Dancing is a part of gymnastics and many dancers love to do gymnastics, so how do you determine which is better? Both gymnastics and dance have similar elements, but many people have a favorite between the two.
If you are trying to decide whether to concentrate solely on dancing or gymnastics there are many things to consider to decide which is better.
Have You Tried Both Dancing and Gymnastics?
Many gymnasts will take a dance class to help with their dance moves on the floor, and dancers will take tumbling classes for the same reason. During these classes, some kids and teens will find out that their true passion lies in a different place than they first thought.
On the other hand, a dancer or gymnast could take an alternative class that only fosters their passion for their favorite activity. For a gymnast or dancer to decide whether gymnastics or dance is better, they need to try both activities.
Dance is Easy to Start at any Age
When you hear or talk to talented gymnasts, you usually find out they started the sport when they were really young. In fact, the best gymnasts start at a young age, and older, beginning gymnasts have a harder time learning difficult skills simply because of their height.
Dance, on the other hand, is a talent that can be discovered at any age. Kids as old as 16 or 17 can start dance classes and excel in them quickly.
Gymnastics competition seasons are very long and gymnasts usually only move up one level a year, which can make it harder for older kids to compete in gymnastics for long periods of time, or move up to the challenging competitive levels.
Gymnastics Tumbling Can Be Part of a Dance Routine
One of the great things about gymnastics tumbling is that it can easily be added to any dance routine. Leaps, jumps, pointed toes, and strength exercises are all things usually associated with gymnastics or dance.
A choreographer can also add handstands, cartwheels, rolls, back handsprings, and other aerial tumbling passes to dance routines.
However, stunts and tricks in a dance routine are not usually the primary focus of the routine. In gymnastics, the stunts and tricks are the heart of a routine and the dancing is just time filler between tumbling passes.
Dancers Use Both Legs – Gymnasts Tend to Favor One Side
Dancers and gymnasts can do many of the same stunts and tricks, but they trained differently. Gymnasts for one usually have a strong side. For instance, they lead with their left leg during leaps or hurdles.
Dancers, on the other hand, are trained to use both legs, which can make some dance routines difficult for a gymnast. If a gymnast is in a group routine, but usually leads with her left leg, it may be difficult for her to turn to the right in a dance routine.
Many Different Styles of Dance
One of the reasons so many people like dance is because there are so many different styles to choose from. Ballet is perfect for those that want a structured, controlled form of dance, and lyrical or contemporary dance focuses on emotion.
Competitive Dance Can Be More Expensive Than Gymnastics
Many gymnast moms will tell you that gymnastics is expensive. But competitive dance can be just as expensive or more expensive. Depending on how many classes a dancer needs the cost can add up quickly.
Most dance studios require classes to be paid for separately, and each routine requires a different costume. Depending on the design of the costume, it can easily cost upwards of $80 to $400 and that’s before shoes.
Gymnastics is expensive too. Most gym parents pay class fees, private lesson fees, and have to travel to competitions all over the country.
Training leos can cost anywhere from $40 to $60. Competition leos can be upwards of $120, but most gymnasts only have one competition leo.
Not all Gymnasts are Good Dancers and Not all Dancers can do Gymnastics
When you see a gymnast stretching across the floor, you may think they would be a great dancer! The same goes for a dancer who can nail a back handspring on a gymnasium floor.
But you might be surprised to find out that while dancers and gymnasts have a great deal in common, being good in one activity doesn’t guarantee you’ll be great in another.Gymnasts do a great deal more than tumble, and just because a dancer can tumble doesn’t mean they would be great on the balance beam, uneven bars, or vault.
Many gymnasts also struggle with dancing. The floor routine is only 1 of 4 events that a gymnast participates in during classes, practices, and competitions.
Some gymnasts do as little dance as possible in their routines because they aren’t strong dancers, but are amazing tumblers, but they can’t get their mind around the footsteps that are required to be a strong dancer.
When it comes down to which is better, gymnastics or dancing, it’s a personal decision. Whether someone loves gymnastics or dancing depends on the talent and passion of the person choosing between the two.Photo Credit: © Ukrphoto & Logoboom | Dreamstime.com