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Aesthetics in athletics: Dance

Dance straddles the boundary between art and athleticism. Most commonly regarded as an art, dance showcases breath-taking grace, style and rhythm.   Junior Angela Chin defines dance:  “It’s a visual representation of music.”  

For Senior Bianca Marconcini,  dance is a chance to express her emotions and thoughts through the medium of her body. “Dance is all about expressing a message and that message goes hand in hand with the music,” she said “I push myself to focus on making the auditory music visual through dance.”  

Sophomore Ben Seetho emphasizes the autonomy that dance offers. “You have a lot of freedom to choose how you personally interpret the music,” he said, “There are no rules to limit your movements.”

However, dance is more than storytelling in motion; It’s a sport as well. “For me dance is an art form, not a sport. But, it is equally physically strenuous and demanding, just like all professional sports”, Marconcini said. “There’s an extreme amount of training and conditioning everyday.”

Like any sport, dance requires flexibility, strength, endurance and stamina. Additionally, there is the added pressure to maintain aesthetics.  “It’s like running a mile but you have to look pretty while doing it.” Chin said., “Everyday in practise, dancers push themselves to their limits.  “You use muscles you’ve never heard of to achieve what you need to achieve.”

Not only is dance physically exhausting and effective at burning calories but  it also tests an athlete’s mental capability. As beginners, dancers work hard to make themselves comfortable dancing in public. “The hardest part for me, because I’m still a beginner, was letting go of my self-consciousness, ” Seetho said.

 In practice, dancers memorize their dance sequences, committing each step to memory so that the movements flow effortlessly during a performance. Dancers constantly work on their steps, focusing on technique so that everything is on point, ultimately getting to a point where they can improvise to music they’ve never heard.  

Despite the pressure, dance is personally rewarding.  Chin is proud of the lessons she has learnt as a dancer.  “Dance has taught me discipline and responsibility,” she said,  “Every single team member relies on you and you rely on every single member.” She found a community in her dance team. ”You spend hours together working on an art and building your strength,” she said, “I grew up with my team.”

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