By Scarlett Constand ’16 | Opinion Editor
At South’s Senior Honors Night on Thursday, May 17, I left feeling discontented and irritated. Through the hours the other seniors and I sat in the auditorium, countless athletic awards were handed out. A number of football scholarships, lacrosse awards, swimming plaques, etc, etc. I felt like every sport was honored except one: show choir.
Show choir is a sport. It’s emotionally stressful, physically taxing, extremely time-consuming and yet incredibly rewarding. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t do show choir. It’s disgustingly emotional and cliché, but true. I don’t hesitate in saying that show choir is my life. Or at least it was.
When I tell people I’m in South’s choir, they are ignorant and dismissive of the meaning of my words. People brush choir off as a standing-in-place, sissy class taken for an easy A. They don’t get it. We practice through rain, shine and also gas leaks. That takes a hell of a lot of dedication.
Show choir is not for the weak or faint-hearted. People get injured and ill, and sometimes perform through the pain. This year at our competition at Bishop Luers High School, a member of the Pointe Singers was physically sick, but they insisted they go onstage and compete with the rest of the group. They made it through every song without getting sick on stage. It was a miracle. It made things perfectly clear that none of us work so courageously and passionately all year for nothing. When we put that kind of work in, we get results, just like other sports.
Most sports have seasons lasting a couple months, but show choir is a full-time, year-long commitment. It’s not a one-and-done thing. If you join show choir, you’re in it for the long haul.
Show choir, especially varsity choirs Tower Belles and Pointe Singers, spend countless hours rehearsing during and after school, including some weekends. During the weeks leading up to events, like competition, the groups may rehearse for five hours after school every day. We’re drilled by our beloved choreographer and director, and we push each other to the brink. All of this trial and tribulation pushes us to reach our goals. Giving up is not an option.
I don’t understand the lack of recognition show choir receives. We meet every criteria of a sport, even that of receiving varsity letters. We aren’t, however, allowed to join South’s Varsity Club, which focuses on student athletes performing community service. Show choir receives varsity letters just like every other sport, but I’m confused as to why we aren’t allowed into Varsity Club. We all earn letters, so we should all be able to join. Oh well, hopefully future classes will have the opportunity to volunteer for the club.
Fortunately, show choir already has many events focused on helping and servicing our community. We carol at nursing homes and boat clubs, put together and deliver everyone’s favorite Little Blue Book every year, sing and dance for the Mothers’ Club and Men’s Garden Club and perform with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra every year. There are so many other events, but I can’t recall them. What can I say? Show choir is an overly active organization. We just have so much love to spread and share.
But anyway, show choir is more than deserving of the recognition other sports receive. We’re as much of student athletes as other sports, if not more. If people actually knew how hard we work, they’d be surprised. But with work comes plenty of play, coming the form of class, rehearsal and of course the shows we perform. Also, no other sport can say that they travel to foreign countries. If that isn’t impressive, I don’t know what is, honestly.
From now on, choir should be called show choir, because that’s the true definition of the class. We sing music with juxtaposing styles, and drill cardio-like dances from our competition sets until they’re ingrained in our very souls.
Show choir is a sport, but it’s also a way of life. We’re a team that sweats, sleeps, cries, laughs, bleeds and loves together. We get a lot of flack that we don’t deserve, and we fight for respect and recognition every day.
I wish I could keep the fight going with my show choir family, but I know we’re all moving on to greater experiences with new paths to explore. It was fun while it lasted, peace out show choir.