The Intersections of Dance and Sport

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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Is sport art? Is dance a sport? Such questions are asked on the pages of social media as well as on the pages of research journals. Debating whether dancers are athletes or sport has aesthetic qualities can reveal broader issues regarding the current health conscious, competitive, and commercialized (neo-liberal) culture: What do dance and sport do when they intersect in the larger operations of power that currently favor particular kinds of physical activity participation and representation? In this paper, I map various intersections of sport and dance first through sport philosophical debates about the aesthetic qualities of sport. Second, I examine what happens when competition is introduction to ballroom dance in the formation of DanceSport. Finally, I depict how dance and sport become intertwined as entertainment in reality television shows Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance.

Markula is with the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Pirkko Markula at pirkko.markula@ualberta.ca.
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