Leaping, jumping, footwork-wise, basketball, soccer (football to everyone else), gymnastics and diving might be more comparable.
But football is the sport I played in high school. And I do find some aspects comparable. And since this is the start of both football and dance season, I thought I’d compare them just for fun:
In ballet, you have an artistic director who puts together a plan for the performance, a ballet mistress (or master) who assists with that plan and with rehearsals, and teachers who make sure the dancers focus on technique.
In football, you have a head coach who puts together a plan for the game, two coordinators who assist with that plan and with scrimmages and position coaches who make sure the players focus on technique.
In ballet, dancers spend more time in class and rehearsals than they actually do performing.
In football, players spend more time in practice and scrimmages than the do actually playing games (that is not the case with basketball or baseball).
In ballet, you have stars called principal dancers and soloists. They are supported by the corps and dancers who have parts as extras who do the grunt work needed to make the show successful.
In football, you have stars like the quarterback, running back, receivers or linebackers. They are supported by linemen who do the grunt work needed to make a game successful.
In ballet, you have the barre.
In football, you have pre-game or practice warmups.
In ballet, you have auditions that determine how you’re going to be cast in the show.
In football, you have two-a-day practices that determine who plays what positions and who starts in the first game.
In ballet, the biggest performance of the year, the Nutcracker, is a holiday tradition.
In football, the biggest games of the year, bowl games and playoff games, are also holiday traditions.
In ballet, a performance is divided into acts with an intermission in between.
In football, a game is divided into halves with halftime (an intermission) in between.
In ballet, you have an orchestra.
In football, you have a band.
In ballet, dancers wear tights in class and under costumes during a performance.
In football, players wear Under Armour (a thicker, manlier version of tights) during workouts and under uniforms during games.
In ballet, you have wardrobe, costume, prop and tech people who do vital work behind the scenes.
In football, you have equipment managers, trainers, public address announcers and field maintenance people who do vital work behind the scenes.
In ballet, you sometimes have patrons who like to make fashion statements at performances.
In football, you have fans who like to make a different kind of fashion statement at games.
In ballet, you have receptions.
In football, you have tailgating.
In ballet, you have slippers and pointe shoes to help you move freely across the floor.
In football, you have cleats to help you move freely across the field.
In ballet, you have shoulder-sits.
In football, you have shoulder-pads.
In ballet, male dancers sometimes catch women who are flying through the air.
In football, players sometimes catch balls that are flying through the air.
In ballet, footwork and timing are very important.
In football, footwork and timing are very important.
In ballet, it takes hard work, athleticism and stamina to be a great dancer.
In football, it takes hard work, athleticism and stamina to be a great player.
So maybe they have more in common than most people think.