Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ballroom Dancing In the Olympics?

In yet another assault on all that is decent and traditional, the International Olympic Committee is considering adding Ballroom Dancing, a/k/a DanceSport (no, I'm not kidding) to the Olympics roster. Just what the world needs - another "sport" without a ball, without a goal, but with a panel of judges.

The problem is rooted in a misunderstanding of the difference between sport and other hard activities. The IOC looks at several factors to decide whether an activity can be considered an Olympic sport - among them are physical strenuousness, history and tradition, popularity and cost. Also, a big plus for "DanceSport" (yes, I smirked as I typed that) is that it has gender equity built in, since the heterocentric norms of the activity require that teams consist of one of each gender.

If you're going to include activities based on physical strenuousness, history, tradition, popularity and cost, why not include the marching band tuba player? What about roofing? Rolling out dough for quiche?

It's remarkably simple - real sports don't have subjective judges. Sure, tennis might have a line judge, but that's just a referee, there to decide what really happened. You don't see judges awarding points to tennis players because their form was perfect, or because they really captured the spirit of the crowd. Even ugly tennis players get calls going their way, unlike in gymnastics.

Ballroom dancing is not a sport. Ice dancing, figure skating, diving, gymnastics and equestrian dressage are not sports. They are activities, all of which are far beyond this writer's abilities, but so are sewing, playing the flute, and speaking French. All these activities are fine pursuits, but they are not sports.

Sports have real scores - scores that keep track of objective things. Did the ball go through the hoop, between the uprights, or over the fence? While, on occasion, there may be some dispute as to whether those things actually happened, the point of the sport is to make them happen. And artistry isn't the point, or even relevant, except as a means to the end. Nobody gives points to a quarterback who throws a great spiral if it's not caught. Nobody cares if a pitcher lands gracefully.

There are no gray areas if you focus on objective scoring, though there are a few areas where the scoring may be so difficult as to allow subjectivity to creep in. Olympic boxing is a sport in its ideal, but judges are given such a difficult task in deciding whether a punch was landed or blocked that some inadvertent subjectivity is bound to occur. The point, though, is that a punch is a punch, not an artistic statement.

Similarly, it would be possible to create real sports out of many of the pseudo-sports that infest the Olympics. How high can the ice dancer throw his partner? Put bars up for them to clear. How far can they jump? How long can they spin without vomiting? Note that the entertainment of these activities would actually increase if they were converted to real sports!

The Olympic Motto is "Swifter, Higher, Stronger". The ancient Greeks didn't seek "Prettier, Perkier, More Graceful". We've already slid way too far down the slope of sports that Dick Button can gush about without adding ballroom dancing to the menu.

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48 Comments:

Anonymous travelingal said...

Wow, I love Ballroom Dancing. I get your point but popularity of the "sport" is what drives the audience, commercials and tv viewership (i.e. money. right or wrong, I hope they add it.

12/27/2007 8:41 AM  
Blogger the unthinking lemming said...

I appreciate the point, for the most part, about the validity of some of the Olympic "sports'. However, it is worth pointing out that 4 of the 5 most watched events according to TiVo at the Torino Winter Olympics were related to Figure Skating. 2 of those 4 were not even coverage of actual competition. One was an interview. The other a exhibition performance. The most watched event involved a figure skater doing a face plant.

12/27/2007 8:47 AM  
Blogger les said...

I'm with Dan.

Hey, you kids, get offa my lawn!! Hmph, grmph, newfangled meddling...

12/27/2007 9:01 AM  
Anonymous GMC70 said...

DAn:

Exactly right. Are these "pseudo-sports" beautiful? Yes. Difficult? Absolutely. Worthy of time, effort, and appreciation? You betcha.

Sports? NO.

A sport has some objective measurement -speed, height, time, etc. It isn't just some subjective "artistic merit."

And if weeding out the "pseudo-sports" means the olympics cost less and run shorter, so much the better.

12/27/2007 9:22 AM  
Blogger whistleblower said...

