The brilliant art of dance combined with the athleticism of the sport makes it quite a spectacle. But Dance Sport is more than that. One of the latest categories to gain popularity in the field of international sport, Dance Sport is a great way to get people who are not particularly interested in traditional sports to participate competitively. Pierre Gider, World Dance Advisor and Dance Sport President, Special Olympics Resources Team hopes that it will soon be recognized as an official sport at the Special Olympics.
“Everyone knows how to dance everywhere, but Dance Sport is the place where you can raise the level to the level of competition. There are different disciplines in it. The mother of Dance Sport is ballroom dancing, which includes waltz, tango, cha-cha and samba. But we also widened it to include other forms like hip hop, street dance, contemporary modern and folk dances from different countries ”, begins Gider.
Big step: Gider has been involved with Special Olympics for 13 years and has been instrumental in the initiation and development of dance as an official sport.
In 2015, sports dance was first introduced at the Special Olympics as part of demonstration sports in Los Angeles. A demonstration sport, unlike an official sport, this is where you have to prove that it is a real sport and that you are able to provide infrastructure. “We have a plan for 2018-22. As part of this, we hope to launch Dance Sport in around 24 different countries. India is one of them. Dancing, in general, is a very big part of the culture here in India. I have known very motivated coaches as well as athletes. When we went through our curriculum, I realized how much everyone enjoys dancing and how passionate they are about it, ”says Gider.
So what exactly are the benefits? Gider explains, “First of all, Dance Sport gives you the chance to be included in any type of social gathering. If there is music, you can just walk to the dance floor and start dancing. Second, it is a very good exercise, even those who do not like traditional sports like to dance. Third, you don’t need a lot of infrastructure, you don’t need equipment, you don’t need a budget, you don’t need snow like winter sports.
Reiterating that it could be one of the easiest sports to play, Gider says: “Everyone already knows dance. It’s part of every culture. Sports dancing is just a little higher, a little more structured. We bring in people who work closely with children with intellectual disabilities and dance sports experts to train the athletes.