by: Kristian Winfield
When you think sports, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Physicality? Blood? Sweat? Contact? You could walk throughout New York City and ask 100 random people the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the word “sport”. 50% would say “basketball, football, baseball, or soccer.” Another 15% would say one of the words I listed about. But the next 35% would say the most important part of a sport: competition.
In any sport you find across the world, competition is a must. That’s why sports like football, hockey, soccer, and basketball are so popular. The spectators can see the athletes putting their bodies on the line in the name of the competition.
For the past few years, I have vehemently denied and rejected all claims of dance being a sport. But today, after sitting down and watching So You Think You Can Dance for two hours, I am starting to have second thoughts.
From what I understand, the basis of the show is to gather different amateur dancers of different styles from all across the U.S. and pair them with professional dancers of a style foreign to theirs. There are three judges who critique each dancer’ ability to adapt to the new style of dance and perform in front of a live audience.
In watching tonight’s episode, I have learned that there are many different styles of dance, many of which do not suit every dancer, nor do they suit every viewer. Personally, I have a taste for the more upbeat dancers. For example, Krumping and Bollywood dancers, and even some contemporary dancers, have grown on me. But it seemed as though every time I liked something, the judges saw something that was lacking.
According to the judges, a great dance performance must contain emotion and technique. Apparently, each of the ones I liked was missing one of the two characteristics for a perfect performance.
But I knew the judges and I had to come to an agreement somewhere. It would be Lauren Froderman, a contemporary jazz dancer, and hip-hop all star dancer, Dominic, who poured their hearts out and left it all on the dance floor to Beyoncé’s song, “If I Were A Boy”, that caught both my and the judges’ eyes.
Even the Simon Cowell of the show, Nigel Lythgoe, had to admit that they were superb.
“I believed the performance,” said Nigel for the first time that night.
After being pressured to watch the show, I am glad that I did. It has broadened my horizons to the most intricate of sports. Not only is it a competition; it is definitely a SPORT.
Honestly, after watching So You Think You Can Dance, I can honestly say that dance is more of a sport than golf. Golfers merely smack a small ball around a field and hope to get it into a hole. Dancers put it all out there to entertain the crowd. Technique and emotion derive the most intricate of movements from these dancers, and it is that aspect that makes it more entertaining.
How many people do you know that can watch a whole baseball game. Inning after inning after inning; it gets boring! With dance, there’s always something to keep you on your heels, wanting more.
I will emphasize one last time: DANCE IS A SPORT.
It may not be a sport for everyone, but it is a sport.