Dancers and Athletes: Similar and Different



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Dance07

Nozima Burkhanova

4/03/2013


Dancers and Athletes: Similar and Different

Dance and sport are two different activities, yet in some ways they can be similar. Dancers and athletes are two different groups of people. However, dancers and athletes have many things in common. My essay will explore some of the similarities and differences in athletes. Additionally, my essay will explain the benefits of athletes doing dance and the benefits of dancers playing sport.

I will first talk about the similarities in dance and sport. First of all, dance and sport can be done for fitness or for fun as well as competition, and they are both used for entertainment. The correct technique is essential for them to count as done validly. Both groups of people are prone to injury. Hence, it is essential for both dancers and athletes to warm-up and stretch before they dance or play sport. Training is needed for both sports, and both groups of people will progress and improve over time. There are some moves in common with both dance and sport. Some examples are chasse in basketball, sideways step in badminton (also known as shuffling when playing the sport), and the different stances and movements used in plyometrics are helpful when playing sport. In order to maintain their skills, both dancers and athletes have to train. Both dance and sport have different types, e.g. fire dance or street dance; football or basketball. They both work on the physical fitness components. Both have stretches where they focus on one component or part of the body, e.g. abdominals or hamstrings. Lastly, they both need correct contribution from all performers or players; if one participant messes up, then the whole game or performance could be affected.

Even though dance and sport are similar in some ways, there are also quite a few differences between the two activities. First of all, and this is rather obvious, most dance is choreographed, and has to be practiced in that particular manner; whereas sport is different in the fact that many sports are spontaneous and they can be practiced in a vague way, but not choreographed in the exact way that it will be played. This is why the term “perform” is not usually used in sport. Dance can be a sport or a form of art, whereas sport is only sport, not art. When people critique dance, they usually look for things like grace or poise, things that could count in sport, but not particularly emphasized as much as in dance. Also, it is very unlikely that you will find a dance where you score goals with points; dancers are usually judged on their performance. However, sport isn’t usually judged. If the technique is wrong in sport, it is called a foul and they are usually penalized in some form, maybe even disqualified. However, in dance they will lose points. There typically aren’t any referees to call fouls in dance, but they exist in sport.



I will now talk about the benefits of athletes dancing and dancers playing sports. They both exercise on fitness components. Both dancers and athletes aim to work on the following physical fitness components: body composition, flexibility, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, balance, agility, coordination, reaction time, speed, and power. Different dance moves and plyometrics can develop these components, which is why before running or playing a game, athletes practice some plyometric and locomotive moves like jog and heel kick, prance, sprint, jog etc. Dance can develop mobility, balance, improvisation and other skills. These are needed in sport for being able to play optimally. Also, dance develops teamwork because dancers have to work with the other members of their group when choreographing and performing their dance. This is essential in team sports such as volleyball, where a team has to efficiently work together to be victorious. Now I will switch around to explain how sport can benefit dancers. Like before, some sports like running develop the physical fitness components. Also, playing sports can help dancers develop different plyometric moves, i.e. when doing a layup in basketball; this can help vertical jumping ability, which is used in skipping. Also, communication is practiced in team sports, for example in volleyball; people call “Mine!” when they want to claim the ball. In any team sports communication is useful when you want to warn someone or give them instructions to mark someone or to go somewhere. In dance this is important, because when choreography you will easily be able to share your ideas, as well as during practice when you want to tell someone the mistakes they are making. All in all, dancing can benefit athletes and vice versa.

My essay explained the similarities and differences between sport and dance, as well as the benefits they give each other. Thank you for reading it!
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