Breakdancing as a Club Sport at Harvard
Since its founding in 2006, Harvard Breakers, the breakdancing team at Harvard University has been classified as a dance group and thus been categorized under the Harvard Dance Center. However, we hope to transition into becoming classified as a club sport for the following reasons:
1.) Facilities provided by HDC are not compatible with breakdancing. HDC does not allow regular shoes in their facilities, and it is extremely dangerous to practice breakdancing without proper footwear. This is a common policy for dance studios, carried out to preserve the floor, and the policy is very reasonable given that wearing sneakers is not required for most of the dance groups that they host (ballet, classical dance, jazz, etc.). As of now, we have four practices per week, and three of these are hosted at non-HDC locations due to the restriction mentioned above.
2.) Breakers is a competing group. We plan to compete in local breakdance competitions this year (*1), and this is very atypical of dance groups on campus. In particular, we plan to attend BreaksU, the largest intercollegiate breakdance battle held annually in NYC and compete with ~70 other universities, including every other Ivy League school except Dartmouth. As a side note, we have experience in hosting competitions ourselves and plan to do so this year too (*2).
3.) Safety is at stake. Breakers has seen many injuries in the past, and most of these could have been prevented with proper supervision and access to proper equipment. Hiring a coach and practicing in athletic facilities (preferably with mats) would improve the situation significantly, and it is the responsibility of our organization to provide an environment in which students can safely pursue their passion with minimal risk of injury. HDC does not offer funding for instructors (*3).
We completely understand your hesitation to accept a dance group as a club sport, creating yet another exception after Ballroom and Crimson Dance Team. However, I hope you understand from the above description that we are not the typical dance group: our practices closely resemble that of a sports team, and the physical strength and ability required to breakdance rivals that of varsity athletes.
We very much appreciate your consideration for this matter. Thank you very much.
*1 List of competitions we plan to attend this year: http://goo.gl/TuZORJ
*2 Footage from previous years: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgW4VyNBKGw
*3 Email from Harvard Dance Center regarding coaching: http://goo.gl/vv9Nfc