Performing arts should have winter tryouts


Photo Illustration by Savannah Athy-Sedbrook

Members of the cheer team, dance team and colorguard perform their routines for basketball season. Each team practiced several times a week to prepare.

Pom poms shaking, jazz shoes squeaking, flags whipping through the air. Cheer, dance, colorguard. Students in these performing arts  execute routines at football games, basketball games and more.  

All of these groups’ seasons start in the summer and run until the winter. The cheer season ends with the wrestling season in March if wrestlers compete in the state tournament. The colorguard season ends with the winterguard season in January, and the dance team ends its season with the basketball season in March if the teams make it to state. Due to their seasons running so long, some students simply cannot participate because of another sport or activity that takes place at the same time. Performing arts should have a second set of tryouts in the winter.

If tryouts were also held in the winter, they would have the opportunity to involve a more diverse variety of people. It would also allow them to have different formations, more options for routines and just more options in general with their performances.

Having more people on the teams would introduce different skill sets rather than just having the small group that can participate throughout the year. Some people may have prior experience in all three groups, but be dedicated to another sport which gives them scholarship opportunities to a school they are invested in. They may also enjoy the sport they are involved in just as much or even more than cheer, dance or guard. Not everyone has the ability to dedicate their time year-round, but that does not mean the option to be on the team should not be offered to them at all. 

By having colorguard experience myself, I know there would be fear of setting back the rest of the team by adding new members who may not be as skilled. However, adding a controlled amount of newbies to the team could provide more one-on-one time and give returning people the chance to help new members catch up. A weekend camp to learn technical skills could prove beneficial if this is a fear. After a few years of these winter tryouts, hopefully most of the people trying out would have been participating for at least a year and would no longer be new to the team.

Obviously, there would be bumps in the road and a system would have to be figured out, but overall, I think there would be more benefit to having winter tryouts, and it would be worth the effort.