Jump to content

Ballet is a Sport? (suitable for the ladies)


Recommended Posts

According to the Sports Minister, Helen Grant, ballet is a sport.  In a interview with the Daily Telegraph she states:

 

"There are some wonderful sports which you can do and perform to a very high level......................  such as ballet, gymnastics, cheerleading and even roller-skating"

 

I'm not sure how much of her remark I can post online for copyright reasons, but the gist of it is that women should do 'feminine sports'.  A highly contentious issue which is already causing a storm on social networks.  Would anyone like to comment?

 

I can't see today's Dance Links but perhaps the link to the interview will be posted there and it is also on the Huffington Post UK website.

 

Linda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So women have to look beautiful - radiant even - with the help of some sequins -while doing some sport ?  Who knew?  

 

From what I've observed when a man does a grand plié in second it looks masculine.  When a woman does a grand plié in second it looks feminine.   one doesn't need sequins to know which is who or who is which..

 

How about designer dresses for women hurdlers?  

 

I wonder if she thinks opera is sport? or playing the bass violin is feminine?  Shall we bring back the side saddle?  

 

Has she read the recent thread on this forum regarding the crotch views seen more and more on the ballet stage?  She might well want to scratch ballet off her list - radiant sequins and all.

 

But, if we do go back to long dresses for women playing tennis - then I would also like to go back to men in doublets, with silk stockings - a pretty bow around the calf - and pointed shoes with heels and a gold buckle - and a feather in a velvet cap.

 

This gives me the vapours.  (waving my fan furiously)

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheerleading is a sport?!

 

To be fair, yes. The competitive kind that is particularly popular in American high schools and universities, which combines dance, gymnastics and stunting, is most definitely a sport.

 

 

Though I suspect that wasn’t the kind Helen Grant was talking about – probably the ‘professional’ kind (ie, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, etc), which no, isn’t a sport, it’s a bunch of glamour models prancing around in high heels.

 

 

Either way, it was a pretty ridiculous thing to say.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suspect Helen Grant was quoted out of context by our wonderfully fair minded press.

 

One of my other passions is cricket and I know that she has done much to encourage girls to take up the game through projects like the Chance to Shine initiative. Of course, journalists didn't mention any of that in their articles on ballet and pompoms. I wonder why.

 

Just for the record I don't vote Conservative.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does that mean that Covent Garden can now apply for funding from the Ministry of Sport?

 

And well done to Ballet companies for supporting a large number of quite butch cross dressers.

 

Though I'm worried that all these high performing women might get ideas above their stations and stop manning the kitchen sinks of the nation

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does that mean that Covent Garden can now apply for funding from the Ministry of Sport?

 

And well done to Ballet companies for supporting a large number of quite butch cross dressers.

 

Though I'm worried that all these high performing women might get ideas above their stations and stop manning the kitchen sinks of the nation

 

 

"manning"????    LOL

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am 100% certain that this is deliberate mischief making by the press. 

 

The point is that woman need to be encouraged to exercise more, and that maybe the emphasis in schools for girls should be less on traditional sports, and more on what are preceived as being "girly" pursuits, such as dancing.   Lots of little girls are attracted to ballet because they like the look of the traditional tutu.  Many older women watch SCD because of the spangles and big hair.  If that encourages them to have a go, they will then find out it is also very good exercise.

 

I remember doing some volunteering at a secondary school.  Instead of doing the traditional gymnastic style classes, which require a certain amount of aptitude to get anything at all out of the class, they asked me and a couple of other volunteers to come up with some ideas.  We experimented with a sort of aerobic circuit with a mixture of dance type moves, set to pop music, and it was well received.  At least the girls worked up a sweat, and had a bit of fun, which is more than they did trying (and failing in most cases) to vault over a wooden horse.  And we can all gyrate to music.  Even if some do it more stylishly than others!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Surprised that she did not mention ballroom dancing.  Even more sparkles and killer heels, a lots more designs to the dresses and a chance to wear Barbie hair and not looking too ridiculous! 

 

Joking apart, I think this might not be such a bad idea. It teaches both girls and boys a bit of manners and awareness of other people around you.  And this can be a life-long hobby.

