Forum: Irish / Irish - MAIDs

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Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By legsandco
On Mon Apr 03, 2006 09:36 AM

My daughter did her Irish Mock Leaving Certificate exam and one of the questions was (Write about a Sports Person you admire) Shw wrote about Michael Flatley and his contribution to Irish Dancing. She received her exam result - Zero percent - The examiners said Irish Dancing was a hobby not a sport and Michael Flatley was an Entertainer not a sports person - What do you think???

40 Replies to Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???

re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By electricdancer
On Mon Apr 03, 2006 09:55 AM
Hmmm, that's odd. For my GCSE Irish Oral I was asked a long question about the sports person I most admire and I said (translated) 'I don't really enjoy sport, but I am very interested in Irish dancing, and the dancer I most admire is...' and got full marks in the end. That's quite harsh, zero. Especially when it's Irish - the logic shouldn't be so specific, if you get me.
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By IrishRoyalty
On Mon Apr 03, 2006 09:58 AM
I think Irish Dancing's a sport. I mean with all the competing and stuff! And yeah, I also think that's kinda harsh, I mean since at least I think Irish Dancing's a sport, shouldn't MF be a sports person?? That's what I think...
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By SamCartermember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:28 AM
Considering the level of atheticism required at the top level, Irish Dance is certainly a sport, in my opinion. Of course, like any sport, one can also treat it as a hobbie as well.
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By daddysgotaharemPremium member
On Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:37 AM
We have always considered it a sport in our house. It is competative, requires a lot of athletic ability, training, conditioning, heck a lot of folks even have the sports medicine docs on call. Can't think of anything that keeps it from being a sport. The "but it is pretty" argument could be made for figure skating and gymnastics, and no one questions them.
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By clickychicky
On Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:15 AM
I say it is both and anybody who has actually seen irish dance should say the same- makes me think that the teacher has never seen it :)
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By highlandlassie
On Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:19 PM
I have a suggestion for your daughter, if she is interested in getting the marks she should have for this assignment. I would suggest that she look up the definition for "sport" in the dictionary, and then explain exactly how Irish dancing does indeed meet that definition. I know that there is reference to being competitive, which of course Irish is. And so was Michael Flatley at one point. There is reference to being governed by rules, and she could explain how Irish is indeed governed by rules. I don't remember the entire definition, but I'm sure she could easily show how Irish Dance could be defined as a sport. A good teacher would not only give her the marks she should have had, but also extra credit for the extra assignment and initiative. Good luck! :)
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By zippysmom
On Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:51 PM
That's terrible that her teacher gave her a zero! Of course it's a sport just like figure dancing, ice skating and such is a sport. Just because the judging is subjective doesn't make it less of a sport. We are COMPETITORS. If we were just performing then I could understand it being called entertainment and that is a part of I.D. but feiseanna are competitions and that to me defines it as a sport.
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By reelcanadiangirlPremium member
On Mon Apr 03, 2006 01:33 PM
I've always thought of Irish dance as a physically demanding art. But I certainly would not have given your daughter a zero-they should have marked her based on the quality of her work, not on how "sporty" the topic she wrote about is.
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By Keelan_66member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Apr 03, 2006 03:03 PM
If I'm coming home from dance with blisters, injuries, bigger muscles,and a six pack (well this might be an exageration lol) than heck yes I'd say it's a sport!!!

Keelan
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By hummingbird
On Tue Apr 04, 2006 03:22 AM
WOW another MAID from Ireland

My eldest is also doing his Leaving Cert this year.

The other thing she should do is try explaining that most sports are done as hobbies also. Every GAA member is an amateur and therefore thier sport is a hobby, not their livelihood. Her teacher might listen even though the examiner isn't there.
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By butterfly_capemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Apr 04, 2006 04:47 AM
well the dictionary definition of "sport" is
"Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively.
or A particular form of this activity." (dictionary.com)

irish dancing definitly complies then, its a physical activity for sure, and there are rules, and we compete.
the dictionary definition of hobby is
"An activity or interest pursued outside one's regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure." (dictionary.com)
so i guess it depends if you dance for the compeditive side, or primarily for pleasure.
and for someone who makes a living of irish dancing, such as a teacher etc i assume it would be considered as an occupation

but i would definitly count it as a sport, for me anyway.
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By bluedamselflyPremium member
On Tue Apr 04, 2006 08:45 AM
I would absolutely bring in the dictionary and get this rectified!
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Apr 04, 2006 09:27 AM
She said ID was a hobby not a sport? Well, what about kids who play sunday league football? That's a hobby.

A hobby can be an art, a sport, or any number of other things. Painting is a hobby, dancing is a hobby, playing tennis is a hobby. It's a hobby until you get paid for it. Getting paid for your involvement doesn't define a sport.

I believe what she meant to say is that Irish dance is an ART not a sport.

