Physicality of show choir makes petition for PE credit valid


The petition started by freshman Ada Kirchoff has been electronically signed by supporters.

Madeline Melton

The definition of a sport is any activity involving physical exertion in which a team or individual  competes for others enjoyment and entertainment. Some would argue that competitive dance could fit under this category.  

Freshman Ada Kirchoff believes show choir should fit under this category. 

Under the NC core curriculum, physical education is required for students to take in order to graduate. Students must receive at least two P.E. credits. Students have the choice to participate in summer gym, P.E., or JROTC during the school day, or marching band, Pantherettes, cheerleading, or any other sport of their choice as an extracurricular. 

Marching band and Pantherettes, which meet outside of school hours, fall under the category of a performing art and are considered to be a P.E. credit. Show choir classes, however, are not. Kirchoff found this to be unfair and decided to do something about it. 

Kirchoff created a petition that raised awareness for this debatable issue. In doing so, Kirchoff  has spread awareness through social media and the community, leading the petition to receive 322 signatures and attention from the board. Kirchoff voiced her concerns and talked about her motivation to speak out, along with her determination for show choir to be considered a P.E. credit. 

Participants in show choir meet each day for class, with an additional two to three rehearsals outside of school per week. Show choir consists of intense cardio and high-level dance ability, as well as being able to manage breath control while performing. Kirchoff believes that is the reason show choir should be considered a gym credit, due to the physical demands. Kirchoff also acknowledges that if this was to become a sports credit it could help kids who struggle with basic levels of athleticism. 

“Me personally I have a condition with my knees and it’s hard for me to do a lot more standard P.E. things, but I am able to work with dancing. I want to be able to earn a credit by not having to do a sport or a P.E. credit, but to earn it by doing something that I enjoy” Kirchoff said. 

With all the support the petition has received throughout the first week, there has been some negativity and uncertainty. For peers who don’t think show choir should be considered a gym credit Kirchoff, has some words of advice. 

“To those people, I would say go watch Descants and Counterpoints and see what they are actually doing and how much work they put in. If they still don’t get it, then try to think about how much dancing like that is not just some basic cardio, it’s really difficult. It’s not something that everybody can do, it takes a lot of practice and training” Kirchoff said. 

As a show choir participant myself, along with having the knowledge and experience of doing this extracurricular activity for four years, I stand with what Kirchoff is attempting to achieve and that show choir fits under this type of credit because of the physical demands the activity brings. Show choir practices last for several hours, as much as a basketball or football practice, and during these practices students are physically moving their bodies. Show choir includes intense cardio and high level dance abilities, not to mention voice training and breath control while managing physically demanding dance routines. I can testify to the hard work I have put into show choir practices and performances and have experienced physical achievements from participating in show choir. I have felt stronger and have come closer to my athletic goals from show choir.