Edited by mimi66
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interest in ballroom dancing is apparently very much on the increase as a result of SCD.  The trouble is, you need boys to take part as well, and I suspect most boys prefer more "manly" types of exercise. 

 

I was going through some of my mother's old paperwork a few months ago, and came across a brochure showing a mass workout labelled Health and Beauty, which I think was held at the Royal Albert Hall. 

 

Anybody remember those?  I have a very vague recollection of my mother standing in the kitchen swinging her arms about while holding a couple of baked bean tins. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is the article:  Telegraph

 

 

I was late doing the links today as I was travelling home from Birmingham (after seeing 2 glorious BRB performances yesterday)

No criticism intended, Janet.  it was just that I thought the 'story' (if it is one and not just a bit of mischief-making like some other articles the Telegraph is publishing lately) should/would probably appear in the links thread.

 

I'm glad you enjoyed the BRB performances. 

 

Linda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, in between the bits of nonsense, she's making some good points. I always wondered about the usefulness of sports like hockey and lacrosse in school, because, honestly, how many women will keep that up as a hobby into adulthood? I think the "wisdom" that team games are somehow good because they foster team spirit is questionable - you can foster team spirit with group projects in regular lessons, which seems to be a trend these days; you don't need to send a class of girls out onto a muddy hockey pitch in order to foster team spirit. I mean, not that schools should stop offering hockey and netball, but it'd be nice if there were also options for sport that didn't involve chasing balls round fields.

 

It seems to me that it'd make more sense to emphasise the sort of sports that girls might want to do after leaving school, like tennis or Pilates. And different sorts of dance are a good basis for fitness programmes later in life. Plus, I don't think it hurts to have ballet classified as part of PE in schools, which might help give people the idea that it isn't just a bunch of airy fairy wafting around but is serious physical exercise. That might actually give people more of an appreciation of what it takes to become a professional dancer, which might also help bring some more public support behind vocational ballet training before this government decides it's yet another luxury that regular people can do without.

Edited by Melody
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my day, what put girls off games was the communal showers. I'm told by my son that female games teachers are disliked. Their brusque, no nonsense approach is at odds with the approach of most teachers today. Does anyone else have children or grandchildren who do the 'bleep test' at school? It usually results in several girls crying, collapsing, vomiting or having asthma attacks, and I'm actually surprised that it hasn't been outlawed!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a fitness test. At the blow of a whistle the children have to run end from one end of the sports hall to the other before a second blow of the whistle. If they don't make it in time they leave the test (although there is some scope for 'catching up'). They keep on running up and down the hall until they are excluded or are too exhausted or ill to continue. At the end they are given a score out of 20. Someone told me that this test is used by the army but I don't know if this is true or not.

 

There seem to be very few opportunities for women to play team sports outside university. I can only think of one woman I know who has played in a team as an adult. Most women seem to run, swim, go to exercise classes or the gym or play tennis or badminton.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The bleep test is used to measure fitness and a cd is usually used for the bleeps as they occur at specific intervals.

 

You have to cover 20m in an allotted time aiming to turn on the bleep. The bleeps start off very slow ( you can walk at the beginning) and for each level the time between them decreases. There are 21 levels and each level lasts a minute or just over

 

It always used to amaze me how some secondary students basic fitness was so poor that they couldn't complete 2 levels - that was 2 mins of fast walking or slow jogging. A total of 300m.

 

I think the police also use this test.

 

Edited to add comment about the police

Edited by Shirley
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ballet is evolving, and very quickly.
The competition among young dancers are tremendous raising the technique of dancers around the World.
Nowadays to succeed in the Ballet World, young students and companies aspirants must submit themselves to rigorous training with discipline and passion.
Often, Ballet dancers are compared to athletes, bringing the question: "Is Ballet a sport now'?
My answer is a big NO!
Ballet is much more than bodies, training, movements, costumes and sets... Ballet is an art. The art of telling audiences amazing stories of enchanted lands and magic creatures, love, adventures and everything the human mind is capable of creating.


 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate bleep tests with a passion. 

 

They line everybody up, and then get them to wait around for ages before it is their turn No warming-up, no nothing, and then Bam!

