The Great Debate: Is Dance a Sport or an Art?

The Great Debate: Is Dance a Sport or an Art?

Explore the great debate: Is dance a sport or an art? Dive into perspectives, arguments, and insights on the intersection of athleticism and creativity in dance. There has long been a great debate raging within the dance community. Is Dance a sport or an art?

At QuickSteps, we think it’s both! To decide whether dance is an art or a sport, we need to look at the definitions of sport and art and then decide for ourselves which category dance fits into.

What is Dance: an Art, a Sport, or both? 

There have been many questions surrounding the nature of dance as a sport or an art. Well, it can be both. As a sport, dance is physically exerting and requires skill from the participants. Dancers even compete for entertainment and prizes.

As an art, dance is a form of expression. It is beautiful and alluring and communicates a message. Dance moves require skill, creativity, and imagination, just like any other art.

Two truths can exist. So, dance can be art and sport at the same time. But depending on your approach and the kind of dance you do, the context of dance may be different to you.

As a professional dancer competing regularly and choreographing a sequence of moves against other dancers, dance is a sport. But if you dance to address a social issue or entertain an audience, then dance is an art.

Is dance a sport? 

Dictionaries define a sport as a competitive athletic activity that requires physical prowess or skill. Any dancer will tell you that there is certainly a lot of physical excretion involved when it comes to dancing!

Besides, you need the stamina to be a dancer, and when done in short periods, dance is an anaerobic activity. Dancers run out of breath just as a sprinter would. 

Also, dance can be a prolonged activity. Some dancers dance non-stop for over an hour, similar to a long-distance runner. Dancers also dance for work, just like other athletes.

Dance can also be classified as a sport because it is equally as dangerous as any other sport – dancers are prone to lifetime injuries.

Both teams and individuals can compete in dance competitions for their own entertainment and the entertainment of spectators. Yes, dance fits within the sports category. 

Is dance a form of art? 

Art is the creative expression of human imagination. And because you can tell a story with dance without using words, it can be classified as a work of art. Although there are different types of dance, from contemporary to ballet, each piece has its artistic style.


The Great Debate: Is Dance a Sport or an Art?


Dance can be in the form of a choreographed routine where every step is planned out second by second to the music. Similar to a painting, these routines can be designed to simply be beautiful to look at, or they can be designed to convey emotions or a specific story. 

The incorporation of music into dance also qualifies as art. Two dancers could use the same music but interpret it differently, sending out different messages to their audience. Choreography, emotions, and facial expressions all give interpretative meanings to a dance that only a piece of art can 

Here is a beautifully choreographed piece to Never Enough from the Greatest Showman, enjoy!


The long-standing debate of dance being an art or a sport doesn’t necessarily mean dance has to fit into one category. By all indications, dance can be a sport and an art. As a sport, dancers have to compete for work, train, and perfect their sequence of dance moves. They also need the stamina to build a career.

As an art, dance is a form of expression. It contains a series of unique moves, imagination, and creativity that conveys a message to its audience. Dance as art not only consists of choreographed routines, but it also incorporates music and a style that allows the audience to make their judgment.

So, the verdict to the debate of dance being an art or sport is that it is both. Just because dance is not classified as a sport in the Olympics doesn’t mean it isn’t one.  

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Yes, it certainly is. It is a high-energy activity danced either solo, with a partner, or in a team and can be used to compete with others.

Yes, dance can certainly be considered a form of art. It is beautiful to watch and can be designed and executed in a way that conveys a story or particular set of emotions to the audience.