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Controversy: Ballet as Sport


Jan McNulty
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There is a thread in the Performances Seen Forum about Sports Minister Helen Grant's comments on encouraging girls into sport (including cheerleading and ballet):

 

http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/6105-ballet-is-a-sport-suitable-for-the-ladies/

 

 

I've also published a couple of articles in Today's Links:

 

Radhika Sanghani, Telegraph

Pete May, Pink News

Natasha Moriarty, Voice of Russia

 

 

While I have been reading the above thread and articles it occurred to me that this debate could help some of our dancing parents.  If you are a DP whose DC is having difficulties with a school not acknowledging that ballet is a form of physical effort (badly worded but I hope you know what I mean) then here is the OFFICIAL PROOF from a GOVERNMENT MINISTER that it is.

 

 

 

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I agree that ballet is not a sport, but art. I also profoundly agree that it is not just for girls and that anything that perpetuates this stereotype is bad. However, sport gets a lot more respect in our society than art does, so pointing out the athletic aspects of ballet (not, perhaps, by calling it a "sport", though) might be for the general good of the perception of ballet in society. Also, the idea of promoting it as a form of exercise (yes, for males and females) is not necessarily bad. I took ballet classes outside of school from age 13 onward, two or three times a week, and I never got any credit for it as a physical activity in my school phys.ed. classes (some students got exempted from phys ed because they played soccer, say, extracurricularly, but my ballet classes didn't count).  A lot of us are turned off by the unrelenting competitive atmosphere of sports and perhaps are turned off doing all physical activity because of that. (ie. unless you play volleyball, basketball, etc. you don't count as "athletic). Ballet offers an opportunity to do extremely demanding physical training with the added artistic bonuses and without the competition (or at least that was the case when I studied ballet as a teenager, but now I know there are nonstop competitions in ballet as well, at least in North America)

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