I say any Olympic sport that requires music should be avoided, or they need to give an award to the composer, and the artist/ orchestra performing. The right song choice and arrangement are such an integral part of the competition and judging that, at least in figure skating, the gold medal is often awarded to the person that picked the best song. Try ballroom dancing without the music and look for the audience appeal. Real sports don’t require musical accompaniment.

I have nothing against ballroom dancing. It’s beautiful to watch and requires a talent that I haven’t mastered, but if you call that a sport, what's next? American Idol goes to the Olympics. Jack-Ass- the Olympic events. Olympic computer gaming.

If money /viewer count is the deciding factor for whether or not it is considered an Olympic sport, The Biggest Loser may become a future Olympic event.

12/27/2007 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If figure skating is in the winter Olympics, why isn't artistic roller skating (what the roller equivalent of figure skating is called) in the summer Olympics?

12/27/2007 4:26 PM  
Blogger the unthinking lemming said...

Artistic roller skating, or Roller Sports, is a recognized Olympic Sport. Its exclusion from the Olympic Games is probably due to the obscure nature of the sport and an inability of it to garner television ratings. Combine that with the plethora of more popular sports already included in the Summer Games and it isn't such a stretch to see why.

12/28/2007 3:08 PM  
Blogger whistleblower said...

Speaking of the Olympics...

Are we ready for Olympic Waterboarding?

12/28/2007 8:48 PM  
OpenID drpaisley said...

I have always contended that if you have to wait for someone else to tell you how well you did, it's not a sport. Well said.

12/28/2007 9:11 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

I have to agree: there are two rules that prevent "activities" from becoming "olympic events" and those are:

(1) if it requires musical accompaniment;

(2) if your grandparents can do it well, or even ok.

12/28/2007 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about:

- chess
- billiards
- golf

?

12/29/2007 7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roller skating would get more interest had Tonya Harding been a roller, not figure, skater...

12/29/2007 7:35 AM  
Blogger the unthinking lemming said...

Chess, billiards and golf are all recognized sports by the Olympic committee. Golf was at one time a part of the Olympic Games.

12/29/2007 8:17 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

IIRC, the last time that golf was actually a part of the Olympic games was in 1904 at that St. Louis olympics, and they played at Glen Echo Country Club.

12/29/2007 8:37 AM  
Anonymous Hollywood Hater said...

In yet another assault on all that is decent and traditional

Your right Dan. The Olympics should not have done away with the slaughter of 100 oxen to Zeus ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/greeks/greek_olympics_03.shtml)

Men competing naked ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/greeks/greek_olympics_04.shtml )

and only allowing free MEN that spoke Greek.

Lets go back to the old traditions and not allow women!

I totally agree with you Dan. These modern olympics are "yet another assault on all that is decent and traditional" . Three cheers for Dan, lets go back to the old ways!

12/29/2007 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Equestrian dressage *is* a sport. It just doesn't look like a sport because the Olympic riders are so good they make it look effortless. But I tell you, an hour on my Prix St. Georges level Trakehner stallion leaves me in a much greater sweat than the same amount of time on a treadmill with my heart working "in the zone." Riding is excellent exercise and most definitely a sport. Some people "ride" but dressage riders "train", and they train hard. It is very difficult to get a giant animal with a mind of its own to comply with what seem to be invisible commands. The amount of discipline and hard work that goes into an Olympic dressage performance is astounding. Most of the best riders are above 40 years old. It takes that long to get that good. Last, along with jumping, dressage is one of the only Olympic sports in which men and women compete against each other.

1/05/2008 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what I do not understand? Why you use American Football as an example when it is also not a sport that is recognized by the IOC. Before making lame ass comments like, "Nobody gives points to a quarterback who throws a great spiral if it's not caught", maybe you should check up on the list of recognized sports. In addition, though the points may not be awarded as are in basketball (a recognized sport), dancers are recognized for their skill and agility- like gymnastics (another recognized sport). Check out this link- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKOTSMN2zFM. Chase Abell and Taylor Shorten are dancing the Foxtrot and wipe out completely when another couple knocks into them but recover at lightning quick speed and end up placing first in their heat. Perhaps you should put more research behind your blogs...

