The quarterback scores a touchdown and the marching band begins to play the fight song as the Mob erupts in celebration. The cheer team cheers and does push ups. At the same time, the dance team dances in front of the marching band away from the Mob and crowd.
The Virginia High School League (VHSL) recognizes dance team as a club instead of a sport, such as cheerleading.
“I guess it’s not really a big thing, but it is something we acknowledge,” dance team member and senior Giannie Ruth said.
Ruth said the placement of the dance team reflects Marshall’s opinion on their significance.
“I guess, in a way, it’s the school telling us where our place is,” Ruth said. “We’re not as important, so we’re gonna dance in front of the marching band.”
Dance team member and senior Audrey Farrand said people tend to overlook dance team due to VHSL not recognizing them as a sport.
“We don’t get a lot of the same treatment as sports teams do, so a lot of people tend to overlook that we have to abide by sports rules, but actually aren’t considered a sport,” Farrand said.
Farrand said because FCPS recognizes dance as a sport, they must abide by certain sports rules due to the county’s policy on dance teams.
“Sometimes it just gets hard,” Farrand said. “There’s like this grey area where we have to abide by certain sports rules, but at the same time we’re still a club.”
Dance team member and junior Ella Whitehouse said because VHSL recognizes dance team as a club, they must pay for all their gear through fundraisers compared to other sports who have boosters.
“I do think it’s unfair that dance team isn’t considered a sport because we compete for the school,” Whitehouse said. “We also don’t get funded by boosters so we have to set up fundraisers for our uniforms, poms, nationals and everything we need for the year.”
Whitehouse said the dance team often has problems finding a place to practice due to their recognition.
“We also don’t have a designated practice space and other sports get first pick before us,” Whitehouse said.
Ruth said while dance team has more practice space in the gym this year, the given area is not enough.
“I do know the dance team has brought up practice space, but nothing has really been done about it this year,” Ruth said. “We have more practice space in the gym, […] but we do still end up practicing in the cafeteria sometimes.”