Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ballet: Sport or Art?

In the world of sports, ballet has always been ignored as a "candidate", until recently. A few months ago, Under Armour came out with a brand new campaign and slogan, "I will what I want." (Below is their new advertisement with New York City Ballet's soloist Misty Copeland.) 

Under Armour has developed a much greater understanding, and respect for ballet than any mainstream athletic company I've ever seen.  Dance, ballet specifically, has been poorly misunderstood by the "non-dancers" of our society; they see dance as a heavily feminine activity that we do for fun. 
I disagree with Brittany Kottler, who wrote the article Ballet is an Art, Not a Sport, because she says "Ballet itself is not a competitive sport; it's an art." Why can't it be both? 
Not only are dancers competitive among each other, but even dance companies are competing to achieve the highest rankings, and to always come up with the best new and exciting ideas, so to say ballet isn't competitive would be false. As a dancer myself, I speak for many when I say that ballet is incredibly demanding both physically and mentally, its competitive, and highly time consuming. But above all else, ballet is beautiful, and the moment you step out on stage everything else is forgotten. 

I feel as though Under Armour truly captured the intensity and strength that pertains to ballet, not sugar-coating their message to keep doing what you love, no matter how hard it may be.


  1. Camille:
    Finally someone said it, I complete agree with your opinion. People are blinded by the tutus and the tights to see past that ballet is a sport. Coming from a fellow dancer I believe that ballet is completely a sport! The competition aspect of ballet completely exists because TV networks have made shows to show people the busy lives of ballet dancers. One good example of a show would be Breaking Pointe that aired on the CW network. The show was mainly shot in the Ballet West Studios and it showed the grueling rehearsals and practices the dancers had to go through. The physical and mental demands that ballet requires is equivalent to any sport. I think that people do not appreciate ballet as a sport because dance is generally viewed by society as more of a hobby.

    1. I completely agree with you as well! I too feel like tv, and even forms of social media, has put dance, (ballet specifically), in a negative light. I think people see a certain type of dance and then think "oh I guess thats what everyone does if they dance," and so thats the main problem. They don't quite understand what we go through, but think they do, so its hard to gain people's respect sometimes!