Dance is way people express themselves without having to say a word. Its only you and the music. All you do is listen to the beat and move however you want to. To others though it is more aggressive and competitive. An example of this would be the popular show Dance Moms where girls take part in competitions to win so that to themselves they are the best dancers. Then there are other studios who don’t compete but rather take part in exams to test their technique and knowledge about this activity. Isn’t that was normal sports do. They are competing, and testing their knowledge and technique in it. For example lets go with football. In football you have to compete against the other team to win, use your knowledge about the sport to get ahead of the game, and your technique to to grab the ball and have the crowd yell “TOUCH DOWN!” Now if dance has everything football has why isn’t is a sport. To the world dance is an art but to any dancer dance is one of the hardest sports known to man.
My opinion on this matter is that dance is both. To me dance is a sport because of the mind set and stamina you need to perform it while keeping a smiling face to make it look easy. Dancing on your toes is probably the hardest thing I have ever done. You are literally putting all your weight onto your big toe. To do that you need strength. Just like in any other sport. But in other sports you do not need to keep smiling and pretending that those 30 fouette turns you’re doing are easy. In other sports you can show the aggression, you can scream, and your can shout. You don’t have to hide anything. For some reason people think “Oh! Dance is just girls in tutus, dancing on there toes.” Well one, there are other forms of dance for example, hip-hop, tap, modern, lyrical, jazz, and others. And yes we do wear tutus but most of the time what were are wearing is blood, sweat, and tears. But we can’t complain too much because no pain, no gain! The reason I think dance is an art is because of the way we express it. Just like I said before, we don’t talk, we don’t yell, we just dance. We are like paintings that move. We are graceful, and artistic with the way we present ourselves to the audience. We may not hit each other, or score a goal, but we do work hard just as any other athlete. So maybe one day those football players can step into “our pointe shoes” and try a grand jete en tournant, I think they would change their view on dance.
What do you think of when you hear the word dance? Ballet? A tap dancer? Well, believe it or not, there are actually many other forms of dancing, and I’m going to share with you the dance type I myself study. I practice Indian dancing, which connects me to my Indian culture/heritage, because of the traditional moves we are taught. It consists of Bollywood and Bharatanatyam (I don’t expect you to be able to pronounce that.) Bollywood dance is the combination of Bombay (now known as Mumbai) and Hollywood. Basically, it is the type of dance you would see in a Hollywood movie, but the Indian variation. Bharatanatyam is an ancient, traditional portrayal of the Indian culture.
I like to do Indian dance because it is different than other typical styles of dance. Although in a way, they are a little similar. Think of it this way: Bollywood is almost the same as jazz, or energetic, modern dance. Bharatanatyam is a little more classical, like ballet or contemporary. I think it is better to do Indian dance than regular because pretty much everyone thinks of American modern when they hear the word dance. Also, doing Indian dance is a way for me to learn more about my culture than I would if I didn’t do these dance styles. Bollywood and Bharatanatyam are two fun ways to boost your physical energy, and to learn about the Indian heritage at the same time as letting it live on to this day.
Irish Dance is a great, fun sport. Irish dance is just like any kind of dance, but it is done mainly with your feet. There are two types of shoes, hard shoes and soft shoes. In Irish Dance, the competitions are called feises. There is little feises and then there is major competitions. The biggest major competition that anyone can get to is the Worlds. Worlds is held in a different place every year. It has been held in places such as Ireland, Boston, England and more.
I have been doing Irish Dance for 7 years and I love it. Just like any sport, you have fun and hang out with friends. Even after all these years, when I get to a feis, I get really nervous. I love to watch the championship dancers dance because they are so amazing. I cant even think about quitting Irish dance because it is my life. Overall, Irish Dance is a such a fun sport to do.
As many Cheshire residents know, Lights of Hope is just around the corner. The whole town comes together to support the Pettit family, whose house was set on fire, and took the mother and two daughters along with it. Neighborhoods make luminaries made up of white paper bags with a candle inside. It is quite a beautiful sight to drive around town and see the rows of lights on the curbs. When November comes around I get really excited. My church, the First Congregational Church, places the luminaries all around the green, and I volunteer to set up the luminaries and place them on the walkways and sidewalks. I also help set up packages of luminaries to send to neighborhoods for them to set up. You can do this too!
The thing that I am most excited about for this upcoming Lights of Hope is the performance by Rhythm Dance Academy. I will be performing, and I am very excited. Between 1 and 3 at the high school, you can see dances performed in the styles of jazz, modern, hip-hop and lyric. We have been working on our performances since the beginning of September, so we are more than prepared. The performances will give publicity to the studio, and perhaps we will get new students. Most of the dances will be done by the competition team, and will be fully performed at competitions next spring. This is the first time that Rhythm will be performing in Cheshire for more than just our parents, so that is especially exciting. So, as November 9th rolls around, try to see if there is any volunteer work that can be done for Lights of Hope. Also, make sure you come to Cheshire High on the 9th to watch Rhythm Dance Academy perform. You won’t regret it!
