Student suggestions for a new and safe Spirit Week
Spirit Week at American High School is one of the most highly regarded weeks at school. While the thrill of rushing through the rotunda to chant for your class and showing off impressive stunts may excite the audience, should some safety precautions be taken to ensure the safety of performers and other students?
The intricate sets, which give each class a spotlight, block the pathways leading to student lockers. Some lockers are hidden behind the sets and cause students to go out of their way to gain access to lockers. On top of that, morning ralliers are also making their way around the rotunda screaming and chanting, creating a difficulty for students to walk through the dense crowd. This can be unsafe since students and ralliers are fighting and shoving through the same space.
Morning rally is not the only location where space is extremely limited. During the lunch rally, bleachers are overcrowded with enthusiatic students to support their fellow classmates, creating a restricted area for performers.
“Students who have their lockers around sets find it very difficult to get to their locker in the morning due to the large crowds pushing through,” said Claire Del Rosario (12). She suggests an illuminated pathway to be specifically cut out for morning ralliers only. This way students who need to get to lockers will not get into each other’s way.
“It was really hard changing from one costume to another, I did not even get to fully put on my costume for my second dance,” said Krystal Huang (11).
Usually Spirit Week performers participate in more than just one dance. This requires them to undergo multiple costume changes throughout the entire performance. They might look amazing in the center of the gym floor; however, the process to change into those costumes are frantic.
The only place to change is in the back of the gym, behind the basketball hoop. Spread all over the floor are backpacks, costumes, and props which creates a mess of an area for people to scurry through between dances. This can be a safety hazard since every performer is trying to slip in and out of outfits in less than a minute everytime.
“There isn’t enough time for performers to change between dances…people can trip over objects and each other,” explains Alyssa Nguyen (11), a participant of multiple dances. She suggests for a designated area for performers to put backpacks and personal items instead of having it crowd the walkways.
To make performances more intriguing and to achieve an abundance of crowd involvement, breathtaking skills are being put to the test. Even with much preparation and training, accidents can still occur. During the Juniors’ performance during the night rally Arnav Gupta, an experienced gymnast, got severely injured during the tumbling scene in the skit.
The skill that he was trying to execute was basically second nature to him since “I have been doing that skill for probably over 4 years,” said Gupta “I have never gotten hurt doing it so I didn’t expect anything to happen.” Believing that this trick can augment the overall performance for his class, he agreed to do it with no doubt.
Gupta hopes that in the future these impressive stunts can still remain an integral part of Spirit Week performances. Some advice that he gives to future tumblers is to “focus before you tumble and [do] not rush or feel pressured to do something different because of the situation.” To make sure that tumbling in the future will be safer, he suggests for a thin mat to be placed during any risky skills to avoid any major injuries.
“I don’t want to be the reason people stop doing these amazing tricks, they should still do them to enhance their Spirit Week performances,” said Arnav Gupta (11).
Caption: Arnav tumbles across the gym the floor showcasing his round-off backhand spring backflip during the Juniors’ Spirit Week rally as the audience cheers in awe when the skill is executed. “That trick is pretty easy for me, and I thought it would add to the performance and energy,” said Arnav Gupta (11).