Majority of students say cheerleading and dance are sports


Blot graphic by Connor Martin.

Mia Gallo

The discussion has gone on since what feels like the beginning of time. When asked to name a sport, most people would say basketball, football, soccer, or baseball, but competitive cheer or dance would most likely not come to mind. According to, a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” By this definition, competitive dance and cheerleading can both fall under this category. The difference between soccer, football, basketball, etc. and dance or cheerleading is the mere lack of a ball. Both dancing and cheerleading require intense training and conditioning, just as more traditional sports do.

Gatorade recently recognized dance as a sport when they invited the winner of the most recent season of “So You Think You Can Dance” to be a “G Series Fit” athlete and to be featured in an ad campaign.

Sophomore Allie Beekman of Neptune has been competitively dancing for eight years. She spends up to seven days a week at her dance studio rehearsing for competition and believes the time commitment and intense training are just two reasons why dance is undoubtedly a sport.

“Right now, I am competing every other weekend. I could be at competition for over 24 hours in one weekend which is more of a time commitment than any traditional sport. It’s also physically grueling on your body,” Beekman said.

While senior Kayla Smith of Lake Como noted the dedication and strenuous practices in both dance and cheer, Smith said cheer is more of a sport than dance.

“Dance is an art form,” Smith said. “Dance goes with arts, theatre. Cheerleading is not as soft.”

Junior Erica Lalor of Matawan is a competitive cheerleader. She shares Beekman’s views and agrees that these two activities are definitely sports. Lalor said that cheerleading requires immense strength and training just like most traditional sports do.

“So, anyone who thinks cheer isn’t a sport, where’s your backflip?” Lalor said.