For some reason, here at Little Café Near Home, we are watching some sort of Ballroom dancing competition. Like figure skating, it fails on all three of my criteria for being a good sport:
- No judges – if you need someone else to tell you who won, it’s not a sport at all. Lack of an empirical scoring system removes the activity from even being considered as a sport, let alone a good one.
- Scoring must be a significant event – NBA, please take note. Scoring should be a cause for celebration.
- Scoring must be possible – take hockey. Points are rare, but things are nuts and a score could happen at almost any moment. Soccer occupies this weird realm where almost scoring is such a rare event that even that is cause of great emotional release. I will grudgingly allow that perhaps you can derive some tension from knowing that your team could in the next few minutes work their way into a situation where they almost score (but probably won’t).
Anyway, ballroom dancing stumbles at criterion number one, and so cannot be considered a sport at all. Yet here it is on the Czech sport channel. All other judgement of worthiness aside, I watched for a while and wondered, “isn’t dancing supposed to be fun?” I watched a little longer and had to wonder, “isn’t dancing supposed to be about being with someone?
Here’s the thing: the women in these events have their backs arched and their necks twisted such that one must conclude that they find the man they are with repulsive. They hold their heads as far from their partner as possible, with plastic smiles on their faces, looking anywhere but at the man. I’ve had dance partners like that, actively radiating disinterest, lest I get the wrong idea. Yet here are the friggin’ professionals, people who theoretically have chosen to be together, yet to appear to be enjoying the company of your dance partner is considered bad form. When the music’s over they still don’t look at each other; they turn and suck up to the crowd. I wonder what would happen if one of these teams went out and did a really passionate dance, eyes locked, and at the end the dude gave her a little kiss. Maybe just a kiss on the hand, thanking her for the wonderful time they just spent together. Like they were courting. Like they were dancing.
Forget about whether it’s a sport; in my book, this competition is not even dancing. It is, to twist a phrase, strictly “ballroom”.