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Dance as a sport

There are still a lot of discussions about whether dance should be considered as a sport. Sport by definition is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another for entertainment. According to the latter, dance should be allowed under the sports roof, although there are a lot of arguments around this.

The main counter arguments are that in dance there is no direct competition, no objective scores and no rules. Let's look at the first one, direct competition means that teams or individuals have to act on the spot to make sure the opposite team/individual doesn't win. But a lot of contemporary sports do not have that factor, for example ice skating, skiing or snowboarding - in all of these you just try to perform to your best and rarely face the opponents.

When it comes to subjective or objective scores, the first thing that comes to mind is whether football fans think the judging is objective. Of course this is a bit different and there are still strict rules according to which the sports games are scored. Dancing in this instance is similar to gymnastics and ice skating, both of which can be said to be judged subjectively. However there are still rules that need to be followed and techniques that need to be polished. And when it comes to creating a dance routine, no dancer will say there aren't any rules to follow. Every single competition sets out their own rules which might include particular sets of moves, a time limit, appearance policy, etc.

This is in regards to competition dancing and of course when it comes to dancing for pleasure quite a few of the above do not apply. But then, if we talk about doing sports not professionally and competitively but just to keep in shape, none of those matter either. When you swim to stay fit you don't think about outswimming anyone, yet you still follow the rules and techniques of swimming. Similarly with dancing, you learn the technique and rules and dance for pleasure and to stay healthy.

Dancing requires a lot of practice, whether it's for a competition or for your own leisure. It's impossible to just start dancing without classes and without knowing the techniques. It also requires concentration and endurance as well as loving what you are doing - without these it's almost impossible to succeed in dance. Apart from practice and mastering your techniques, you also have to consider innate skill and that's where it's important to look at your body and what can it do in order to pick the right style. Some of the dances require more flexibility than others, some are faster, some are slower, some even might require a bit of gymnastics. So pick a dance for yourself carefully and enjoy it!

Another aspect of dance is its artsy side and that is yet another argument against dance being a sport. However, dance is both, depending on the circumstances it is performed in. Dance as performance is very popular especially for dances like ballet, flamenco and line dancing. But today, we see sports as a performance art and for entertainment too. Especially with sports such as wrestling, gymnastics, ice skating and synchronised swimming. You can't argue these aren't sports but you also can't deny the aesthetic side of it.

Dancing just as any other sport requires skill, practice, concentration, technique and endurance. Dancing puts a lot of physical pressure on your body which helps to stay healthy and fit. However, dancing (or at least some styles) are more gentle than most of the sports and so the possibility of getting injured is slimmer. And, just like in sports there are also options of going into professional dancing and competing or just doing it for yourself. Dancing brings all the benefits of sports, if not more, so learn to dance and dance away!

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