Bringing back the arts

Color Guard, Dance Team and drumline were the first performing arts organizations to have the option to return to campus for in-person rehearsals Monday, Nov. 2. 

Along with sports teams, performing arts organizations are meeting at designated outdoor areas on campus to hold practices. Since only a limited number of students are allowed on campus at a time, to reserve times and keep track of the number of students at the school at any given time, each organization signs up for however many days the groups need for each week.

“There are some things you just can’t do online. Many of the performing arts are team and competition oriented just like athletics,” instructional dean for visual and fine arts Marta Dibell said. “By allowing small cohorts, we are giving life back to these groups and providing the opportunity to be prepared for a competition season should one become available in spring.” 

Each organization has split up its members into cohorts of up to 12 students, with one coach or adviser handling the instruction of each group. Every group must only practice and interact with each other, still remaining at distances of six to eight feet apart. This is to ensure that if a case of COVID-19 were to occur, it would be easy to track and limit the spread, and activities could continue for other groups unafflicted by the virus. 

“There was a student survey that was sent out at the beginning of the school year and a lot of kids said in the survey ‘I miss my friends,’ ‘I miss being on campus,’ ‘I miss interacting with others,” principal Ryan Maine said. “We want to do anything in our ability just to give kids something. We want to give kids that do want to leave their house [the chance to] be able to get out for 90 minutes.”

At this time, it is still uncertain whether other organizations will also be allowed to return to campus, or if the Los Angeles County Department of Health will make alterations to the guidelines  following changes to the situation of the pandemic. Students do not have to attend the in-person practices and will not be penalized in terms of grades or involvement for not being able to participate with the groups that are meeting on campus. 

“[In-person practices are] an opportunity for students to interact with others live and in-person rather than over a video screen,” Dibell said. “It gives hope that we will eventually return to normalcy.” 

By Natalie Cheng, Arts editor
Photo by Sherlene Su