Opinion: We need more Performing Arts Classes

More theater and dance classes would broaden student options and horizons

By Laci Willette, Staff Writer
Source: Creative Commons

Sanford High School has many great visual art and music programs offered as electives, as well as after-school activities like Art Club and Theater Club. However, what if you wanted to take a dance class at Sanford High School, or maybe even more performing art classes during the day, we do not currently have an equal amount of options. We need more performing art classes at SHS so students can continue exploring our creativity and finding new ways to express ourselves.

Personally, as an artsy kid, I would love to have more theater or improvisation classes to take during the day in addition to the visual art classes offered. Joining Theater Club is a great opportunity, but not all of us have after-school availability or maybe we lack the confidence to dive right in. Offering more opportunities to try performing arts during the day could allow us to push outside our comfort zones and offer additional opportunities to students who might not enjoy visual arts, but could fall in love with performing arts.

One main reason more classes during the day are needed is because of after-school availability (or lack there-of). Some students may need to work right after school or would not have transportation if they couldn’t take the bus. So, if a student is hoping to be involved in drama, but can’t after school, there are not many in-school alternatives.

Additionally, offering classes during the day provides more opportunities for students who may otherwise not be able to access this kind of exposure to performing arts. For example, if a student struggles financially and can not take a personal dance class, but really want to learn how to dance, we should be able to offer that opportunity. Sure, some may argue that they can watch YouTube videos, however, that does not always work for people and will not have the same collaborative studio environment that student hopes to achieve. If we had a dance class though, maybe students would love to sign up for it.

Performing Arts classes add more versatility and variety to our days, not to mention a transcript. More art electives allow us to better explore our passions or could serve as a much-needed academic break during the day. If a student wants to take an art elective but does not find themselves interested in the visual arts, more performing arts options could better appeal to student interests and expose them to more options. Not to mention, performing arts classes can help students work on other important skills such as public speaking.

I understand that art programs are not for everyone and not all may feel the same way I do. In the past, perhaps these numbers were low, but we now have a state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center and two fantastic experts in the field: Mr. Brett Williams and Mrs. Kristie Baker, which could bring numbers back up. Additionally, some people might believe that being required to take an art class could lower student interest to partake, especially if a student didn’t want to do it in the first place. While that is a valid argument, it also has another solution: make these classes electives (and, if they stay around, enrichments).

Other students argue that as we grow older, we lose creativity and motivation. That is not always the case. I know many students personally who have so much creativity and they want ways of expressing it. Offering more art opportunities can help fuel passions that last us a lifetime.

Now, with all that new information, that’s why we need more art programs to offer here at Sanford High School due to the lack of art programs that students may but can not take.
Perhaps, we could open up more classrooms and make them into dance studios, such as the wrestling room or PAC, offer more theater classes, and find the teachers to teach those classes. By making these classes electives, it allows more student choice and opportunity – especially for students who aren’t able to get into the SRTC programs or join activities after school.

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