Dance–A Sport? Or Not?

The Wayne Hills Varsity Dance Team


The Varsity Dance Team

By Stephanie Tulpan, Staff Writer

After twenty years of not having a competitive dance team here at Wayne Hills, things finally changed this 2021-2022 school year. Wayne Hills now has Varsity dance team consisting of thirteen talented dancers who are more than excited to finally represent their school on the dance floor. Although, the fight to obtain a standing in Wayne Hills’ extracurricular wasn’t easy.

Despite being shut down year after year, dancers at Wayne Hills kept fighting to bring the dance team back. They talked to staff advisers, the school’s treasurer, and even coaches outside of the Wayne Hills community in hopes of re-establishing a team. After years of determination, they finally succeeded. Bringing back the Wayne Hills Dance Team wasn’t easy; a part of the school’s reluctance to do so came from the most controversial question in the world of dance: is dance actually a sport?

After the dance team was approved, it was categorized as a club. It wasn’t added to the medical forms for sports teams, or mentioned as a sport on the Wayne Hills website despite its high level of physical activity.

The dance team practices for hours each week, working on technique and routines to prepare for high school dance competitions and performances during halftime shows of the Wayne Hills Varsity Basketball games. They participate in team bonding activities, show school spirit, and abide by the values of a sport: sportsmanship, practice, physical demand, and competition. Some see this level of dedication and legitimacy to be worthy of being a sport while others disagree.

Some people often disregard dance as an “art” or “hobby,” not a sport, because of the reputation larger sports gave it. Parker Johnson, a freshman at Hills and Varsity hockey player on the Wayne Knights, states, “Dance team isn’t a sport. It just doesn’t seem like one.”

Though, not every athlete agrees with the discredit dance gets. Dominic Tirella, also a freshman at Hills and Varsity hockey player on the Wayne Knights, states, “Dance team is a sport, especially because it is competitive.” Some people, like Johnson, believe that dance isn’t legitimate enough to be a sport, while others, like Tirella, acknowledge dance’s technicality and dedication.

The Wayne Hills Dance Team has yet to be given the title of a sport by the Wayne Hills committee, and is still only categorized as a club/activity on the Hills website. For the Wayne Hills Dance Team, this is unfortunate; and the whole world of dance would agree. Though, considering the fight Hills dancers put up for the past twenty years, the dance team is determined for dance to receive the credit they think it deserves, and the universal question still remains controversial: is dance actually a sport?