Private, public dance groups battle for student participation

Kutztown’s Extra Curricular Committee meeting centered on a conflict between private and public dance institutions.

Representatives of both Kutztown High School’s Twirling Team and Rhythm in Motion Dance Company, of Kutztown, were present to discuss student participation and interest within their respective outlets. Issues have arisen over Rhythm in Motion’s recent influx of participants, and the high school’s subsequent decline in twirlers.

“A lot of our [twirling] coaches have left,” said school board member Randy Burch during the committee meeting Monday at Kutztown High School. “A lot of our students left as a result of that. Those in charge are doing the best they can, but we have seen a drop in numbers in the twirling team.”

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Primary concerns revolved around the fact that Rhythm in Motion has been renting practice space for its dancers within the school’s gymnasium. Some committee members felt that Rhythm in Motion’s presence within the school has swayed the school’s dancers to leave in favor of the private company.

“I am not sure why this is a problem now,” said Rhythm in Motion owner and director, Kelly Corman. “I pay for the space, and have done so for the last six years. It was never an issue until now, and I’m a little concerned by that. In the end, it is up to the parents and students to decide where [the students] would like to compete. They are going to have two options regardless of where we practice.”

Spokespeople of the Kutztown’s twirling team expressed worry over the program’s continued dissolution. Currently, the team barely has enough dancers to officially compete.

“Walk the streets of Kutztown on a Friday or Saturday night and tell me how many things are out there for kids to do,” said community member Alan Angstadt. “They have nothing to do. We need to give them more opportunities within the community regardless of where they are.”

“I agree that we need to stay focused on what is best for the students,” said Burch. “Hopefully, next year our [team’s] numbers will jump back up and we can avoid any further issues.”

Board members were unable to take action in favor of either party. The matter remains a pending policy issue.