School misses out: why we need dance

Opinion

As a new junior at KO, I came into this year with a fresh outlook on the activities that KO provides for its students. I was thrilled to see that KO offered team sports like field hockey, as well as plays and musicals, but disappointed when I was told that KO did not offer dance as a sport. How many prospective students have come to visit KO and felt this same disappointment? Maybe some even decided to look elsewhere at one of the many other private schools in Connecticut with a dance program. I think that KO’s lack of a dance program creates a large gap in both the athletic program and art program.

Dance is a unique activity that combines artistic expression with athletic ability. There are a wide variety of dance styles that students could have the opportunity to learn such as ballet, modern, hip-hop, jazz, African, contemporary, and many more. Dance at KO could be open to beginner and advanced dancers alike so that the less experienced dancers could learn from the more experienced dancers.

Dance is also unique in the fact that dancers both strive for personal goals as well as work as a team. Students would be able to individually challenge themselves with stretching or technique as well as collaborating in group routines and with original choreography.

As a dancer myself, I can attest that dancing is, despite popular belief, a highly athletic activity that takes many hours of stretching, cardio, and technique to master.

This is why there is no doubt that dance would qualify as a sport. The hard work and athletic ability of dancers is something that KO students could enjoy in many ways. KO students already enjoy participating in and viewing band or choir performances, so they would definitely enjoy watching dance performances as well.

A large part of dancing is the performance aspect. At my former school, we would host a dance concert that would display dances from surrounding schools as well as our own.

This was a fun way to meet performers from other schools, showcasing the hard work that each dance program put into their performances. It was also a popular event that non-dancers enjoyed watching. KO would benefit from showcases like these, and it would allow us to connect more with surrounding schools.

Besides dance performances, the level of dance ability in the winter musicals would be raised greatly from KO having a dance program. KO musicals are often limited to shows that don’t have complicated dance numbers because of the lack of dance on campus.

KO musicals would be elevated to a higher standard if singers and dancers would be able to combine their talents and practice on campus all year. KO dancers are instead forced to dance off campus rather than pursuing their interests as part of the community.

Why would we want KO dancers to have to find a dance program off of campus? Sophomore Snehaa Ram, who has danced outside of KO, agrees that dance should be offered.

“I think offering a dance program, whether it be a club or a sport we get to do after school, would be really beneficial to the people that already spend their time outside of school dancing,” Snehaa said.

Dance is an important art form and athletic activity that is missing on the KO campus. KO should be able to cater to the many dancers on campus instead of having them dance off campus. The more athletic opportunities KO can offer students on campus, the more diverse our community’s art and athletic programs will become.