Clubs sidelined amid complaints of taking spotlight
Clubs and non-athletic organizations, including the DIVA Dancers, are no longer permitted to perform in pep rallies because of complaints that the pep rallies did not spotlight athletes, according to Athletic Director Dale Miller. Plans are in progress for alternative programs in which clubs can perform.
Last school year's spring pep rally signaled to Miller that a change needed to be made, he said. He believes the focus of the pep rally was taken off of Blair's athletes when several clubs—including the DIVA Dancers, step team and break-dancing club— performed. "I didn't have a problem with the DIVAs getting on the floor and showing what they can do, but [the event] changed from a pep rally to a talent show," said Miller.
Principal Phillip Gainous also opposed having the DIVA Dancers perform in the pep rallies. "The DIVAs work hard, and they've been doing a good job of representing our school. But they take away the time that should be focused on the athletes," Gainous said.
According to Gainous, he was pulled into the issue when several DIVAs confronted him about their scheduled performance time.
A meeting was held Oct 28 to discuss whether the DIVAs should be allowed to participate in the Nov 2 pep rally. Gainous, Miller, DIVA sponsor Kryss Lacovaro and SGA sponsors Rondai Ravilious and Julia Smrek all attended. According to Lacovaro, she was the only faculty member in the meeting who felt strongly that DIVAs should be allowed to perform in the pep rally.
The DIVAs objected not only to being barred from the pep rally but also to the manner in which the decision was announced. Junior Carmen Canavan remembered being told three days prior to the pep rally that the DIVAs could not perform.
The recent decision confused junior Diane Mba, who is captain of the step team and a DIVA. "If they had time for us before, why not now? I don't see the difference," she said.
Although DIVAs and other clubs are not scheduled to participate in any future pep rallies, alternative performances are being planned. According to Ravilious, the SGA plans to hold a talent show in January in which the DIVAs and other groups will be able to perform.
Lacovaro is trying to put together a dance invitational to showcase Blair's different dance clubs. She also maintains a positive attitude toward the situation. "I would love for my girls to be in the pep rally. But we're not, so we need to move on and just know that the student body supports us," said Lacovaro.
Colby Chapman. Colby Chapman is a junior page editor and sports writer for Silver Chips. She plays basketball and runs track for Blair, and she plays the piano as well. She is very committed to her academics but takes great pride in her athletics. More »