When you think about sports, the first things that come to mind are basketball, football, soccer, etc. You don’t think about ballet or Latin dance as a sport.
But the thing with dancing, particularly competitive dancing, is that it demands the same discipline, strength, stamina, and coordination as “traditional” sports. And dancers? They’re not only artists, they’re athletes too!
Sports and Competitive Dance by Definition
By classic definition, sport and dance are quite similar.
The word “sport” is defined as a competitive physical activity that improves or maintains physical fitness. Sport is also defined as entertainment to participants who engage in such activities to showcase their physical athleticism or physical dexterity. Sounds familiar, right?
Competitive dance is defined as a sport in which competitors perform dances of different genres, based on the requirements of the competition.
As you can see, traditional sports and dance are quite similar by definition. So similar that some learning schools in the country are not only acknowledging dance as a sport and dancers as “elite” student-athletes, they’re also offering the same incentives that sports athletes receive.
4 Reasons Why Dancers Should Be Considered as Athletes
Athletes are known to train for months leading up to a competition. Depending on the sport, athletes must have the right physicality and mindset to perform. And to achieve peak physicality, an athlete has to train hard and practice, practice, practice.
It takes a lot of discipline to stick to a program if you’re an athlete, something that dancers could relate to. Just like any athlete, dancers are expected to achieve their peak physical form before the competition. They practice for hours, days, weeks, and months to perfect their routines no matter if it’s the Salsa, Bachata, Zouk, or Kizomba! Dancing takes a toll on the body, just like any other sport. And just like athletes, dancers train hard to win and get the right gears to execute their winning routines - like Latin dance shoes.
Athletism and competitiveness go hand in hand. An athlete must have a strong desire to win to push his mind, body, and spirit into winning. The same thing can be said for dancers, they push themselves hard to outperform and outlast the competition!
The execution may be different between traditional sports and competitive dancing but athletes and dancers share the same competitive spirit that compels them to train hard and perfect their performance.
And the competition in these sporting genres is cutthroat. Unless you have the right form and mindset, you will not win. Athletes and dancers share the same unshakeable dedication to win a competition no matter the motivation. What's more, dancers have their own gears to increase their chances of winning, like high quality dance shoes.
Dancing isn’t just about dominating the dance floor with a flurry of graceful movements in tune with the music. Regardless if you are dancing solo, with a dance partner, or with a group of dancers, every successful performance is a team effort. Teamwork is always at play even when you dance solo. You have your dance coach, your choreographer, your support system, people who are directly and indirectly involved in the whole process!
The same thing can be said for athletes engaged in traditional sports. Winning does not rest on one athlete alone, it’s a group effort. Every team member has an important role to play in the team.
Training for long periods, the increased risk of injuries, the mental and physical toll of training, and the loneliness that come with practicing for months, these are just some of the many sacrifices that athletes and dancers make to win a competition.
Just like athletes, Salsa, Bachata, Zouk and Kizomba dancers have to work hard to push themselves to win. When they’re injured, they have to be patient and persevere until they are healed again. Athletes and dancers have to stay positive no matter how tough the going gets so they have the right mindset before and during the competition. Whatever motivation athletes or dancers have for training hard and winning, they make the same sacrifices every day.