For the love of the sport | Guest commentary

Name a sport. What’s the first thing you think of? Maybe soccer, baseball, or football.

While those are popular and talented sports, what many of you probably didn’t think of is dance.

There are controversies everywhere doubting that dance is even a sport in the first place. As a member of a dance team, I myself have faced a lot of these suspicions and doubts, especially from people in my high school. They all seem to wonder the same thing, and that’s the question if dance is even hard.

No one seems to know how rough our workouts are or if we even compete against other dance teams. It’s hard to be a sport if there’s no competition.

Since “dance” is a general term, doubters believe that anyone can dance and that it doesn’t take much talent at all.

What most people don’t know, however, is the behind the scenes work on what it takes to be a dance team. A dance team is the same as a team of any other sport. It’s a collection of people who have the same passion for a certain thing.

I’ve never experienced a group so tightly knit together as the dance team.

Relationships with our coaches are just as strong.

We know that they are there not only to challenge us, but to guide us as well. Every year we become like a second family, and sports teams need that quality in order to perform well.

They need to know that they rely on each other, and dance teams possess that characteristic.

As for the workouts, I feel sore just thinking about them. It’s important to train every day, whether it’s with your dance team or not. Cardio endurance, flexibility, and muscle strength are essential for a dancer.

It’s important to be able to keep up with the music, which can be tiring, so if you can’t do that, you’ll fall behind quickly. Stretching is necessary for every movement of a dancer, but some specific examples are kicks or the splits.

Flexibility doesn’t just happen overnight; it takes months or even years to be a flexible dancer. Our strength is needed to hold ourselves up in stalls in hip hop, or pirouettes in jazz or lyrical. No, we might not have the same workout as football players, but it’s just as hard for our sport. We train until we become just as sore, and we’re determined to keep going until we can be the best.

Yes, dance teams do complete against each other. It’s not just performances in front of the school, like what most people see. There are competitions where teams are determined to win, just like any other sports team.

The effort we put into building relationships, fundraising for outfits, and training until the splits don’t even break a sweat, affects our overall performance.

Because when we perform, we don’t just dance.

We dance to win.


Allison Needles is a senior at Tahoma High School.

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