 

The only time my dd has ever pulled all her stomach muscles was during a flaming bleep test at school - the day before an RAD ballet exam. I was livid.

 

edited for spelling!

Edited by taxi4ballet
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am surprised they do bleep tests in schools.  They used to do them at my gym, but it was entirely voluntary, and most people taking part would already have a certain level of fitness.  

 

They are very hard work, but you can drop out at any time.   I did one when I would have considered myself to be quite fit, as I was training for a half marathon at the time.  I can't remember how I did, but there came a point when I simply could not sprint fast enough to complete the distance in the allotted time, so that was the end for me. 

 

I am not quite sure why children are allowed to strain to such an extent that they are pulling muscles or being physically ill.  Sounds downright dangerous to me. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am surprised they do bleep tests in schools.  They used to do them at my gym, but it was entirely voluntary, and most people taking part would already have a certain level of fitness.  

 

I am not quite sure why children are allowed to strain to such an extent that they are pulling muscles or being physically ill.  Sounds downright dangerous to me. 

It is.

 

Back to the thread - another poster on the 'Doing Dance' part of the forum says that the remarks about ballet being a sport(?!) for girls and women reinforces yet again the stereotype that ballet isn't for boys...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dropping out of the bleep test is not really voluntary at school particularly when the (female) games teacher is telling the girls that it's a test of their character.

Perhaps it would be all right, as long as everyone is thoroughly warmed up before they take part, and don't have to wait ages for their turn, getting cold again in the process.

 

Why, it's enough to put a girl off sport altogether ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More folk dancing in school? I think students learn dances for ceilidhs in Scottish schools, which are fun, very aerobic and leave you quite breathless. You don't need to be especially fit, graceful or flexible to enjoy it either. Less embarrassing than trying to dance in hold with the opposite sex. May remove some of the stigma from Morris dancing too

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  I think this is a bit of a storm in a teacup. Her point was that some women don't like traditional sports due to body-consciousness, not wanting to get sweaty. The same point was made by Jessica Ennis-Hill in an interview. The point about looks was made to say these are sports/activities where those women who are aware of how they look in that way may feel more at home. If it helps more women get active then I'm not really sure why there's so much sneering when we know that there's a drop in women participating in sports past the age of around 14. For example, at my secondary school you could do a different sport every lunch time if you wanted and in year 7/8 a lot of girls did but by year 9/10/11 the teachers were reminding us in class that we could do these sports at lunch if we wanted and hardly anyone did. 

 

  Also I would rather have had activities like this offered when I was at school than stuff like hockey/netball. I spent most PE lessons sat on the floor claiming I had cramp in my leg. In terms of teaching you how to get fit/stay fit PE classes are really quite useless. 

 

More folk dancing in school? I think students learn dances for ceilidhs in Scottish schools, which are fun, very aerobic and leave you quite breathless. You don't need to be especially fit, graceful or flexible to enjoy it either. Less embarrassing than trying to dance in hold with the opposite sex. May remove some of the stigma from Morris dancing too

 

  We did Scottish dancing in primary school (English) and that was quite fun. It'd be nice to see a wider range of physical activities , aerobics and outdoor activities (camping,orienteering and there may also have been cycling involved) were offered as options when you were in year 10/11 at my secondary school and a good number girls did that so there is interest in other activities. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to like hockey. Having spent my fair share of time in PE lessons charging up and down the redgra (and the pitch was on a slope!) while the members of the hockey team used to hog the ball in the middle, and with a class size well in the 30s, I decided it was far more fun not to get picked for the main teams, but to try and avoid being picked and play 3-on-3 or whatever on the spare space behind the goals :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to like hockey. Having spent my fair share of time in PE lessons charging up and down the redgra (and the pitch was on a slope!) while the members of the hockey team used to hog the ball in the middle, and with a class size well in the 30s, I decided it was far more fun not to get picked for the main teams, but to try and avoid being picked and play 3-on-3 or whatever on the spare space behind the goals :)

Oh, yes! The lovely redgra.... :wacko: I remember it well - hardly the ideal surface for sports. If you fell over you'd spend the next fortnight endlessly picking miniscule bits of gravel out of the scabbed-over grazes on your knees and elbows!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...