Why DGS Dance is a sport


Courtesy of Dawn Jovic

DGS Varsity dance team placed second in the West Suburban confrence.

Ava Lafin, Opinions Editor

I have been dancing since I was two and a half years old through two studios: seven years competitively and three years on the DGS dance team. Through 15 years of training and sometimes dancing up to 17 hours a week, I have always considered myself an athlete. The argument has always baffled me how some believe that dance is not considered a sport as it clearly is.

The general term “dance” to me means moving one’s body, but the act of dancing competitively through a studio or school program is an athletic activity that uses muscles in your body as large as quadriceps or as small as external hip flexors. As a football linebacker will throw their body at an opponent, a dancer will throw their body to the ground without making a sound and then stand up with pointed feet to prepare for a turn sequence.

In my competitive season I ice my feet, hips and back every night and visit the trainer just like every other athlete. I participate in pre-competition rituals and have fun bus rides with my team to and from invitationals just like the other sports teams do at DGS.

I pay fees and uniforms to the school, which I believe are the rites of passage to being funded by the school, similar to the more popular sports like football or basketball. Even though the stands don’t get packed for our invitationals, competitive dance has a West Suburban Conference held by Hinsdale South every year, which was recently confirmed to be a real conference. The DGS dance team has six All-State athletes in the 2021-22 season.

Some high schools that are repetitive IHSA State winners have personal trainers and nutritionists for their dancers. These dancers who get similar treatment to professionals in the NFL are absolutely classified as athletes.

Since I was little, I have been told I was not an athlete and little boys would make fun of me when I stated the fact that dance is a sport. The toxicity of the stigma for dancers and cheerleaders alike that they are not considered athletes breaks down children and makes them feel lesser. Dance being considered a sport is no longer an opinion, but a fact.

There is no argument against the fact that competitive dance is considered a sport. It is imperative that the world recognizes it as that and continues to give equal opportunities to all athletes.