Save the dance program at Lester B. Pearson High School

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The administration at Lester B. Pearson High School announced that they'll be cancelling the school's dance program for the 2017-2018 school year, with no information of whether it'll be brought back in the future. This brings the school's regular dance classes and it's extra-curricular clubs, Nerd Club and Patriot Dance Troupe, to an end.

The explanation behind this decision has been that due to the decreasing student population in the school in result of the new high school in Calgary, the school has to cut one of our programs and dance was chosen.

Through this petition, Lester B. Pearson students, dancers and supporters express the dire importance of why the dance program shouldn't be cancelled.

The students are confused as to why our program was chosen to be cut as dance has been a well-known course and hasn't lost its popularity at all in the past years, considering the trend in students registered is consistent. The problem doesn't seem to lie in the school budget, as courses that are evidently more unpopular are being kept and even new programs are being introduced. Our main goal is for administration to realize there's a bigger picture inside our community that their decision is affecting.

Pearson's dance community has always been the welcoming home to many curious students who begin to develop interests in the art due to the program's accessibility. A vast majority of the students who attend the program are NE Calgary residents that don't have the luxury of pursuing dance outside of school, and so Pearson's community becomes their niche. The dance classes allow them to receive lessons on various genres while receiving credits, and the extra curricular clubs give them competition and performance opportunities they wouldn't be able to experience otherwise. Even if these resources could be considered as being limited compared to larger dance programs, the students are driven purely by their passion and love for dance to work hard. They demonstrate exponential growth and graduate high school with intentions to keep dance as a key part of their lifestyle, or even make it their career. 

The significance of the dance program doesn't only lie in the fact that it's the students' sole environment to nurture their passion; dance is also their emotional outlet. While many students are focused on increasing their skill set, some join dance simply because it’s the world’s best stress reliever. In a stressful and demanding environment like high school, growing teenagers can only handle so much of the academic pressure with their changing bodies and minds. The best feat about Pearson’s dance community is how open it is - because dancers never judge others based on skills. They empathize with each other and strive for growth together, whether it’s physical, emotional or social. No one leaves saying dance was a waste of time.

The CBE says it values the student voice. Our voices shout to tell you that by taking out the dance program, a part of Pearson’s social fabric is being torn away and a close, familial community is being shut down. Give students the space to learn, and they’ll create opportunities for themselves. But if you take that space away, its potential going to waste.

Save LBP Dance.                           



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