3/21/2008 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ballroom dancing requires just as much training as any other mainstream "sport". Ballroom dancers practice hours per week, which includes dance training, training at the gym and mentally preparing for competitions. If you think that other "sports" such as basketball are better than ballroom dancing then you need to live a day in the life of a champion ballroom dancer. Ballroom dancing is unlike any other sport in that one person dances around the floor, to music all while connected to another person who is also dancing around the floor to music, but those two people are in harmony with each other and both are working towards ONE common goal and while looking flawless. Not to mention that women are doing all of this in 4 inch heels. Let's see some basketball players run down the court in 4-inch heels and see who the real man is.

Judges for ballroom dance competitions are highly trained and go through arduous testing in order to receive their certifications. They are often past champions that carry on the legacy of ballroom dance through their coaching and judging. How many past basketball players become referees? NONE!

Ballroom dancing is also either danced correctly or incorrectly. Either you are doing a fleckeral or not, there is no grey are. Granted, some do it better than others do but some basketball players dribble the ball better than others do.

The next time you critique a sport why don’t you get your ass off the couch and find out for yourself if it is a sport, rather than be an uninformed bastard writing about something you have absolutely no clue about.

3/22/2008 12:41 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anonymous 11:08 -

Wow - I guess I got your sequined body suit into a bunch! Thank you for the video clip of "Dancesport" (hahaha - that name makes me laugh) wiping out. That is hilarious, and should be on America's Funniest Nonsports Bloopers. I've done plenty of research, though - and it turns out that dancesport relies on subjective judges, not on the actual facts of results. Sorry, not a sport. But, as you pointed out, occasionally good for a chuckle.

Anonymous 12:41 - I don't know which gives me more evil glee, the thought that you have sat around stewing for a couple hours after posting the previous comment, or if there were actually two fans of "dancesport" (hahaha) cruising the internets last night. Either way, I fear the toxic effects of floor wax fumes have rendered you a little confused. Men in heels don't look like "real men", and the fact that something is difficult does not make it a sport.

Again, speaking French is difficult, but not even the IOC has made it a sport yet. Practicing law is difficult, and, at times, strenuous, and the judges are usually great lawyers, but the IOC has not made practicing law a sport, has it?

Calling me names is not a sport, either.

I spent yesterday fly-fishing (not on the couch). If they ever decide to make fly-fishing an olympic sport, they should do so based on the number and weight of fish caught, not on the subjective "artistry" of my casts. The referees should be people who know how to count and weigh, not washed up ballroom dancers.

The simple fact is that real sports don't have subjective judging. Dancesport (hahahahahahaha) does have subjective judging, so it's not a sport. It might be entertainment, it might be art, it might be an alternative for people who aren't good at sports, but it is simply not a real sport.

3/22/2008 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are an asshole- just for your information two separate people posted the last two comments and I feel sorry for your parents- that they produced such a narrow-minded son. I wonder what you have to say about gymnastics. It too is something that requires sequined body suits, glamorous women, impeccable movements and...subjective scoring. One person does not do a cartwheel for two points, a stag for three and a vault for five. A gymnast is judged by how well he or she executes the choreography and by how effortless he or she makes it look. Not to mention the brute strength required to hold the position on the rings for a minute or more. Gymnastics also consequently goes back to the time of the Greeks and the beginning of the Olympics (you did say yourself that sports are brought into the Olympics by their traditional qualities, their physical strenuousness, and their popularity). Aspects of the modern standard ballroom dances can be traced back to the 1500’s. How far back can you trace Curling? And just for your information (because I find ignorance annoying), the title is International DanceSport Federation. So you can stop writing ‘hahahaha’ after every time you mention it in your blogs and comments. Childishness is very unbecoming.

