Dance injuries are a harmful and increasingly prevalent concern for dancers in the United States. According to Rachael Rettner (2013), "Over a 17 year period, the number of dance related injuries that sent U.S. children ages 3 to 19 to emergency rooms increased 37 percent, from 6." Since ballet is the foundation of all dance techniques, ballet dance schools should be required to provide injury prevention classes so that injuries are prevented, dancers’ careers can be prolonged, and dancers can perform better.
After repeatedly being asked over and over again, “So what sport do you play again?” I am now completely prepared for all the confused looks I know that i'm going to get when I say, “I dance” As an individual who has been dancing for as long as they can remember and has participated in local, national, and international dance competitions, I am a dancer and dance will always be my sport. So yes, I guess you could say that i might be a little biased, but before answering the questions whether dance is a sport, it is important to define what makes a sport a sport. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a sport is the “participation in activities involving physical skill and regulated by set rules or customs in which an individual or a team competes against another or others.” It is clear now that dance definitely fulfills all of these requirements.
Three laps around the gym, minute long planks, crunches, sit-ups, and pushups in a matter of thirty minutes. As a dancer, experiencing and realizing the strength that needs to be present in order for an athlete to grow is vital. We go through long hours of choreography sessions, pain and strain on our bodies, and vigorous training. Many people will disagree on the status of if dance is a sport or not. Both Mary- Elizabeth Esquibel, in her article “Why Dance Will Always Be a Sport” and the infographic entitled “Is Dance a Sport?” attack this controversial dilemma. Even though these arguments use different formats, they use rhetoric similarly.
On the surface, a dance class, but dig a little deeper and what do we see? Next, we may see concentration. The concentration that goes into a dance class to remember the combinations in tremendous. They are often said once, and expected to be remembered. Upon performance, you are not only to do what was verbalized, but reverse it, and do it on the other foot as well. Everything in ballet has to be even. Focus then shifts from the combination’s steps to the technique to perfect the steps they are already remembering. Underneath the layer of concentration and determination, you may begin to see frustration or pain. A typical company level ballet class requires perfection, and practically perfect attendance. Dancers are taught to persevere through the pain. I can tell you from experience, that sometimes it means finishing a performance or rehearsal, even with a broken foot, and dancing with broken ribs. While dance may be graceful on the outside, it is tedious, time consuming, and sometimes
Along with other sports, dance involves physical exertion and requires skill. It can be inferred that when athletes undergo physical activity, they push themselves to their limit, which results in them becoming sore, and possibly even injured in some cases. This also pertains to dancers. Dancers can pull a muscle by overstretching or by not stretching enough. They can also break any bone by doing turns, flips, jumps, and tricks. In Ronald Smith’s article, he proceeds to explain
I had just moved to Washington state and I auditioned for the local dance studio’s competition team for fun. I had no idea how talented they were. And I was just an untrained recreational dancer…Not surprisingly, I didn’t earn a coveted spot on the team it the first time I auditioned. That didn’t stop me from training seriously and auditioning for the team each year until I made it. And here I stand, now starting on my sixth year on the team and as one of the last people from my original team who decided not to quit when they started high school. Dance isn’t just twirling around in pretty pink tutus. What the general population doesn’t picture when they think of dance is the tremendous amount of strenuous work and the blood and sweat and tears that goes into every performance and competition. Certain dancers can’t handle it and quit when they realize they don’t have the passion. My passion keeps me living and breathing and most importantly, dancing, when times get
Each of the health care professionals can help dancers for specific injuries and various points of their injuries as well. Knowing what each of them do is necessary so dancers understand what is best needed for their body. It is significant that dancers educate themselves on more than one type of doctor to help with all kinds injuries they may experience. Due to the common factor of dancers getting hurt at least once during their career as a dancer, they will need help on how to heal correctly so they can keep
Among a discourse community of trained dancers, one expects to find individuals who are healthy and active athletes. Aside from technique and movement, health and cardio are underlying factors that play a huge role in a dancer’s career. Many dancers take on a healthy diet in order to maintain their body weight. Something that has been looked down upon in the trained dancers’ community is what it
I have been dancing since the age of two. When asked about my career aspirations, there is no hesitation before saying “I want to be a dancer.” Being a dancer means putting all other distractions aside, and focusing on my craft. Currently, I dedicate over forty hours a week to dance, which is a schedule that requires sacrifice. When I am dancing, the rest of the world fades away, slipping out of my mind with relaxed importance. For that moment in time, I am completely free, wholly focused on my goals, letting me know dance is what I’m meant to do. With this realization comes a responsibility to myself and the work I have put into improving my craft thus far, and I know I must seek out the best opportunities for growth and continued learning.