I don't think Irish dance is a sport. It's physically and mentally tough, sometimes draining, but I don't believe sport is the right word. I don't think Irish dance is fully covered by the description 'art' either, since our competition dances are just combinations of steps and don't tell stories or convey emotions.

It's just Irish dance.

Louise
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By electricdancer
On Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:07 AM
It annoys me when people ask 'Do you play any sports' and you're like 'Eh no' but you really wanna say 'If you think I'm lazy, I do something that's harder than any of your god damn sports!'
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By TheReelThing
On Tue Apr 04, 2006 05:36 PM
sport ( P ) Pronunciation Key (spôrt, sprt)
n.

1. Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively.

2. An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby??? (karma: 1)
By Elphaba
On Tue Apr 04, 2006 07:24 PM
the definition of a sport is a phsical activity that is competed agaist someone. irish dance is most defiantly a sport if you use that definition. it requires a lot of practice and training, work on flexibility, and many other things. i think irish dance is a step above a sport-its a lifestyle!
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By feismum
On Thu Apr 06, 2006 01:19 AM
I'm not convinced ID is a sport. Yes it takes great physical fitness and hours of dedication and discipline but not a sport as such. It is competitive and has rules etc but the dancers are judged subjectively and don't win on a definate point or goal or time.

At different feiseanna, different judges can be looking for different things and (mostly) the same dancers do not win all the time. With sports there is a definate winner and loser - world records etc.

It is the same type of thing as synchronised swimming or any other forms of dance - it is up to the judge who wins, not on who scores the most goals etc.

Hope this makes sense. I still think it takes a lot of stamina and dedication to be a good irish dancer.
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By reelmomof1
On Fri Apr 07, 2006 08:32 AM
Irish dancers do win on a point system. What feis are you going to that does not use the points system? It is a sport and its one of the hardest. My boys and myself will be the first ones to say that. And we are biggggg hockey fans. Both of them play hockey and when they try Irish Dance with their sister they are tired and sore. It can be either or. They practise more than any sport I know going into majors. They compete and are judged on the points system. And they enjoy doing it. That sounds like a sport to me and my family. They come out and watch her dance just like they go and watch my sons play hockey.
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By lov2dance1
On Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:56 AM
ID is definitely a sport, though it is a hobby too. but we have competitions and a marking system, so that makes it a sport
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By Dancer456
On Fri Apr 07, 2006 11:28 AM
That's madness! I am doing my leaving Cert at the moment, and you should not be penilised for something like that in your Irish exam. You lose a small amount of marks for misinterpreting the title, but you will still get marked on your Irish, such as you grammar, vocabulaly, etc. The actual Irish is worth 80 percent and the ideas are only worth 20 (in higher level, not 100% sure in ordinary level, but I assume it's more or less the same). You would not get 0 for this in the actual exam.

Back to your question, I think that dancing is a sport. The amount of hours that some of the champion dancers train and the amount of work and commitment involved makes it a sport in my eyes.
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By feismum
On Fri Apr 07, 2006 12:08 PM
When I said that ID does not count on a point system I was refering to points like goals etc. ID is subjective and judges award points for different things.

By the same token then ballroom dancing is a sport, which I do not think it is. If every feis was judged exactly the same way then the same people more or less would win all the time.

If it isn't subjective how can one dancer win all her open dances and not place in the championship? Different judges look for different things.
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By reelmomof1
On Fri Apr 07, 2006 01:26 PM
Feiseanna are supposed to be judged the same way all the time. Its how you do that day like any other sport. But I know what you mean my your scoring. Like scoring a goal, scoring a basket, scoring a touchdown. That is the only scoring so I guess those are the only sports. We in ID do score points.
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby???
By EdwardPremium member
On Fri Apr 07, 2006 03:19 PM
I see a great similarity in Irish dance and this definition from Wikipedia .. en.wikipedia.org . . . (the entire section is worthy of a read IMHO)

"A sport consists of a physical and mentally competitive activity carried out with a recreational purpose for competition, for self-enjoyment, to attain excellence, for the development of a skill, or some combination of these. A sport has physical activity, side by side competition, self-motivation and a scoring system. The difference of purpose is what characterises sport, combined with the notion of individual (or team) skill or prowess."
re: Is Irish Dancing a Sport or a Hobby??? (karma: 1)
By Kerry_dancermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Apr 09, 2006 05:02 AM
Oh It annoys me when people say it isn't a sport! If you spend thousands of euro every year travelling to partake in competitions , Train God Knows how many times a week then YES its a sport!! Its only a hobbie when you do it for enjoyment without the competitve aspect of Irish dancing! This really should be reported to the Department of Education! Your daughter deserved to be graded!

Kirstie :D
But thanks for the heads up if I'm ever asked to do that I know I wont be doing him!
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