized it was much more technique that we needed to practice and know. So it takes a lot of training and practice, a lot more than I expected.”

The Dance team practices twice a week, two hours each session. If you account for the three hours during football games and the two hours for women’s and men’s basketball games, dancers are dedicating 10 hours out of their week to their craft, not including training they do on their own time.

“Dance requires a lot of practice and training to build up our stamina,” Torio said. “Just like football players and basketball players are practicing, we are too and it takes up a lot of time.”

Bowie says those who do not consider dancing a sport have been given an inaccurate description of the challenges of dancing.

“No one has really told me dancing was not a sport, but I’ve heard people say it around me and it annoys me because dancing is exhausting,” Bowie said. “We do close to two minutes in a routine and it is draining. Those two minutes feel like an eternity during a performance. People don’t realize how long every minute is in a dance.”

Torio shared a similar point of view.

“People don’t consider it a sport because I think when people picture a sport, they see the basic athletics like football, basketball, lacrosse, and I think they think dancing does not require nearly as much effort,” she said. “It requires a lot of memorization for the choreography, stamina, time, practice and technique. So, there’s a lot that goes into it.”

While Bowie believes athletics does not show enough appreciation for the team due to what she views as a lack of scholarships given relative to other teams, she has noticed the Pace Community is noticing dance more now than  when she was a freshman.

“When we do hip-hop routines, the crowd loves it,” she said. “They seem to like us now. We really have improved a lot and the dynamic of the team itself has changed significantly since my freshman year.”