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Dixon High Dancers Vie to Become a Sports Team

During the last meeting of the DUSD Board of Education, the dance team presented its case to the board to become a team sport at Dixon High School.

The Dance Team has performed at basketball games, rallies and special shows at the school and now they want to take it to the next level.

The girls from the popular dance club at DHS and their advisor, Penny Solano, are seeking to become a team sport and compete with other schools throughout the region at dance competitions.

On Thursday, Solano and the girls' parents addressed the Dixon Unified School District’s Board of Education, pleading their case to turn the club into a sport.

“Currently we are a club however, but we feel … that we would like to be a team for a number of reasons,” Solano told the board.

Solano told the board that becoming a team would grant the girls PE credit, would give the school a team sport that neighboring high schools have in place and would ensure that dance becomes a tradition at the school should Solano be unable to volunteer as the club’s advisor.

“We started last year, so we are in our second year,” Solano said. “All of the funds that we have used to do things, we have raised them ourselves. This is a self-sufficient team.”

Solano said that the 17 girls on the dance team spend and average of six hours a week honing their dance skills. She said the girls practice year-round and often place their involvement in the club on their college applications.

“By having this … this gives us something that a lot of other schools are offering that we are currently not offering,” Solano said, adding that Vacaville and Davis high schools currently offer dance as a team sport. “Their dance teams are a sport, they are not a club. As a club, anybody can walk on and off when they want. We want to follow the sports education code. We want them to commit. It’s really hard to have a club where people are walking on and off.”

When Board member Gil Pinon asked Solano if the club would run alongside DHS’ Cheer Team Solano said: “It’s very similar to cheer, but usually you do it (dance) during basketball season. It’s ran similar but it does different things. We don’t do stunts, we do more dancing, we do more kick lines, we don’t do the chanting.”

Solano pointed out that another major difference is the cost of cheerleading. She said it’s less expensive to dance.

“Cheerleader is very expensive,” Solano said.  “These parents can tell you they’ve spent (a lot). This is something they can afford. But it is similar. We do have a season and we do perform at those games.”

Interim Superintendent Brian Dolan said that the board and everyone involved in the dance club would have to consider that should the board decide to turn the dance club into a team sport, the coaching position would first need to be offered to certificated employees.

But second-grade teacher Colette Irvine, who herself has daughters on the dance team, told the board that she has been assisting Solano in helping the club become a sport and said she would be happy to apply for the position should it become available.

Solano said that having the position offered to certificated employees is not a problem for her.

“I don’t want it to be about me,” she told the board. “I don’t want it to be about the girls who are involved (now). I want it to be for the future of the high school.”

Many of the girls’ parents were in attendance during the Thursday meeting held within the chambers of the Dixon City Council. Some of them addressed the board.

“This team is terrific,” Dixon resident Michelle Robinson told the board. “There are some kids that can’t play football, basketball, softball, all of that, but they excel at dancing. We do need to act on this quickly. I know they are scheduling classes shortly and some of these girls are juniors.”

“Why not give out students more opportunities and more choice?” Dixon resident Carlos Augusto asked the board. “I would really like the board to consider making this a sport. Our dance team have proven themselves, they have a passion for it, they do a great job.”

Since the item was not on the agenda, and the commentary was made during the public comments section of the board meeting, the board vowed to bring the topic back up for discussion and possible action during its May 4 meeting.

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Bret Wedow April 23, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Yes! Yes! Yes! These girls work very hard and really bring DHS to the level other high schools in the area are at ( OK Better :)
Korie Robinson April 23, 2012 at 08:43 PM
The dance team (or pep squad as it was called back in Sally Adams' day) was always a sport and a part of the cheerleading program at Dixon High School until 1997 when there were not enough girls interested in dance to fulfill a team. Coaches tried to bring dance back in the mid 2000s but the interest was still quite low with only a handful of girls participating. As a former dancer, cheerleader and coach, I say If there is interest then there is no doubt that this should be an athletic program. These girls work hard and their performances are very impressive! From what I've seen on the sidelines the last two years, the coaches are organized and the program has proven to be successful.
Maggie April 24, 2012 at 04:30 AM
The Dance Team should definately be considered a sport especially since Band is considered a sport and students get P.E. credits for it.

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