For high school dance teams, the sport is quite competitive just like any other school sport. Dancers practice six days a week for at least two and a half hours each day, and these practices are far from easy. When it comes time to compete, we do not get any do-overs. So, if someone gets injured, and it is not an extreme case, the dance continues. Dancers are also built and trained to do things their bodies were not naturally born to do, this means dancers have to participate in strength training and conditioning. Having strong and
Injuries also have a great impact on the ending of dancers' careers. Also, 22% of former dancers and 41% of current dancers said that their careers ended because they got to the age where their bodies could not handle dance anymore (1). Dancers put their bodies through multiple painful obstacles and placements that most people would not even dream of doing. One example of painful things dancers do is dance in pointe shoes, a shoe that is made out of layers of fabric with a wooden box on the end of the shoe that a dancer stands on top of on her toe (“The Ballet Blog” 1). Not knowing when their careers will end, dancers should spend all the time they can within the 15 years to find a job and focusing on their dancing without having to worry about school work or getting a college degree that is not going to benefit their career. Dancers can make money and find a job without going to college, but they need time to do so.
Due to the high physical demands of the entertainment industry, dancers are prone to suffer from many different types of injuries – many of these injuries are more commonly found in dancers than in the general population. Among the most common of spinal injuries is Spondylolysis; this condition can be caused by a number of dance steps and also has many different treatment options.
Dancers go through a lot of pain. On average dancers get hurt about once every two weeks. That means that dancers, on average, get hurt about 26 times a year. Whether it is a tiny fall or breaking a bone, dancing is a foolproof way to hurt at least something in your body. Especially if you are on pointe. In a pointe shoe, you
Also, injuries are less common. Therefore, dance should not be considered a sport. "Dance is not a sport because there are no winners or losers, also there are no limitations or rules" (Guarino). These people are mistaken because, dance competition judges score each performance based on Technique (1-25 points), Style and Execution (1-25 points), Showmanship (1-20 points), Costume (1-10 points), Choreography (1-10 points), Degree of Difficulty (1-5 points) and Age Appropriate Performance (1-5 points) for a maximum possible 100 points. A final adjudicated score is determined by an average of all judges scores. After this all dancers are put on stage and awarded with trophies 1st-10th place depending on the 1-100 average scoring from the judges. Therefore, dancers do have a set of rules and scoring just like any other athlete. Regarding injuries, they do occur. Most dance injuries are long-term because of the physical stress constantly being put on a dancers body. There are also instant injuries that happen while dancing, most commonly occurring in the knees, ankles, back, neck or hips. "The physical ability and discipline expected of a dancer can be easily related to those of an athlete and increasingly, dance critics are describing dancers as athletes" (Ailey). Ultimately, dancers are consistently proving, even to the critics, that they obtain the skill needed to be considered an
Dance is a wide career with many options to consider dependent upon a dancer’s preference. This particular profession is a very opinionated occupation as well, so discretion may be necessary. Dance is a difficult career and is particularly underestimated by many outsiders throughout the world. Many decisions have to be made in order to make the right step towards fulfilling a dance career. Dancers have influenced the world for many years and will continue to influence the world for many more years to