Is Ballet a Sport?

Nathan Travis, Staff Writer

Many people, like myself can agree that ballet IS a sport due to the extreme athleticism that it requires, the first rule of ballet is to straighten out your legs, which ends up working your muscles harder than many other sports, but on the other hand many people consider it to be an art because of the delicate and graceful movement seen on stage. Traditionally ballet isn’t considered a sport, but why is that?


Before I go into a long 30 minute argument like Skip and Shannon on Undisputed, I’m just going to get this out of the way; ballet is an art. Dancers have to move their arms a certain way, point their toes, and even make their fingers and wrist move along rhythmically, it’s beautiful and graceful. A fellow iUPrep student said “No, I don’t think it’s a sport, I say this because I think that it is an art form despite the fact that it requires you to be athletic, but there needs to be more than just taking athleticism to be considered a sport.” I think that sums that side of the debate up pretty well, I’d have to say I partially agree with their opinion, but I believe that there is more than just athleticism to ballet.


One aspect of ballet that makes ballet a little more like a “sport” is the Youth America Grand Prix, which is a major dance competition that brings in dancers from all over the world. This is considered by most to be the most prestigious ballet competition in the world and is a great way for young dancers to fulfill their dream of dancing professionally. Another easy way to tell that ballet is a sport is to look at a dancer’s feet, specifically the women since they go on pointe. I will tell you this, you will never see any other athlete in any sports with feet as mangled as dancer’s feet, whoo! 


Regardless of what ballet is technically called, the athleticism it requires is an insane level, and also quite surprising. When I joined ballet I was stunned with how much it took physically. The artistic and gracefulness of ballet will always be there, but ask yourself this: is ballet the definition of a sport or an art?