Also, Men wear tail suits (sans- which means without in French- sequins) and women wear ballroom gowns. Notice that none of it includes a sequins bodysuit- this is dancing not baton twirling.

Also, the Olympics DO recognize DanceSport as a federation BECAUSE they have adopted the Anti-Doping Code and conduct out of competition tests in accordance with the official rules of the Olympics. Therefore, the Olympics recognize DanceSport at a world level- one step down from becoming an authentic Olympic sport- can't really say that about American Football. And how many more cases will be brought forth about doping in such sports as baseball, basketball and football in the near future? Countless I am sure...

And one more thing, regarding popularity, have you bothered to turn on your television recently? Do you know how many reality TV shows are about dance or have a component of dance linked to them? How about on an international level? Have you counted how many cinematic features about dance have been released recently? The tango is as popular as soccer in Argentina and brings just as many people together to enjoy something so enduring and uplifting. Therefore, dance would- by your definition- far exceed the expectations of an Olympic Sport.

The point of this post is hopefully to make you aware of the qualities you lack and not to provoke another response. Frankly, I could live a lifetime without ever reading another of your uninformed blogs or posts. You are the reason Europeans call American’s stupid- for your ignorance and lack of insight.


~Anonymous at 11:08 PM

3/22/2008 8:40 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I have to score you a 1.2 out of 10 on your comment, while mine brought a 9.9, so I win!

If you had paid attention, you would have noticed that I ragged on gymnastics as well as DanceSport (snicker, snicker). Both are bogus sports, based on subjective judging.

It's nice that Dancesport (haha) has an antidoping policy - it's also kind of funny. Doping for dancing? Wow, what a concept! I hear the Chess federations is having quite a struggle with Human Growth Hormones, too.

There are tons of things more popular than real sports. Drinking beer is far more popular than real sports, but I'd still rather see beer-drinking kept out of the Olympics, wouldn't you? Cooking is difficult and requires talent, but it's not in the Olympics, even though they have a whole channel devoted to it.

I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings by pointing out that Dancesport (damn, that's funny!) isn't a real sport. I agree that it's challenging, and I'll even admit it would take me a couple weeks to get great at it, but it's simply not a sport.

It's a past-time, and I'm glad that non-athletes have something to do that will get people to look at them and judge them.

Thank you for pointing out that two separate fans of "dancesport" (come on, chuckle with me, it'll do you good) came across my modest little blog in the wee hours of last night. That is too funny!

3/22/2008 8:57 PM  
Anonymous C.A. said...

Actually, I am the second person who has posted on this blog, so there are two people. Perhaps a quick Google search might do you some good.

Ballroom Dancing takes years to master and still, there is always something more to learn and perfect.

While I might agree to a very small extend that the judging is subjective the amount of time and effort both mentally and physically required to be a ballroom dancer is equal to that of Basketball, Football, Baseball, Soccer and any other more mainstream "sport".

I would like to ask, what is the definition of "sport"?
1) an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition
2)the occupation of athletes who compete for pay
3)Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively.

Notice that there is nothing said about the subjectivity or definite scoring. That is because you made it up in your own mind.

I suppose everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but ballroom dancers do a sport and work very hard at it. The extensive training required to become a champion far surpasses that of a simple hobby or recreation.

3/22/2008 10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Figure Skating is dancing on ice, ballroom and latin dancing is dancing on a dance floor in dance shoes. There are a lot of people who love figure skating, it's judged in the olympics and dance is no different in training, hours of hard labor, technique and movement, and they deserve as much as a figure skater.
Get a grip, dance IS a SPORT, it has been in the Olympics since the 60s, (or earlier) and is adorned with as much passion as a football or tennis.. and what's wrong with putting a little culture into a World Wide Event such as the Olympics..
Figure skaters, or dancers are atheletes, and only a few select are the best.. and no it's not like walking fast, it's technique, it's years of training..
Go out and try it, and you'll gain a whole new respect for the sport of dance. I am a latino dancer, ballroom, and I have spent years of training and why should I be shunned for my passion. All dancers deserve respect for what they do--
Figure skating is dance, they have latin and ballroom routines, and is no different than a real dancer with shoes and a dance floor. The opening of the Olympics has dance, the Opening of Football events have dance..
I hope it does go into the Olypics, and add some class and culture to the elegant and respected world of the Olympics.

