Column: Dancers without answers

Lillian Davis, Reporter

A seven hour school day, seven classes, one to three hours of dance, and a 25-minute study hall to get homework done? 

Junior and senior year are no doubt more difficult and time consuming than freshman or sophomore year. Between SAT/ACT testing, college applications, AP classes, and sports/clubs, it’s a lot.

All sports at LT are given athletic study halls during junior and senior year to recognize the time student athletes spend outside of school practicing each day. 

However, there are some exceptions to “all sports.” For example, the varsity hockey team at LT doesn’t get an athletic study hall because hockey in Illinois is considered a “club,” not a sport. 

I can relate to this struggle being a part of the Eurythmic Dance Company since we are another group at LT that is a part of this exception. 

Eurythmics is typically made up of mostly juniors and seniors and is considered a varsity level dance company. Although, yes, Eurythmics is a club and we don’t dance to compete, we practice just like any other varsity team would. We have rehearsal time slots every day of the week after school running from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

Another thing to consider is that for most of the dancers at LT, (on Poms or Eurythmics) our daily dancing doesn’t just end once practice is over. Most of us take dance classes and/or compete outside of LT year round, making our after school hours fill up. Being a part of the Eurythmics Dance Company requires dancers to already have the skills and technique coming into the season. It’s expected of dancers to continue dancing outside of Poms or Eurythmics to keep up technique as there isn’t time during the season to work on anything other than learning choreography. 

For me, my studio classes over the past few years have been anywhere from an hour to two and a half hours long on school nights, after already dancing for two hours at school. This has made it exhausting to get my homework done on school nights. Studio dance requires a lot of weekend commitments as well, including competitions, dance showcases, and long rehearsals. 

Wake up, go to school, practice, dance class, eat dinner, work on homework, go to bed. It’s a non-stop cycle and I can never seem to catch a break. I like staying busy, but sometimes it becomes too much and I never get enough sleep. Sometimes I catch myself fighting to stay awake in classes because of the lack of sleep I get. 

An athletic study hall doesn’t feel like too much to ask for. Forty minutes a day to relax and work on homework. 

The tricky thing about this decision is that it’s not up to the LT. Which sports and clubs LT is allowed to offer an athletic study hall to is all controlled by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). All sports or groups that compete under IHSA at LT are approved to have an athletic study hall. Since Eurythmics doesn’t compete under IHSA, we would have to be a special exception to this rule. Although LT can’t give us a study hall replacing gym class, there are other accommodations that can be made to help with this problem. Longer study halls implemented into students’ schedules could help those without athletic study halls as well as other students balancing busy schedules.