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Football vs. Ballet and Soccer Too

Updated on October 4, 2011

The Game Plan

Who is the better athlete? This question has been asked on occasion over the years in various TV shows and most recently in the Disney film The Game Plan. My 8 year-old ballerina's favorite line in the movie is this:

"If ballet were easy they would call it football."

Now, add soccer to the mix. I am not a fan of soccer, but watching just a few minutes of a game will show you that these players are fast, agile, flexible and full of endurance. They play long hours running back and forth, up and down that very large field chasing a ball. It is a far more strenuous sport than American football, in my opinion.

As a sports outsider it seems that some football players are incredible athletes, but some look as if they have trouble walking.

They can’t even see their toes, forget about touching their toes. Yet, they are paid athletes. Very well paid athletes.

Ballerinas are phenomenally strong and flexible and perform on an intense schedule. they would likely outlast any average football player in an endurance challegne.

Dancing Soccer Ref

Now watch the hilarious video to the right. This referee brings a bit of ballet to the field, though I am not sure fans appreciate his talent!

I won’t try to compare all football players to all soccer players or to all ballerinas. Apples to oranges, watermelons to blueberries and all that.

Look instead at the qualities they share:

  • They start with a dream. A young ballerina dreams of dancing the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy at Lincoln Center, the young football player dreams of the Super Bowl, the soccer player dreams of the World Cup.

  • Dedication to their art. Or sport. I really don’t feel comfortable calling football an art. I also don’t understand why the fans feel the need to paint themselves.
  • Commitment: they begin training at a young age and work for years to enjoy a relatively short career in their chosen field. or on their chosen field.
  • They endure ample pain on the way to reaching their goals, sometimes doing permantent damage to their bodies.
  • They risk injury daily. An injury could end their career in a moment.

Dance of the Sugar Plum

The Fans

Who has the most fans? World wide, soccer has the most fans. American football fans sometimes choose to dedicate their life to supporting their team, living football like a religion.

Ballet fans? Ballet fans are different. They don’t scream at the stage or throw things at the performers and to my knowledge, no one has been trampled to death at a showing of Swan Lake. They are a refined bunch. They are not even allowed to eat hot dogs or drink beer while enjoying the show. And they still go anyway. Ballet speaks to the soul. It lifts the spirit. Once you are hooked you will likely be a fan for life. And you never have to worry about your team losing.


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      Jim 5 years ago

      If you think about it and even look it up there are football players, famous ones that at one time have taken ballet (helps with agility) and look at most really good football kickers have some kind of soccer background.

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      George Tuthill 6 years ago

      Julie Hill taught Ballet to Ohio State foot ball players in 1961

    • profile image

      teehee 6 years ago

      Whoops. I meant 'improve' rather than 'prove' in my previous comment.

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      teehee 6 years ago

      Furthermore, a study has found that ballet dancers have a higher pain threshold than marines. NUMEROUS studies have also shown that ballet is more difficult than football, baseball, basketball, soccer and ice hockey.

      The fact that many football players take ballet in order to prove their football, cannot be ignore either.

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      teehee 6 years ago

      It really annoys me how the very essence of ballet makes it seem wimpy. We live in a culture where grace and beauty are deemed wimpy, and violence is seen as macho. However, I believe that ballet wins anyday, because we endure so much pain and yet we have that extra strength to hide everything behind an expression of absolute serenity. Heck, we smile through the pain. If we get a cramp or an injury, we don't lie down on the field/stage have a cry and then get stretchered off, we give a brighter smile and keep going. Dancers train 10 hours a day, 6 to 7 days a week, not including all the extra time spent at the gym. Football players train 2 to 3 times a week with maybe a couple of gym sessions. and yet dancers get paid nowhere near as much as football players.

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      The Soccer Ballet 7 years ago

      Interesting comparation.

      I found your website when I was looking for an art exhibition "LE BAL DU SOCCER".

    • profile image

      Deron 7 years ago

      If soccer had more fans would be the most watched IS NOT

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks for the comments, especially epigramman! Charmed me right back. :)

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 7 years ago

      I must say that I simply adore the ballet - and I am also smitten with your smart well-written and researched hubs!

    • Random Person profile image

      Random Person 8 years ago from San Diego, California

      I like your style of writing, although I don't completely understand the point of your hub! Were you trying to compare Ballet, Football, and soccer? Hahaha well, it was still a nice hub. Personally, I think all three have their challenges, Football-getting tackled, Soccer- the intense running, Ballet- Endurance and standing on the toes. The ballerina above dancing the Sugar Plum Fairy, was really sloppy, she kept looking down!

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      danielle 8 years ago

      has anyone not seen centre stage god that kicks footy out of the world man i hate footy with a passion and love ballet with all my heart the football players are very spoilt athletes i wanna hit then with my hardest shanked pointe shoes 1 million time

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

      Yes, I pretty much agree with that! They won't give it a try, so we won't be able to laugh. :)

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      unknown 8 years ago

      Lets see an NFL player put on a pair of point shoes, balance on one leg while doing an arabesque ;) Yeah ain't gonna happen. But anyone can learn to catcha football or kick a soccer ball.

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      cavani 8 years ago

      Soccer is soccer its on top of the world, football is for overgrown americans that are too lazy to find a job and that cant run a mile under eight minutes. Ballet, im not sure about it, its definitely not a sport but its definitely not a hobby. I secretly like watching ballet, its full of grace, its beautiful and enduring. I personally think some type of new word should be made up for what ever ballet falls under(there of course under that new category such things as Capoeira and my own nations dance Uruguayan milonga)

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Jason, you are right, of course, that a dancer could not take a hit like a football player. I guess I don't see the art in violence, but we are all different. I may never love football, but I have no problem with others enjoying it!

    • profile image

      Jason 8 years ago

      Yeah ballet is cool. But have a ballet dancer get hit by a NFL football player and you will see death my friend. Violence can also be see as an art. They are having a good time beating the shit out of eachother. Now lets what and drink beer. They make money, we have a good time. The end. People just need to learn to have more appreciation for things so they can understand the value in them.

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Yes, you are right mirha! I still think that ballet can be just as demanding (if not more demanding) than other sports. It is all about money...just look at pro-wrestling! Not a sport at all really. :)

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      mirha494 9 years ago

      As Ervin states, it's all about the money. Also, balett is a sport highgly associated wit girl's so I know by experience that many boys would never put their feet into a pair of balett shes.

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you, Ervin. I agree it is more about show business and marketing than anything else! Considering the talent, dedication and hard work put into becoming a ballet dancer, I think it's very unfair! I suppose I just don't appreciate soccer and football like the rest of the world. :)

    • solarshingles profile image

      solarshingles 9 years ago from london

      A very challenging hub, Amy and very aesthetic, as well. Football or Soccer vs. Ballet. In modern world it is all about show business. More fans and supporters more money and more attention. Football and Soccer are a huge multi billion industry, while Ballet remains an art and 'hidden' in very secluded and maybe old fashioned 'grand institutions'. I think, that ballet dancers are not financially rewarded well at all, and that football players are getting/earning a bit too much for a good taste:)