Year Long Class Equals No Credit?


As a junior on the Varsity Golden Girls, I feel that the Shawnee Mission School District has overlooked the dance team programs.  Dance team class is first block in the stage gym, but I can hardly call it a class.  The work we put in during that 53 minutes or hour and 35 minutes is much more athletic than any physical education class I’ve taken.  Before school starts, the dance team is at school at 6:30 A.M., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Most students are waking up when we are already hard at work. The class for Varsity is all year long, but what do we get in return for our hard work?  No physical education credit. No fine arts credit.  Just a “K” on a report card.  I feel that the dance team deserves more recognition than given.

I find it unfair that Marching Band class is given a fine arts credit.  Starting in July, the varsity dance team is focused on the band’s halftime show which is performed at numerous marching festivals and football games in the fall. Lucky enough, dance team and marching band have first block classes.  So for all of August, September, and October we are out on the field with the band at 7 A.M. running through drill and flag choreography. One would think that two classes working together would receive the same kind of credit.  That extra fine arts credit that the band members are receiving is an advantage to them in my opinion.  I am still missing a semester of arts credit because once the core credits are taken out of the picture and dance team is added in, I have limited space in my schedule for electives. If dance team counted as a fine arts credit, I would be able to take the electives I wanted.

Before my freshman year I took summer gym class. For five hours a day, five days a week, and for three weeks I was at Shawnee Mission North. I chose to take summer gym because I knew that I would have dance team class for seven out of my eight semesters in high school. All freshmen in the SMSD have to be on the Junior Varsity dance team; luckily JV’s class is only one semester. NJROTC class counts as a physical education credit. If someone was to sit in on NJROTC first block and dance team first block, I believe that that visitor would agree with me in saying that dance team should count for physical education credit as well.

I hope that future generations will get to have their dance team class count for some sort of credit, whether physical education or fine arts. This has been one of the toughest concepts for me to grasp throughout my high school experience. I hope that someday the school district will find a way to recognize their dance teams and reward them for their hard work and dedication.

 Photo Credit: Addie Lake