Being sports mad and now taking up the challenge of dancing, it has crossed my mind that there are a lot of similarities between the two. This week I've had a look at what they are.
There are many sayings in sport that emphasise the importance of being able to work in a team. For example; "a champion team will always beat a team of champions", "a team are only as good as the sum of their parts" and "talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships".
In sports like rugby league where the opposition are looking for gaps in the defensive line, you have to be able to focus on the man you are marking and trust that the rest of your team are doing the same. You also have to have an almost non-verbal level of communication and knowledge of what your teammates are doing and where they are going to be.
Team work is just as important, if not more so, when dancing. You can have all of your steps perfected on your own, but unless you can do them in time with your partner it is not going to work.
In both sport and dance, it all comes down to practice - knowing your team mates or dance partner well allows you to work together towards the finished product and adapt if something goes wrong.
In almost every sport fitness is a key component. Not only to be able to outrun and out-power your opposition, but to ensure you can focus and think quickly towards the end of a game.
One of the All Blacks' greatest traits is their ability to blow out a score in the final 20 minutes of a game. That largely comes down to their superior fitness levels.
I have quickly realised that dancing is a pretty good way to find out how unfit you are, especially now we have learned a decent chunk of our dance. The dance we are doing is fast and once we've run through it a few times I find myself sweating and out of breath.
The scary thing is I'm not even doing a lot of the more complicated steps, Tash has most of the faster, more complicated moves and she has tackled practising them like a champ. I'm sure, if nothing else, with a few more weeks of practice under our belts we'll both be feeling a lot fitter.
The importance of listening to your coaches
The All Blacks have Steve Hansen, Ian Foster and Scott McLeod. We have Shelley Martin, Troy Smith and Glen Law.
Having knowledgeable and experienced coaches is essential to any top sports team and the same can be said about dancing. But, more importantly, those being coached have to be willing to buy into what they are being told.
I think one of the best qualities Tash and I share is that we both have full faith in those telling us what to do - as do all of the couples this year. Obviously, we're all amateurs so we'd be silly not to take any advice being offered during our mission to produce a entertaining show.
So, dancing and sport share a number of qualities and who knows, maybe one day we'll see ballroom dancing at the Olympics. I'll save that debate for another day.