Kyle Hardesty: A non-dancer, two-sport athlete; baseball & basketball.

I decided to interview a non-dancer so I could get my own personal evidence of biased judgements towards dancers and their athleticism as well as recognition of being an actual sport. I was not one-hundred percent sure that Kyle was going to go with my assumptions (that he would think dancing was not a real sport), but he passed my test with flying colorsWhen I asked Kyle what his first initial thoughts were when comparing dance to athletic ability, he laughed and then replied, "I mean I don’t think a 400 pound lady could get up on stage and do some of the stuff that dancers do, but if anybody can walk and jump even a little bit, they can most definitely dance, and are you serious when you're comparing dance as a sport?" I do not believe that Kyle took into consideration like Yiannis Koutedakis did, a writer for Sports Medicine, when she said that physical fitness may be defined as the individuals' ability to meet the demands of a specific physical task. As in most sports, dance fitness depends on the individuals' ability to work under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, and on their capacity to develop high levels of muscle tension, i.e. muscle strength (652). Perhaps if I would have had the knowledge I do now about dancing I could have easily responded to Kyle's irrational judgements and quite possibly get him to understand that dance is not something "just about anyone" can do.

Rachel Jones: A dancer at Ball State University; expressing her feelings to the stereotypes towards dancers. 

When I sat down with Rachel Jones I had a feeling she was going to open my eyes to things I would have never considered on my own. When asking Jones the same question I asked Hardesty she responded,"I believe dancing requires the same athletic ability as ANY other sport because they are require strength, agility, balance, coordination, trust between teammates/dancers, and even memorization in regards to plays/combinations. The thing that’s even harder about dance is that along with all those things we have to have flexibility and take everything we do and make it look graceful and easy (even when in pain.)” I will never forget the moment of embarrassment and curiosity I felt after Rachel answered my question. Not only did she dominate any negative thought I had about dancing in comparison to sports, she made me wonder what else I have been blindingly judging without knowing the real truth. Athanasios Jamurtas makes a point by saying that even though aesthetic goals are of the utmost importance, dancers remain subject to the same unyielding physical laws as athletes (658).