Gotta’ kick it up

Students argue that dance and cheer are sports


Sydney Sokora & Madison Minton / Legacy Media

While some argue dancing and cheerleading are not sports, hours of practice and dedication are put into perfecting the routines.

No ball involved. No score board. No helmets or jerseys. Just uniforms, make up and the rhythm of their own beat. They compete. They are not scored upon, but are judged by a panel of professionals. However, this is only one of the reasons why the question of are dance and cheerleading sports, still lingers in the heads of many.

Many athletes may not know about Lynn Swan, three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers who studied dance for 14 years. He witnessed that his dance studies attributed to his athletic abilities. Many have witnessed that dance and sports share the same abilities including centering, balance, focus, breathing, transfer of weight, relaxation and the ability to use space, time and energy with mastery.

Tiger Belle Major Myah Boone refuses to let anyone suggest that dance is not a sport.

“We work out, we use weights, we get sore and we practice two hours a day for four or five days a week,” Boone said.

Usually people perceive cheerleading as girls jumping around on a field, but Senior Cheer Captain Cassie Cordova thinks there is a big difference between school cheerleading and competitive cheerleading.

“Cheerleading is using your body physically for a certain amount of time,” Cordova said. “I’ve been in competitive cheer for four years now and we work out almost 12 hours a week and compete from November to April.”

Everyone has their own reasons for participating in a sport. Tiger Belle Lieutenant Major Maggie Morison thinks dance is what sets her free.

“Dance is an escape and a way for me to express how my day went,” Morrison said. “People think dance isn’t a sport because they don’t see us throwing or catching a ball. Just because we aren’t throwing a ball doesn’t mean it’s not a sport; we use our body physically just as much if not more than they do.”

Cheer Captain Briana Loera thinks cheerleading is just as hard of a sport as football.

“Cheerleading builds confidence and we work out just as hard,” Loera said. “Football players don’t build muscles to do stunts like we do.”

Dancing and cheer requires a lot of time and training—just as much as football or any other sport. Morrison suggests that an athlete try to train like a dancer and sees how it changes their opinion.

“You get out here and do 25 8s, which are 100 high kicks to your face without stopping, and tell me how you feel,” Morrison said. “I bet you a million dollars if any of these people did cheer or dance class they would change their minds.”