The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Are Dancers Athletes or Artists?

Dancing is one of the top 5 most popular sports for women and yet those who choose it as a profession are still considered artists before they are referred to as athletes. This, I have discovered, is causing great controversy in the dancing community. As you will see in this video, dance is a sport that requires great discipline and ability, equalling and occasionally exceeding that required from many other sports where men dominate. Despite this many companies will not entitle dancers to the same levels of therapy and rehabilitation treatment after injury as other sportsmen and women.

No-one denies that dancers are not artists – their sport without question requires grace and skill to create a performance that pleases the eye and often sends a message or translates a story. However the physical demands and competition of the sport are often overlooked to the extent that they may be forgotten about as athletes. Maybe it is the fact, as with many other female dominated sports, they are just overshadowed by those involving more men, or is it assumed women cannot make a living by doing a very physical job?

The popularity of shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and So You Think You Can Dance have assisted in raising the popularity of dance and showcasing it as a means to get fit – but do they show dancers as athletes? Or are they just adding to the ideas that dance is just entertainment and an art form and not sport

-Emma Hatherall
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely agree that dance is athletic--more so that some sports. Dancers are most definitely athletes, and are often in better shape and better aware of their bodies than more traditional athletes. They're also often the toughest people I know.

    That said, I don't consider dance a sport. It is athletic, but to me at least, it's not a sport. As I've gotten older, I tend to view any athletic event that comes with "artistic" or "style" points as not a sport--but again, that doesn't mean that those people aren't athletes. This includes traditional Olympic sports like ice skating or some elements of gymnastics. I admire the skill, dedication, and strength of figure skaters, but I don't perceive it as a sport in the way I would speed skaters.

    I do think it's criminal that professional dancers don't receive the same rehabilitative treatment that professional footballers et. al. do. If both are injured on the job (or not), both should be rehabilitated in the same way.