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 Post subject: Is Dance really a sport
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 2:55 pm 
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Im doing a paper in a class about how dance should be considered a sport. Being in a class full on teenage boys who think that if it doesnt envolve blood and hitting each other it isnt a sport :)


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 Post subject: Re: Is Dance really a sport
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 3:32 pm 
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Location: New England
Dance is an art, not a sport. That's the general consensus.

The difference between an art and a sport is the goal: in a sport, there are well-defined goals; move the ball to the goal post, for example. In dance, the only goal is to present a particular visual image to the audience. The goals of dance are so much more subjective. Dance is a form of theater.

Yes dance is athletic, as are many sports. But the athletcisim is not the ultimate goal of either dance OR many sports. Who cares what muscles you used, as long as you made the touchdown? There are also sports that involve minimal athleticism (or at least a lot less that what we usually think of as a sport): auto racing, for example.

Rather than calling dance a sport, one might instead investigate the possibility that certain "sports" --- figure skating and skateboarding, for example --- might actually be re-classified as arts. But that would change the way they are executed and perceived, maybe not always in a good way.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Dance really a sport
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 4:11 pm 
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Location: New York City
Using the term 'dance' seems pretty general and covers a lot of ground. Given that there are so many forms and functions that this form that we could call dance is used for, in some permutations it probably is sport-like. Watching cheerleader routines, well, it kind of is dancing and it doesn't seem much like art.....


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 Post subject: Re: Is Dance really a sport
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 4:23 pm 
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Yes, cheerleading is organized socially as a sport --- just like ice skating, Tae Kwon Do, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Dance really a sport
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 11:02 am 
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Location: Los Angeles
Closer to dance, I think, is the sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics. I've seen exhibitions of Rhythmic that look like dance to me - except that they are done in a sport hall on regulation carpet, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Dance really a sport
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 1:07 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA,USA
I think CitiBob hit the nail on the head - sports is a physically competitive event with winners and losers. At some companies however, the internal competition for spots may be very close to a sport. Doesn't POB have a one day event were all the dancers compete for the next promotion?


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 Post subject: Re: Is Dance really a sport
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:02 pm 
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But in dance compititions you are trying to reach a goal just like getting that touchdown. so why is tat any different


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 Post subject: Re: Is Dance really a sport
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 10:25 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Dance competitions... Let's see, what positive thing can I say about them...

I think, lildancinjill, most of our members here think of the performing arts (as opposed to dance competitions), such as ballet, modern dance or kathak, when they think of dance.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Dance really a sport
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2004 11:28 am 
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Yah, but some pretty amazing dancers have been picked up by big companies for doing these competititions. Kind of like sports except the company directors are the scouts.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Dance really a sport
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2004 2:05 pm 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Quote:
some pretty amazing dancers have been picked up by big companies for doing these competititions.
Which dancers?

<small>[ 02 April 2004, 03:06 PM: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Is Dance really a sport
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2004 2:39 pm 
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Didn't Tamara Rojo win a Gold at the Paris competition, leading to the Scottish ballet, then ENB, then the RB?


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 Post subject: Re: Is Dance really a sport
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2004 2:52 pm 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
...And ABT's Amanda McKerrow won the gold in Moscow in, I think, 1980.

<small>[ 02 April 2004, 03:54 PM: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Is Dance really a sport
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:27 pm 
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Sorry, I think dance competitions referred to above is the not the same as Ballet Prix events. "Dance Competitions" in the US typically consist of parents paying entrance fees to have their kids compete against other dancers in what amounts to a local talent show.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Dance really a sport
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:34 pm 
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One thing I would bring out in your paper is that top level ballet dancers ARE elite athletes.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Dance really a sport
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2004 7:44 pm 
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Location: New England
Back to sport vs. art in dance competitions: in the dance competitions, as far as I know, the goal is still purely subjective.

Contrast this to figure skating. If you want to enter a particular competition, there are a number of rules you must follow for your "program". Examples of this kind of requirement involve:
* The program must be 2 - 2.5 minutes long
* It must include a double axel and double salcow
* It must include a sit spin
* It must not involve any back flips

You are then scored on how TECHNICALLY well you perform each prescribed move. There is also a minor part added on for "artistry". The best program from an artistic standpoint --- i.e. the most enjoyable to watch --- doesn't always win the gold.

That is the SPORT of figure skating. Yes, figure skaters can also do it as an ART. They can go pro, do exhibitions, etc. But the CENTER OF MASS of skating is the SPORT of it, with highly prescribed rules on how you do things.

That is very different from ballet. And yes, maybe there are ballet competitions that are that much prescribed. Like you give the same pas de deux to 20 couples and then see who does it the best. But that's not where the center of gravity of ballet lies.

As for whether or not top ballet dancers are "elite athletes" --- that is debatable. Elite athletes are people who have such an extreme build in one way or another that they can run faster, jump longer, dive higher, etc. than most anyone else.

Tall people make good runners. Massive people make good football players. People with lots of fast twitch fiber make good sprinters. Anatomy and physiology, more than anything else, makes elite athletes elite. You're not an elite athlete because you weren't born with a particular extreme type of anatomy or physiology.

In contrast, no one physical trait will guarantee a great ballet career. Yes, some peoples' bodies have an easier time with it than others. But in the end, ballet is highly multi-dimensional. Flexibility is good --- but the most flexible dancers get injured more frequently and have short careers. Dancers who are extra-tall or extra-short have a harder time finding jobs --- it's best to be of average height. Being able to jump high or turn well can be helpful --- but is certainly not required if you can do something else really well. Even extreme turnout isn't an iron-clad requirement.

What you DO have to have is ENOUGH of the "right stuff" in ENOUGH different dimensions to make you a good dancer. And many of those dimensions aren't even physical.

It's like winning a presidential election: if you get 100% of the vote in a big state like California and 49% of the vote all the other states, then you've got the majority of the votes but you've lost in a big way. To win, you have to get at least 50% in a large number of states.

But yes, ballet is highly athletic. Ballet dancers are athletes. And in the end, we succeed or fail in part based on our athletic prowess. But all that does NOT necessarily make it a sport. ATHLETIC is not the same as SPORT. Race car driving, for example, is NOT atletic, but is ABSOLUTELY considered a sport.

<small>[ 02 April 2004, 08:47 PM: Message edited by: citibob ]</small>


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