4/04/2008 1:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! to whomever posted last!!! Let's see ballroom in the Olympics!

4/08/2008 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Totally new person)
Honestly, before you start saying that something can or cannot be a sport in the Olympics, it would probably be reasonable to find the definition the Olympics committee(s) use to define a sport. Using your own definition to argue that ballroom dancing shouldn't be in the Olympics isn't a valid, in my view, because you don't decide the criteria for what should or should not be in the Olympics. Once you determine those criteria, you could argue whether or not ballroom dancing fits them. Furthermore, saying that ballroom dancing isn't a sport because of subjective judging adds a new dimension to a potential definition of a "sport." You might create sub-categories for sports, depending on their judging, etc. In my view you're being very limited.It feels as ridiculous to me as my saying that only painting or drawing can be "arts," based on some limitation such as their being invented in the mind and carried out by hand. Doesn't make any sense, does it? Well, neither does the way in which you limit the definition of "sport". In today's world, art is extremely diverse. It has grown since any limited definition it may have had way back when (not the one I used, I realize that's complete bs)... Likewise, sport has changed and grown over the years, so why not include ballroom dancing?

7/31/2008 10:19 PM  
Anonymous dancingal said...

Dance in any form is a sport.Not just Ballroom and If they are thinking about adding Ballroom to the list of sports then why not add all of the other forms, like tap, Jazz, Ballet, Contemorary, Pointe, and Hip-hop. They all have an objective,speed, height,and time which is what Dan said makes a sport. You also don't have to have a judge to tell you weither or not you did well. A very good dancer doesn't have to have music, they can keep time with the people around them with out music or even do a solo with out music. So is it a sport now?? I'm a dancer and I love to dance. It is a sport.

8/07/2008 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Jamie said...

Two teams + point/goals = Sport

I can understand that. So I guess that would throw out track and swimming and weight lifting and skiing, etc etc etc etc ?

If you want to be so small minded about use of the word "sport" how about you consider "athletic competition"?

You compare ballroom to knitting? Seriously? Yeah, real intelligent analogy there. Sitting on your ass with yarn and a needle is JUST like spending 12 hours a day in rehearsal, getting bloody feet and sprained muscles. Do you know how many things you have to think about while you dance? (Stupid question) Placement of your head, hands, feet, hips, legs...oh and of course all those tricky steps. Then you get placed on a dance floor with several other couples and basically play bumper cars trying not to run into anyone (and some aim right for you just to screw you up).

You're right, when you throw in judges to any competition things can get very subjective, doesn't that make it even harder to succeed? "Sports" you get the point and....that's it. Job well done.

And all this talk about music? Here's a little secret... You can dance without music! (Crazy right?!?) But what good is a basketball/soccer/baseball player without the ball or the bat or the goal? Or the space?! Talk about being dependent...

Oh and while I'm at it....many athletes like football or soccer players take ballet lessons!

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4161/is_20021117/ai_n12855191

http://media.www.dailyutahchronicle.com/media/storage/paper244/news/2002/04/01/Sports/Football.Player.Practices.Ballet.Likes.It.A.Bunch-225932.shtml

Let's leave all the real athletisism to gymnists and dancers and let the real tough guys ("sports" players) have the fun and get arrested every two months...

8/11/2008 10:31 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

The last few commenters have demonstrated that if reading and logic were Olympic sports, they wouldn't stand a chance.

8/12/2008 5:52 AM  
Anonymous T8S said...

