Michaela Lumpert, Campus Carrier Copy Editor
It was August of 2003. I was 3 years old, and my little feet walked across the dance floor, nervous for what was going to happen. I placed my purple bag down in front of the mirror, fluffed my pink tutu and slicked back my hair into a bun as a smiling instructor walked over to me, presenting me with a beautiful pair of ballet slippers. Little did I know that those shoes were going to change my life.
Ever since that day in 2003, those little feet turned into bigger feet that kept dancing their way across many stages. They went from Great Gig Ballet Studio, to the Daystar Company, to Christine’s School of Dance, to many other studios with huge programs for competitive dancing. Dance made my life feel full. Every time I entered the stage, adrenaline would pulse through my body, guiding me across the stage. I would end a dance, panting, hoping that the judges would think that my performance was worthy of an award.
I spent my entire 6th grade year dancing in competitions all over the US, traveling to a different state almost every other weekend. I spent countless hours in the studio, practicing and perfecting dances for competition. My life revolved around the thrill of performing. I would come home from school, spend an hour doing my homework, race off to the studio around 4:30 and pray that I would get out before 10:30. It was grueling, but it was the best experience of my life.
High school came around and my dance world kept going. I danced my school stress away, letting my soul pour into my work. But it seemed that there was always a villain lurking behind me, reminding me of something that would burst my happy dance bubble. That villain was the people who believed that dance should not be a sport
The dance team at my school faced a lot of hardships. Constantly the dancers were faced with budget cuts that robbed them of getting new costumes and props for their show. They always had to somehow reuse and recycle old things. A few weeks later their budget was cut in half in order to fund a brand-new locker room for the football team, who already had one that seemed in good condition.
Why was it that the arts always come after the “glorified” sports? The dancers may not be throwing a ball and tackling each other, but for the hard work they put into their pieces, they should be recognized.
Merriam Webster defines a sport as “a physical activity that is done for enjoyment”. Dance meets every requirement in that definition; it should be considered a sport as well as a fine art.
When you look at dance and any other sport on the same level, they share a lot of similarities. The both face the same injuries, like tearing ACLs or spraining muscles, they both practice several hours per day and they pour their hearts and their souls into their work. The only thing that makes them different is that dancers perform on stage rather than a field.