Jordan Lampton ‘16-  Scheduling for the upcoming year involved a controversial announcement: if you participate in a school related sport that made the cut, you don’t need to take the previously required one semester gym class. But a few of us are left out: those of us who dabble in sports activities outside of Romeo High School’s athletic program.

Some say it’s hard to see this as anything other than positive. If the student qualifies, they are free to take one of the several other elective one-semester courses, such as Sociology or Parenthood and Child Development. This seems all fine and dandy, but what about those of us who participate in extraneous activities outside of school?

I compete in dance, and have been for the past eleven years. Before that, I danced for two years non-competitively. As of today, I’m in the studio 15-20 hours a week, 5-7 days a week, depending on what events are coming up. Additionally, I dance for Romeo Theatre Company, about three days a week after school, before I relocate to my dance studio. Unlike most sports, this isn’t seasonal: it’s all year. All through the summer, with only a two week break.

“It’s unfair that dance isn’t always considered a sport because dance is harder than people make it out to be,” varsity dance team member Tia Santi ‘17 said.  “It takes flexibility, strength, stamina, and endurance, which is needed for any other sport. Onstage, it’s basically us getting one chance to make everything we were ever taught perfect without a mistake.”

Considering dance a sport happens to be a very debatable subject, but I feel that the practices my team and I go through on a daily basis can be just as difficult as the many that other varsity teams go through. Every day in practice, we work on our stamina. Running our dances time after time, we improve and alter them in preparation for competitions, all while bettering our technique. Many scoff at our efforts, saying dance is easy, and that anyone could master it. Personally, I’d like to see all of the doubters perfectly execute a triple pirouette on their first try.

“We practice just as many, if not more, hours than other sports,” Leanna Harris ‘18 said. “No one respects the sport, such as when they ask us how many ‘spins’ we can do. Also, when we compete, we have to add the performance, technical, costuming, and timing/music score. It’s not a ‘we won by one point’ sport; it’s three or more judges watching us and they decide our score.”

Although it appears obvious that I am completely opposed to this new policy, I’m not blind to the other side. It would never be possible for Romeo High School’s administration to monitor those who participate in extracurricular activities not affiliated with our athletic program and ensure that they are being physically active enough to receive their credit. Cutting specific sports from this new policy also can be seen as understandable, because certain criteria would have to be met for a person to receive credit.

Overall, this new policy should be thought out again. If the student can prove that they’re physically active enough to meet the criteria to receive their gym credit, it should be granted to them. Simple as that.



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