Actually, according to Dan's definition, weightlifting, track and field and skiing ARE sports. Something athletic where results can be measured OBJECTIVELY. Humans are by nature, biased. Therefore, any competition where the results are completely dependent on the judgments of humans, such as figure skating, dressage, diving, or the like, is not sport, because the competitors do not have absolute control over the outcome. Different judges can see things differently on different days from different angles, which can result in different results. Contrast that with baseball, softball, track, volleyball, or the like, where technically, human bias can be taken out. Who threw the farthest? Who ran the fastest? Who lifted the most? Who scored the most runs? You don't need judges for that.

My question to Dan: where does boxing fall on this list? Knockouts: objective. Scoring? Subjective. I'm still trying to figure that one out.

By the way- just because it's in the Olympics does NOT mean it's a sport.

8/13/2008 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is absurd! I can't believe you said dance is not a sport! It sure is it takes allot of work to bend like that ! I know from experience! Being a retired ballroom competitor i know what it takes to dance. I think they should put it into the Olympics!

8/14/2008 11:06 AM  
Blogger Machu said...

I demand Bollywood be included in the Olympics.

8/19/2008 10:49 AM  
Blogger Machu said...

I meant Bollywood dance be included in the Olympics.

Atleast Bollywood is so much fun to watch than the silly Ballroom dancing. Watching ballroom dance is as thrilling as watching two step.

8/19/2008 10:54 AM  
Blogger Space Dancer said...

Okay, so first watch this video, THEN tell me that dancesport isn't thrilling to watch... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKJPW6weV1s&feature=related

8/19/2008 9:56 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Thank you for the laugh, Space Dancer. Almost 9 minutes of ugly men dancing with slutty-looking women, and dancing sooooo poorly. I swear I did better than that at my high school prom.

If that is what this "sport" is about, well, I rest my case.

8/19/2008 10:07 PM  
Blogger Space Dancer said...

Dan, I think it's time for you to take a ballroom dance class. Until you put up a video of you doing all of those moves "better," as you say, you have no argument. So I think it would be proper for me to quote you now and say, "I rest my case."

(By the way, I haven't heard anyone using an argument like "I swear I did better than that at my high school prom" since I was a kid. It makes you sound quite immature.)

8/21/2008 6:06 PM  
Blogger Space Dancer said...

Oh, by the way, I forgot to add this earlier (standard, the other half of international dancesport)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m42F7Gs8LSE&feature=related

8/21/2008 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Wow. I had a great laugh at this ignorant post. Everyone who said Dan is narrow minded is right on (men ought to be... men ought to... men ought not to...). There's just no use debating a moron. It's like talking to a wall, it just doesn't budge. He can complain all he wants, we'll see who gets the last laugh when Ballroom is included in the Olympics.

10/02/2008 3:03 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

P.S. Please do show us your superior dancing skills. We would all love to see an untrained sloth dance better than any one of those professionals in space dancer's youtube vids.

10/02/2008 3:05 AM  
Blogger Space Dancer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11/02/2008 11:28 AM  
Blogger Space Dancer said...

I like a good, logical debate, but yours seems to stem more from emotion than anything else - from an absolute hate for ballroom dancing, really.

This really is like talking to a wall. I really do like having someone play the devil's advocate/have a viewpoint opposing mine, but I believe a good debate can be run without throwing insults left and right. This is ridiculous.

11/02/2008 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about boxing, judo etc.
3 judges who call the winner

2/17/2009 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Mydalis said...

I just want to point out, if you have ever tried ballroom dancing it does require you to be swift, strong, and continue to build yourself higher.. as in pushing your self to the next level. You have to have points to continue on. There is a lot more than just the artistic form. Figure skating used to be called Ice Dancing, Olympics are a matter of tradition and culture, ballroom dancing offers both to the table, I understand the argument if ballroom dancing is in fact a sport or not, by definition of sport, you will find it is fitting. This still rises the question though where exactly do you draw the line? Ballroom Professionals respect it, and believe it or not the International Federation for ballroom dancing rejects the idea, they are worried that it would make major competitions now in place like the bush league. I do not blame for their reasoning,but why hold back on something that brings great culture and people together around the world, ya we are not kicking balls around the dance floor, but if you ever watched pros dance quick step or a v. waltz you will note that it takes skill to navigate around the dance floor moving at fast speeds trying to refrain from bumper cars, while staying poised and focused at the same time. The easier the dancers make it look, are the dancers that are actually doing the most work physically. I challenge those of you whom have never danced before to try it, stick with it, ask any pro the endurance that goes in and the stamina needed to maintain just a 1 min 30 second heat.

