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The student news site of Robinson High School

Knight Writers

The student news site of Robinson High School

Knight Writers

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NCAA Doesn’t Recognize Dance as a Sport… But They Should

UDA dancers work too hard for it go unrecognized
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Photo google
A video still from the LSU Dance Team’s first-place hip hop routine.

Dancers from all over the U.S. train for hours and hours every day to compete at the Universal Dance Association (UDA) every year to become national championships, even after winning UDA these dancers receive no special scholarship or recognition for their victory. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) does nothing to help support these dancers financially leaving them with no athletic scholarships to help cover their $27,000- $47,000 tuition which they only receive a merely $1,000 for. I think this needs to change.

UDA came to be in the 1980s and since then NCAA has not recognized dance as a sport. For these dancers to be putting in tremendous amounts of work for it to go unnoticed and not receive any kind of athletic scholarship even when winning UDA is just sad. Many dancers put their all into these performances on stage, not to mention all the blood, sweat and tears behind the scenes during practice that are put into curating a dance routine to look perfectly in unison. Over the past 35 years, these talented athletes from all different universities across the U.S. have trained just as hard if not harder than any football, baseball, basketball team, etc. and have not gotten the recognition they deserve.

Becoming a professional dancer and taking your career to the next step can be really difficult and a lot of these dancers could benefit from some sort of academic scholarship to help them reach their goals. Coming from another dancer’s standpoint, I was blown away by all the stunning choreography and talent that I saw at UDA 2024 and could not even imagine how many hours it took and how hard it was to create such difficult routines. To be able to fully commit to a dance team and have practice almost 24/7 while also maintaining school work is a struggle in itself, but to be able to put yourself out there on stage in front of thousands of people can be the most nerve-racking feeling that only these dancers would understand.

Many will say that dance is not a sport but after watching UDA videos I think their opinion will completely change by seeing just how much effort it takes to dance like they do. All the hard work and dedication that these dancers have put into their teams does not deserve this unfair treatment that they have been receiving for the past 40 years. NCAA needs to make more of an effort to include these teams and recognize them for what they are, which is a sport.

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About the Contributor
Sofia Scott, Staff Writer
Sofia Scott is a junior at Robinson and a staff writer. This is her first year on the staff. For most of high school, Scott has wanted to join the Robinson newspaper staff. Now that she has the chance, she's excited to jumpstart her journalism career for the Knight Writers. "I've been wanting to take journalism for so long, but I always had a bunch of classes that I needed to take so I wasn't getting put into the class, but I finally got it," Scott said. Scott is excited to write stories that express her opinions in newspaper and allow her to interact with people around the school by interviewing people for stories and gaining their input for events. "I prefer to interview just because I actually like interacting with people and I feel like it's a fun way to do journalism. I just like interacting with people and interviewing them and getting their opinion, " Scott said. Outside of newspaper, she participates in numerous school clubs such as Knightmare and Student Government Association (SGA.) She plans to rejoin Knightmare this year and is eager to begin with her first year as an SGA member. As Sofia enters her last years of high school, she plans to attend college or trade school to become an esthetician, keeping in line with her interest in beauty and makeup. "I think I'm going to move towards going into psychology when I major in college, maybe later I go to a trade school or become like an esthetician or something like that because that stuff has always interested me," Scott said. (Profile by Whittaley Bowden)
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