Dance is a Sport and Should Be Seen as One

Un Poyo Rojo, a sportlike dance performance. Photo by Ishka Michocka.

While some people may think dance is only an art, experts reason that dance is a sport and should be seen as one.

Dance is usually seen as an art because it is an activity that is expressed artistically. For instance, choreographers usually have their dancers perform live dance routines to entertain their audiences. They also strive to bring beauty and appeal into the performances.

To understand why dance can also be categorized as a sport, let’s take a quick look at the definition of sport.

A sport is any activity that uses physical exertion or skills competitively under a defined system of rules.

Boom! The definition of sport vividly captures the physically challenging nature of the activity. Therefore, we cannot argue that dance is not a sport.

Reasons Why Dance is a Sport

Here are the top reasons why dance is a sport and should be seen as one.

  •         It Uses Physical Power

Believe it or not, you can’t dance if you don’t have the energy and technique to move your body correctly. Dance is as physical as sports such as soccer and basketball.

Studies have shown that it takes equal amounts of energy for a ballet dancer to complete one routine and a soccer player to play two full matches.

From stretching of muscles to jumping and running, dance and sport share similar physical demands.

Experts say that anabolic steroids boost the physical power of sportsmen. Dancers cannot be left out.

  •         Dance is Competitive

Even though dance is not always a competition, competitive dancers are not hard to find. They are all over globe.

Even more so, there are different styles of dance — ballroom dancing is a popular example. No wonder it’s also termed as dancesport.

Since the definition of sport makes mention of “competition”, then we can say that dance is also a sport.

After all, ballroom dancing is governed by a set of rules with penalties in place.

What’s more? The presence of fans (an audience) also makes dance an entertaining sport.

  •         Dancers Practice

It’s not only soccer players, swimmers, and runners who go for training; dancers also take dance lessons.

Before attending shows, dancers often practice their moves to condition their bodies to withstand the long hours of dancing.

Some dancers spend close to 5 hours a day in the studio, working on routines to boost their stamina, agility and flexibility.

  •         Skills Are Involved in Dancing

Have you ever chuckled at a bad dancer? You sure did!

As easy as it is to throw your legs or arms about, dancing is not for everyone. If you lack the skills, you won’t go far.

Today, the world hails Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo because they are skillful super players. In the same way, Michael Jackson and Shakira also make the list of great dancers, thanks to their unparalleled skills.

Bottom line: the definition of sport says that it involves the use of skills. Since dancers use skills, undoubtedly, it’s a sport.


There are many more reasons why dance is a sport.

Judging from the general explanation of sport, three key factors are mentioned — physical, competition, physicality, and skills.

Since dance involves all of the above, then it’s definitely a kind of sport.

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