By Hanah Wyman and Audrey Zenner,
Dancer Maddie English sits down after a long practice and removes her pointe shoes from her tired, swollen feet. Soon she will head home for dinner and homework. Since English has seven classes, she has less time to complete homework assignments and study.
While the Davis High dance team counts for Independent Lifetime Sports hours, dancing for outside dance studios does not. Many dancers must take a physical education class in addition to academic classes to meet graduation requirements.
ILS coordinator Julie Crawford says she does not decide which sports count for ILS–the school district does.
“Some outside sports are on waivers this year. Only CIF sports will count next year,” Crawford said.
Neither outside dance or gymnastics is a California Interscholastic Federation sport. When these sports stop counting, all outside athletes will have to either take PE or participate in a CIF-approved sport.
“Physical education is something that is done at school and just like every other class has state standards,” Crawford said.
In some out-of-school sports, Crawford says, the standards may not be met. “If we let outside sports count then people would start wanting PE credits for walking their dog,” Crawford said.
Some athletes feel differently. Junior Daniel Bair is a gymnast at Davis Diamonds, a gym whose athletes receive credits for ILS.
“We practice twice as long as some high school sports. It’s extremely time consuming,” Bair said.
This is the first year that club gymnastics has been counted for ILS hours. “For us to get hours, the parents and gym owners petitioned,” Bair said.
Gymnastics and dance are both physically demanding sports.
“Gymnastics is one of the toughest and physically and mentally extreme sports out there. Gymnasts spend a lot of time outside of school […] in the gym, conditioning and training their skills,” former competitive gymnast sophomore Anna Young said.
“I don’t think it should be a question that gymnastics should be part of ILS,” Young added.
While gymnastics has been considered for ILS, dance has not, as it is not a CIF sport and is not on a waiver.
English is a sophomore at DHS and a dancer at Pamela Trokanski Dance, where she has been dancing since she was four.
“I’m [dancing] less this year because I have to take seven periods to fill my PE [requirement] because dance doesn’t count,” English said.
English used to dance up to 20 hours a week, but now has seven periods and can not fit that into her schedule.
“Dancers are some of the strongest people. They put in so much time outside of school dancing and training and I definitely consider dance a sport,” Young said.