In defense of Ice Dancing

Like I said, I wrote this a week ago, but hadn’t had time to finish. Now, I’m multi-tasking, though, because I am waiting. And also writing.


Because have you seen this:

Or this:

How can you argue against ice dancing? It’s like ice skating. Only campier. And more fun. With better costumes.

Yet, people have been doing it: arguing that ice dancing isn’t a sport, which is kind of like calling it gay, in that you thought it made you sound cool when you were 15, but really it just makes you sound like you’re 15.

Are you actually going to try to make the argument that baseball takes more athletic fitness and skill than this:

Because I think that would be a difficult argument to win.

(Come on, she’s standing on his leg, on a blade. ON ICE.)

(Besides, really, BASEBALL? They don’t even all have to run.)

Sure, I get it, sports that rely on judges are annoying. They’re so much less clear cut. It’s so much better when it’s obvious that that guy was clearly over the touchdown line before being tackled without interference from the lineman. The judges referees never get that wrong.

Sports are merely a set of rules that we all agree to that govern a specific set of skills. What purpose does being able to dunk serve in the world outside of a rectangular area where we agree that thou shalt not run with the ball without bouncing it and that once thou are inside a so-designated line thou shalt have 24 seconds to get said ball into a small metal hoop. How are those skills less arbitrary than the skills involved in ice dancing?

They’re not.

Even the sports that are the most “pure,” the go fastest to the finish line sports, are governed by rules. There are rules about how long you can stay under water after a flip turn in swimming and how your stroke has to operate to qualify as that stroke. There are rules about shoes and swimsuits and uniforms and bike weight. There are so many rules in triathlon I don’t even know them all.

So, yeah, I get it, you’d like to think “sport” is some magnificent thing without arbitrariness, but how fast you take off your shoes can be the difference between winning and losing a triathlon race. Go ahead, try and tell me that’s not dumb.

And, you know, what, Ice Dancing looks hard. Not exactly my cup of tea kind of hard, but still, really difficult.


It looks fun.

I have seen some of the shit on TV. There are few people in existence — other than my sister — who watch more TV than I do, and I can testify, as an expert, there’s not a ton of stuff better than ice dancing. Dancing with the Stars? Seriously? No, at least this shit is for a medal.

There’s a lot of channels. There were four just showing the Olympics (plus all the online streaming coverage). If there was something better on, you’d be watching it. Hell, you could watch a different Olympic sport if you wanted to, any of them. I watched more cross-country Nordic combined than I’ve ever seen in my life. So, it’s not like this is supplanting something else you find more valuable.

Complaining about an Olympic sport not being a sport is such a 20th Century argument. It’s so petty and small-fisted. Because, really do you think the ice dancers are doing it for the glory, recognition and prestige? Give them their two days on NBC. Why not.

Besides, did you SEE her standing on that guys leg in her skate? ON ICE?? That’s just crazy.

3 thoughts on “In defense of Ice Dancing

  1. Actually, I’m afraid that sports purists would claim that swimming isn’t a sport either. I’ve had this argument before. If it doesn’t have a ball, then it’s not a sport. It’s only a sport if it’s some kind of replication of a war-like scenario. And with a ball. There has to be some element of violence or risk of death. But unknownst to these slobs, Hemingway said there are only three sports: mountain climbing, bullfighting and autoracing, but maybe he was referring to needing “balls.” Ice dancing takes balls. I’m sorry, but that is some crazy shit!

  2. Ok, I don’t think you defended it but yes, I saw the 30,031st replay of the lady standing on his calf with an ice skate. I just got my hockey skates sharpend and cut the pants i was wearing – so they’re sharp – so sort of admirable but not a sport unless of course regular dancing is to become a summer Olympic sport. That said, golf is a sport but not an Olympic sport but it should be. As should bowling and pool but probably not badmitton or anything the Koreans could be good at. We should just make this about the Axis of Evil and defining what sport really should be and how Obama could have fixed all of this. Sorry, I forgot what I was saying….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s