The Sport of Show Choir

A WSS Intern in West High Show Choirs explains why she thinks her passion is and should be considered a sport.

The+women+of+Iowa+City+West%E2%80%99s+prep+show+choir%2C+Showtime%2C+perform+the+girls%E2%80%99+song+of+their+2018+show+on+Saturday%2C+February+17+at+the+Great+River+Show+Choir+Invitational+in+Davenport%2C+Iowa.+
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The Sport of Show Choir

The women of Iowa City West’s prep show choir, Showtime, perform the girls’ song of their 2018 show on Saturday, February 17 at the Great River Show Choir Invitational in Davenport, Iowa.

The women of Iowa City West’s prep show choir, Showtime, perform the girls’ song of their 2018 show on Saturday, February 17 at the Great River Show Choir Invitational in Davenport, Iowa.

Avery Carneol

The women of Iowa City West’s prep show choir, Showtime, perform the girls’ song of their 2018 show on Saturday, February 17 at the Great River Show Choir Invitational in Davenport, Iowa.

Avery Carneol

Avery Carneol

The women of Iowa City West’s prep show choir, Showtime, perform the girls’ song of their 2018 show on Saturday, February 17 at the Great River Show Choir Invitational in Davenport, Iowa.

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Check out that show choir kid. That’s her, shuffling sleepy-eyed to the school bus at 6:30 am. A duffel bag filled with makeup and undergarments slung on her shoulder weighing her down, just like the nerves of performing later that day. She slouches into the cold hard bus seat, seeing her own breath in the dark as she sighs in a desperate attempt to sleep. Yep, it’s competition season.

For those in show choir, this experience is all too familiar. That’s just the start of long days at competitions, arriving back home 20 hours later—way longer than a typical basketball game. By the time everyone gets on the bus to return home that night, nobody can speak from all of the singing and cheering all day, nor do they want to out of complete exhaustion. After performing, drinking an entire bottle of water in one chug and eating an entire plate of food by yourself is easy— and very enjoyable, I might add. Performing in show choir from an outsider’s perspective may look easy enough, but it truly is harder than it looks, and it is just as hard as any other sport.

¨I think it is a sport because in order for for it to be a sport you have to be committed, and they practice a lot, go to competitions, and work hard. Doing activity and movement and things you wouldn’t do everyday, and put a lot of energy into it as well. ”

— Catie Miller ’20

It all begins in August before school starts with choreography camp. The best way to sum it up is three days of hell. For eight to 10 hours each day it is a constant workout of dancing and learning our show. ¨The next day I could barely move,¨ said Diego Rivera ’19 of Showtime. Emily Hill ’20, another member of Showtime, agrees. ¨Everything hurts and I’m dying. I went home and like, immediately stretched because last year I nearly DIED.¨ In those three days, we learn our entire show then practice that every Thursday after school for three hours from the start of August up until the end of February. Similar to other sports, it is a big time commitment and lots of time is spent practicing.

All of it is to get us into preparation for competition season, with a few other shows in between such as our Winter and Spring Swing shows. Each practice is for the purpose of bettering the entire group as a whole and fixing our mistakes together. It’s all about being part of a team and for the good of the group. It’s exactly like a sports team because it is.

The question has been raised before of whether show choir should be considered a sport. In order to answer this question, we need to know, what exactly is a sport? According to the dictionary, a sport is ¨an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.¨ Let’s break it down- physical exertion? Check. Post performance, everyone is huffing and puffing, leaning on each other for support from exhaustion. Even during rehearsals you can’t help but break a sweat. Next- a team? Definitely. Each year, everyone in show choir grows very close and it’s almost like our own big family sharing the same love for singing and dancing. We also work together to better ourselves as well as benefit the entire group. Lastly- competition? Saved the best for last.

The thing about competitions is they are really cool because you get to show so many people from other schools what you’ve worked on all year, and see a bunch of shows from other schools as well. All of these people with a love for the same thing as you is also a really cool experience while competing. So yes, by definition show choir is a sport and that’s what I believe to be true. The question is, what do you think- should show choir be considered a sport?

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