Many of you have probably heard about the event Lights of Hope. Lights of Hope takes place every year in Cheshire and is usually held at beginning of November. This annual event raises money for local charities. To raise the money, families in Cheshire can buy paper bags and candles to put on the curb in front of their house. At night, the whole town is lit up. This year there will be a performance done by Rhythm Dance Academy, which is where I dance. This performance will be held at the high school before everyone lights their candles. The dancers from the competition team will be showcasing their dances for the new season! Even though theses dances are not yet finished, the audience will get a sneak peek of what they will be like when competition time rolls around. Speaking of the audience, anyone is welcome to come and watch on Saturday November 9!
Personally, I can’t wait to dance at Lights of Hope! My team has been working on our dances since the beginning of September and even though they may not be finished, it will be lots of fun! I’m so glad my team chose to support this cause because when we donate to local charities, we help our community grow and become better. I am excited because different teams will be performing different types of dances. If you go, you may see jazz, tap, lyrical, modern, or hip hop dances. I love watching jazz dances because they are usually upbeat and fun, but all the other dances will be amazing as well. I have never danced at Lights of Hope before so I wonder how it will be. I have danced for other causes before, but I have a feeling that this one will be different because it is for my own town! So, if you are free on November 9th, come see Rhythm Dance Academy Dance at Lights of Hope!
Many people don’t think dancing is hard at all. Everyone just assumes the only difficult sports are football, soccer, softball, baseball, lacrosse, basketball, etc. The typical sports. No one ever thinks about cheerleading or dance. And if they do, they think it’s very easy. Well it’s really not. Dance takes stamina, strength, determination, and endurance. Recently, two new TV shows involving ballet premiered- “Breaking Pointe” and “Bunheads”. Maybe finally people will start to realize what really goes on backstage! Most people really don’t know. They see the performance and have no idea how much work went into it. Even in the show “So You Think You Can Dance” shows how much of people’s lives are put into this sport and how much time it takes! Most studios have rehearsals everyday for at least 2 hours. Nonstop workouts is basically what dance is, except we don’t grunt and sweat- we make it look effortless. Even doing that takes a lot of effort, not showing the pain and how tired we actually are.
There are many kinds of dance- Ballet, tap, modern. lyrical, jazz, hip hop, etc. They’re all very different. Ballet takes strength and stamina- jumping continuously for a 5 minute piece of music isn’t what I would call easy! Neither is standing right on your toes in pointe shoes! Tap requires character and precision- getting all those sounds out at the right time is difficult! The other styles are also very different from each other! I have been dancing for 11 years, and I’m really passionate about it. It bothers me when people think dancers aren’t athletes because we don’t “win” because it’s not a game. Well, I consider myself a winner, by accomplishing my goals and I get to do what I love to do. Dance is all about technique, remembering steps, performing with facial expressions, and performing for others to make them happy! We are as strong as the typical football player, if not stronger. If you don’t know about us, then find out. We’re proud of what we do! So my answer is yes, dance is a sport and we are athletes!
Often dancers and other athletes do not realize that how and when is just as important as what you eat. Going long periods without fueling your body can result in loss of muscle mass and increased body fat percentage. Not only can this affect your energy level and performance, but this can lead to undesirable body composition and exposure to injury. An injury can make you end up sitting out on a sport you love. Not getting to play would be horrible and put you in a bad mood.
So if you keep an energizing snack in your bag you can always be energized and up beat. Then if you start to drift you can have an energizing snack at hand to eat, ready for anytime. Also, when you are working out make sure you take a break for water. It is recommended that you drink about a cup of water every fifteen minutes while exercising. Staying hydrated is a major part of exercising and being energized.
It is just like the argument about whether dogs or cats are better, or whether the chicken or the egg came first. Is dance a sport? Most jocks would say no. But, if they really knew what they were talking about they would answer in a different way.
The stereotype for a dancer is a grown girl with a body of a seven year old boy. Another common thing that people say is that dancers just run around on stage with a pink tutu on, and it could never be a real sport because it is to easy and takes no athletic ability. Well this could not be further from the truth!
Most dancers start their training at about three to five years old. Then, it takes about ten years to master the basics and move up and possibly do pointe. Personally, this was the case for me. Also, a step could take five minutes to learn but five months to master and make it look flawless and effortless. Another, subject on dance that people do not understand is how we gain muscle and become extremely flexible. We have to train and practice for hours on end just to get close to our goals. So just think is dance really “girly?”
Dancing to me isn’t only a hobby, it’ my life. I eat, breathe, and sleep dance. I have been dancing since I was two years old. I joined a competition team when I was only eight years old. I have danced for two hours every other day, and on Saturday’s I have competitions to go to. I plan to dance for as long as I can because it is the only thing that I genuinely love to do. Everyone has that one thing that they are really good at, and mine is dancing.
When I’m dancing on stage I feel like the only person there. I will never change the way I feel about dance. Some people say that dancing isn’t a sport. In some ways I can understand but it’s their opinion. I feel that dance is definitely a sport because you compete with other teams at what you’re best at, and try to win. If people say it’s not a sport I just say, “don’t even start,” and walk away because wouldn’t it make you mad if someone went up to you and said that what you play isn’t a sport. All I can say is that dancing will be apart of my life forever. Without dance I wouldn’t have the confidence that I have now.