District Administration Tips Scales for the Crimson Cats

Dance team faces new challenges as the class is removed from curriculum

Darrelyn Dollar and CC Forcellini

The Innovative Dance Competition is one of the many cuts that the Crimson Cats will have to make next year without the built-in time in their day.

Dedicated athletes try to balance all aspects of high school life. The Crimson Cats train throughout the school year, performing at athletic events and competing at dance competitions as far away as Orlando, Fla. However, the they are facing a new challenge next year because dance team will no longer be a class. This same challenge will confront the cheer team in 2020. Although the district rule change for dance will start in August 2019, the athletes on both teams anticipate new struggles with balancing their schedules without a built-in practice in their school day.

“As a junior, balancing dance and school has become very difficult,” junior Bella Cohen said. “I’ve had to deal with the fact that they are both my priority. There have been so many conflicts and I have and will continue to figure out what my top priority at that moment is. It is very stressful because being involved is a huge part of high school but I can’t be two places at once.”

By no longer offering these programs as classes, being part of the team will be a bigger time commitment. The policy change  asks a lot from the girls whose seasons already span seven months. Most already juggle school and extracurriculars.

“Dance has really taught me time management and priorities. Even this year, trying to find time for schoolwork and friends is difficult because dance is so demanding and I have to be there. It’s been hard for me to put my priorities in order,” Cohen said. “I dance at least 15 hours a week even having it as a class, so trying to find a way to balance dance and school without having that built-in time puts so much more on my plate.”

Fall of 2019 will be the last semester that cheer is offered as a class.

Junior Izzy Watkins has been a cheerleader throughout high school. She benefitted from the team having a class each fall semester.

“I love having cheer as a class and it helps so much with not having to take time out of our after school day because we already spend so much time at games and events,” Watkins said. “It is a perfect time to practice our competition routine that isn’t associated with any of our games.”

Most dance team and cheer members also practice with outside companies. Junior Libby Johnson maintained a balance between both since freshman year. One of the problems both cheerleaders and dancers will now face is how they will find time for both.

“Balancing studio and school dance may be more complicated for some people and it is obviously something that is a bit more of a commitment,” Johnson said.

Cheerleaders and dance team members often take up to nine hours of dance outside of their school commitments. On top of that the athletes must find time for homework and to perform at athletic events.

Administrator Bryan Brutto gives some insight behind this controversial change to remove 216 minutes of rehearsal a week.

“We are looking at a shift of when dance team is rehearsing and practicing, this is an opportunity for the dance team to be a true extra-curricular activity,” Brutto said. “Dance has occupied one of the elective spots. We looked at freeing some time up. This is an opportunity to explore some of the elective options.”

Not having time built into the school day for cheer and dance may add difficulties but, according to Brutto, it also creates possibilities to enroll in an extra class, or even make CAPS a possibility. However, the athletes involved still find the cut difficult.