8/14/2009 11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow really, how ignorant are you?? I have played basketball all the way up untill I was a sophmore in High School and am still a huge hoops fan and sports fan. Love it all! will watch or play any sport. I am 19 year old MALE and an Ameture Balroom Dancer and training everyday to become a teacher in it and a pro at it.

Now the definition of a sport? look in the frickin dictionary dude. "an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition." Have you ever watched Professional dancers in a COMPETITION. You can literally see muscles working and sweat pooring from them. That sounds like physical exercion to me.
This is one of the most ignorant articles I have ever read in my life. All because a ball don't go through a hoop or go in a frickin net its not a sport??
Your telling me referees don't have a roll in games?? They never make calls right??
Man I cant stand people like you..

2/23/2010 1:26 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anonymous -

It's understandable that you would choose to remain anonymous, since you've decided to abandon a real sport like basketball for "Dancesport" (I still can't type that silly name without smirking.) The fact that you get sweaty dancing doesn't make you an athlete any more than I am when I mow my lawn.

I've acknowledged that it would take me weeks of practice to get really great at it, but that still doesn't mean it is a sport, any more than water color painting is.

2/23/2010 6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, mr. dan. first i still play ball. its awesome. i am a huge Denver Nugget fan (MELO FOR MVP) and USA win the world cup and gold in the olymoics!
Anyway maybe its not what you think of as a sport. But it is more athletic than "shot put" in track and feild.
I dare you to get in to ballroom dancing the way I am than tell me its not Olympic worthy. Hell "figure Skating" is. Now how that is in the Olympics I agree with you on that.
But really have more respect for something you don't know about.

2/25/2010 12:29 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anonymous -

Bravo for responding in a calm, rational way. I've enjoyed needling your more hysterical cohorts, but I'll return your respect.

Here's an important part of what I originally wrote: "Ballroom dancing is not a sport. Ice dancing, figure skating, diving, gymnastics and equestrian dressage are not sports. They are activities, all of which are far beyond this writer's abilities, but so are sewing, playing the flute, and speaking French. All these activities are fine pursuits, but they are not sports."

We agree on figure skating, and I acknowledge that ballroom dancing (thanks for not using the hilarious term DanceSport!) is a challenging pursuit, but I (when not mocking over-wrought partisans of the activity) truly do have respect for it as an activity.

I fully support an event separate from the Olympics called something like "Look at Me, Judges" where all the ice dancers, gymnasts, ballroom dancers, snowboard jumpers and other performers can go and engage in their pursuits.

2/25/2010 6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, after thinking this over for ahwile i see where you come from for it not being a sport. But it takes athletic skill and endorance and muscular and mental toughness. it takes more thought than wrestling and more thought than of even basketball. If figure skating and the rediculous "ice Dancing" is in the Olympics than Ballroom dancing should be right there is all I am saying. Even if we had a Compitition of this magnitude of our own it would be nice.
Check out this video of a real Competition just watch thier feet this shit aint sped up
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPYuMSShSK8

on a side note do you think American Football will ever be in the olympics?
o btw i am only anonymous because the site isnt letting me sign up.

2/26/2010 4:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sport

And from merriam-webster: (1) : physical activity engaged in for pleasure (2) : a particular activity (as an athletic game) so engaged in

according to this, Ballroom dancing is a sport. So is figure skating for that matter.

I don't ballroom dance professionally but I can speak from experience when I say that dancing at high speed for any great length of time like those you'd find at the Olympics is tiring.

I do agree though, the name "Dancesport" is ridiculous

2/26/2010 1:36 PM  

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