What You Can Find In Dancesport That You Won’t Find In Other Sports
Dancesport is a combination of sport and art, leaning more towards the artistic side. It’s a sport that treasures beauty along with performance and technique. It has similarities to a lot of sports but also a lot of differences. In this article, we mostly focused on what differentiates dancesport from the rest, on what is unique about it and why we love it so much.
Training for dancesport = Training for the body and mind
The dancer who is on the stage must be able to:
- make the moves effortless
- have the physical resistance required for all the 5 dances of each round
- coordinate their movements with the music and their partner
- coordinate their dance on stage so that they have a good run and do not hurt the other couples
- smile at the audience
- make a show
Unlike other types of sports, ballroom dancing allows people to develop all sides. Because it’s a sport of such complexity, you have to train both mind and body. Creative and artistic, yet mathematical at times, it requires the understanding of biomechanics for an in-depth journey into the movements of the body. Ballroom dancing transforms limiting thoughts and feelings into strengths and works on your emotional and physical intelligence.
Everybody knows you have to be fit and have physical endurance, but you also have to develop your muscle memory to be able to focus more on the performance. Those steps should be ingrained in your memory. Dancesport especially requires such a level of precision that it’s only possible to achieve through hours and hours of practice. When the music starts, your moves have to flow smoothly.
Dancing also helps you in your personal development. You have to get used to social pressure: everyone is looking at you, both trainers and the audience expect things from you. Basically, you not only have to try your best to win the competition, but you also have to please the crowd. Being a dancer also helps you grow your communication skills, especially in connection to your dance partner. Last but not least, you become more self-confident because you can’t go out there and show them what you got if you devalue yourself as a person.
Let’s take the case of figure skating to make a comparison between figure skating and dancesport:
Both deal with movement, balance, and poise
Both demand precision and choreography
Figure skating concentrates more on the athletic side. vs. Dance focuses on artistry.
In figure skating, couples should be in unison. vs. Dancesport it’s more about coordination and reacting to each other’s movements.
In figure dancing, sometimes, couples skate through the music without any musicality. vs. Dancesport is all about musicality, you have to connect fully with the rhythm.
A different team relationship
Although other sports such as figure skating have a lot of technical schemes, there is a lot more grace and energy involved in a dancesport couple even in very technical moves. Imagine Armen’s famous jump over Svetlana, Goffredo catching Anna when she leans back, Timur holding Nina parallel to the floor. More than that, particularly in Latin dance styles the expression of the partnership is more seductive and is underpinned by a lot of eye contact. On the floor, the dancers have to become a living art exhibition that portrays for the public a state of closeness and intimacy. No other sport has this type of relationship development between teammates and highlights such a playful acting of passion.
A close dancesport community
Ballroom dancers are a different breed of people. At the core we are family. We meet during competitions, camps, and train together. Even if we compete against each other, in the locker room we high-five each other as if we’ve been friends for a lifetime, and some of us actually have. Dancers can appreciate the efforts and the work everyone puts in and can applaud wholeheartedly an amazing performance. We are rooting for each other. Of course, we are humans and we wish to be the winners but we don’t undermine other people’s accomplishments.
First, we want to become better for ourselves, we want to surpass our own limits, to keep getting better with each competition. We compete with ourselves and secondly with other couples. Yes! We want to blow our own minds with our performance!
What’s also different about this type of sport is that we don’t join in for the money, that’s far from the truth. Nobody gets into dancesport, thinking they’re going to be a millionaire, so everybody who chooses this sport chooses it out of passion.
Lower risk of injuries in dancesport
Indeed, the risk level is certainly lower in dancesport. Dancers mostly experience minor injuries derived from the constant physical demands of training and the overuse.
For example, gymnastics and artistic skating have a far greater risk because the movements are more complex. The blows can affect several areas of the body: knees, arms, elbows, ribs, etc. In dancesport, if you’re not paying attention to the couples around you, you can easily hit other couples or injure yourself.
Picture this: the girl lifts her feet and accidentally hits another person directly with her shoes (we all know heels can be a “deadly” weapon). In the first round, when there are 15-20 people on the dance floor, you have to be very aware of your moves and at the same time the moves of other couples. Between latin dance and the standard dance, the latter is not as dangerous because the movements are slower and less dynamic. On the other hand, in Latin dance, you have to be very active on the dance floor so the risk of injuring someone is higher.
If you want to find more about dancesport training, read our interview with, Dmitry Klokotov, a great personal trainer.
Every sportsperson is great and deserves our admiration for their efforts and their hard work, but dancesport has another dimension, the artistic one, that contributes to it being loved by so many and stirring up people’s passion.
Photography: v.studio photos
Dancing has been my passion since I was 13 and since then I've been doing things in that direction. Writing, creating and putting together the biggest community for dancers around the world!