It’s Not All Tutus, Dance Pushes the Limits of Mind and Body

Julia Ferrara, Reporter

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I am an athlete – but you probably wouldn’t guess my sport. In fact, many students consider what I do a sport. I am a dancer. I have danced basically my whole life. I tried soccer, gymnastics, and even volleyball until I found the sport I am truly good at and love. Though I consider my craft a sport, so many people don’t. And it makes me wonder: Why don’t people think dance is a sport? Is it the tutus and classical music that throws people off? Do they automatically think of the Rockettes when they think of a dancer? First hand I can tell you that certainly not at all true. We train very hard just like all other athletes. The ridiculous hours put into our practice is insane but still – why aren’t we a sports team but a club?

Dance is just like any other sport. We practice hours on end just like other athletes do. On a normal practice day, I could go to dance team, which ends at 5:30, straight to dance. Most days I dance, I have 3-4 classes that night meaning more hours spent at my studio. I usually get out at 9:30 and get home at around 10. Like soccer or football, dance is multiple days a week, too. Like any other athlete, we dancers have a way of competing against other teams, too. I compete against different studios at competitions across Long Island. There are about 5-8 different studios at a single competition. Not only that, competitions usually last all weekend from Friday night to Sunday night whereas a single soccer game could last a couple hours.

Even dance team isn’t considered a sport at Wantagh High School. We usually practice twice a week and perform at various events like half time at football games, basketball games, the NewsDay Festival, and the Memorial Day parade. Dance team starts practicing late June and our season goes through May with small breaks in between with help from our coach Brianna Ruda. Dance team has one of the longest seasons going almost year-round. Still, we are on the list of clubs rather than the list of sports. Perfecting dances in a limited amount of time isn’t an easy task. We work too hard to be titled as a club.

Dancers don’t get the credit they deserve. We train just as hard as any other athlete. Our craft is very unique and takes years to grow and learn. Dance is certainly not easy and not something you could learn overnight. Dance should be considered a sport since our work ethic is equally as great as other sports. Not to mention that we clearly fit the criteria of a sport. Dance is certainly not as easy as 1, 2, 3.

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