Hip Hop seeks recognition as a sport

Hip Hop hopes to join Cheer, Flags, and Drill in counting for PE credit

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by Courtesy Anna Chang

Shorewood Varsity Hip Hop captains hold the 2nd place trophy their team won at Edmonds Woodway High School earlier this school year. They also qualified for districts with more points than they have ever received.

by Kate Grutz, staff

The Hip Hop team performs in the gym earlier this year (by courtesy of Wesley Joo)

A full length mirror lines the nearest wall, music is booming on a speaker, and athletes are trickling in for the beginning of practice.

This is the scene you’d be met with if you attended Shorewood Hip Hop’s practices any day after school. The Hip Hop team puts in hours of tiring work every week and practice year round but are often not thought of as a sport.

Sophomore Sophie Apple participates in practices for both varsity and JV, meaning that she dances for 10 hours every week. Apple reported that she attempted to get some of her PE graduation requirements waived.

“I went to the counselor and I asked if I could get half a credit waved and she said it would most likely be declined,” she said. This is because a lot of people do not view Hip Hop as a sport. Apple is upset that her year-round physical activity isn’t being counted as a physical activity credit. “I’m putting so much time and effort into it and they’re not giving me my credit,” Apple said.

Those who participate in sports at Shorewood–including Cheer, Flags and Drill–are eligible for one semester of gym to be waived due to participation in sports. One of the captains of the hip hop team, senior Wesley Joo, feels that Hip Hop deserves more recognition as a sport.

“We are past the phase of Shorewood Hip Hop being a club and we wish to be recognized as another performance team full of active individuals,” Joo said.

The hip hop team practices year-round and most members practice between six and 10 hours, about three to five days a week. These hours of practice tower over those of almost all other sports at Shorewood. Sophomore Ava Mirante had a different case than that of Apple. Mirante was told that she would only be allowed a half credit at most. She was annoyed to say the least. “We practice year-long and most sports are just a quarter,” Mirante said. This means that hip hop practices almost three times more than most other sports teams at Shorewood. On top of practices, Shorewood Hip Hop also puts on events in order to get more people interested in dance.

The Hip Hop team often hosts Dance Days which is where students are taught short routines by members of the team. These routines are often hard to pick up for the average student and tires the participants out quickly. Many of the attendees of Dance Day also belong to other sports teams.

Dance Day always draws in a sizable number of participants and is said to be a great workout. Joo said he appreciates the participants who come and he usually teaches a routine. “Dance is an art form that requires both physical and mental stress,” he said.

Joo adds: “When some of Shorewood’s finest athletes come to our Dance Day, it validates my point even more. People are sweating and struggling to get to the final product.”