Guy-girl dance showcases dance as a sport

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Senior Nick Manligod dances with Sabrina Lee at the Guy-Girl dance at the Turnabout assembly on Friday, Feb. 23rd.

Paige Novander, Staff reporter

During the winter sports season, sport offerings include such options as boys and girls basketball, water polo and dance– even though some argue dance is not a sport.

But athletes from other sports who have participated in the dance team’s annual guy-girl dance held during the turnabout assembly in February are quick to defend dance as a sport.

“For all you non-dancers out there, dance is something that is very hard to do; it’s an art, and it’s something that takes skills,” said varsity football captain Andrew Owens, senior, who participated in the guy-girl dance last year and said that he was very surprised by just how difficult it was to keep up with the dance.

Each year, the upperclassmen on the dance team conduct a “guy-girl dance,” where they each choose a boy to perform a dance with them at the turnabout assembly. The varsity captains choreograph a dance for the guys and girls to perform.

“I absolutely think that dance should be considered a sport,” added Owens who also stated that he gives a lot of credit to the dancers at the school because, coming from a football player, he does not think that what they do is easy.

Members on the dance team said the time contributed to dance is not any less than what other teams, such as basketball or baseball, contribute to their sports.

“Varsity dance team practices for over two hours almost every day a week, just like most winter sports at the school,” said senior varsity dance captain Briana Ventrella.

Ventrella also stated that the team includes conditioning in the practices, which could mean running or doing ab workouts.

“I think that if you ask any guy who has done the guy-girl dance, that they would say dance is a sport because every year the guys will do our warm-up with us, and they seem to already be dying,” Ventrella said.

It would be easy for someone who has never done dance to say that it’s not a sport, but the guy-girl dance can become an eye-opener to those who have never tried dance before.

“For the guy-girl dance, most of the girls pick guys who are athletes in different sports, so it’s really interesting to see all of the guys’ reactions when they see just how hard the dance is,” Ventrella said.

Athletic Director Troy Parola also stated that since dance is a registered Illinois High School Association (IHSA) sport for the winter season, it is considered a sport.

“Dance is one of our 31 sports at the high school, and I view it as any other male or female sport,” said Parola.

Some will label dance as a sport during the team’s competition season in the winter but will only label it an activity during the football season when the team performs during half-time.

Ventrella said she agrees that their competition season is definitely more intense than the fall season and can understand why some people might look at dance as an activity when the team dances for football.

Parola offered a similar clarification to when dance is a sport or an activity.

“I consider the competition season as that sport’s season, so I would say, yes, during the fall, dance is considered more of an activity,” said Parola, but he also added, “Dance is part of our family of sports at MHS and should be looked at as any other sport.”