Some people consider ballet a sport. Others say it is an art form. It all depends on your definition of the word “sport,”. Let’s look into this further and see if ballet is a sport or not. It requires time and dedication to develop one’s technique and grow stronger as a dancer.
What is a sport?
In the general definition, it means a physical activity that requires certain skills. Ballet can be considered a sport according to this definition. Ballet dancers have to jump and move around a lot so it is clear that it is a physical activity. Dancers are often quite tired at the end of training as they have to use their whole body to perform the drills.
More narrow definitions also demand that sports have a competitive element. Not every ballet performance has a competitive element. Sometimes ballet performances are rated based on objective criteria. Each dancer or team of dancers gets points. In this situation, ballet can be considered as a sport given that there is a competitive element.
The truth is that it all depends on your definition of “sport.” Just like a person’s definition of “sports” might vary from person to person, so does their definition for what is considered competitive and “sporting.”
However, some say that it is an art form because of the theatrics and costumes involved. Often stories can be told based on this performance.
Ballet requires time, hard work, dedication, and discipline to develop stage presence and grow stronger as dancer. To have good technique as a ballet dancer requires hours of daily practice, endless repetition of moves, and strengthening muscles to build up stamina.
To conclude, we can state that ballet can be a sport but it depends on the definition. There is not always a competitive element so some people consider it as a performance instead of a sport.
If your definition of “sport” includes other activities such as team-based games with an athletic element like basketball or soccer, then maybe ballet isn’t considered one yet. But I can tell you that there are many professional athletes who also love ballet! It can be very intense to dance and can push you to your limits.
History of ballet
The roots of ballet date back to the Renaissance. There are many different styles of dance, all with their own rules, including ballet. Ballet originated in Italy, around 16th century. Today, there are many changes and innovations in the art form.
The history of ballet can be broken down into three periods: the Renaissance through 19th century, 20th century and present day. The Renaissance was more about developing technique and how dancers should perform rather than the character being portrayed on stage. The first ballerina was Marie Taglioni who danced in the opera “La Sylphide” in 1832 which is considered to be a milestone for female dancers. The 20th-century period was when ballet became more about performance for people to enjoy rather than just show technique and training. In the past ballet used to be about performance. More recently more competitive elements have been added and there are a lot of ballet competitions. This can make us consider it as a sport.
The word “competition” is sometimes used to refer to competitive ballet as it requires the dancers to continuously push themselves to achieve greater heights of success. The dancers also need each other’s support in order to make it through this difficult journey.
There are a lot of ballet competitions nowadays. From the famous Prix de Lausanne to competitions in the USA, it is possible to compete worldwide. Judges rate the dancers based on different criteria (such as timing, posture and so on) and rank them at the end of the competition. The winner typically gets a medal.
Ballet is not an Olympic sport so far but as the competitions are gaining more attention, it could become so in the future. Ballet organizations are sprouting up to organize more events and standardize the rules. At the moment a lot of national organizations are being created to make ballet dancing more professional. In the coming decades, we will see more competitions and more dancers trying to win them. The rules are still being finetuned and people are discussing how the points should be awarded. This will probably evolve a lot in the coming years, as we have seen with other sports.
We are seeing more variations of competitions as well. From single dance, partner dance to group dance. This can push dancers to specialize in one of these competitions. It can involve a lot of creativity and practice to win one of them. Dancers often have coaches to push them to the next level. Ballet dancers typically can only compete for a few years as it is a very intense activity.
To conclude, we can state that ballet can be considered a sport in the broad definition as there is a physical element. In a more narrow definition that also requires a competitive element, ballet can be a sport in some instances as there are competitions that allow dancers to show their skills. For these reasons, ballet can be considered a sport in some instances. One thing is for certain: ballet will remain popular in the coming decades. People have enjoyed it for several centuries and performances have only become more spectacular.