- The team number was reduced to 18
- Every girl who tried out from the middle-class middle school made the team
- No girls from my low-income school made the team
- One girl from the other low-income middle school made the team
- Girls trying out were required to put their middle school on their try-out form.
I’m not trying to make it sound like racism–one of the girls from our team who tried out was white. I’m sure that at least one of the girls who made it was black. It’s more about classism. The girls who made the team probably had about a million more dance lessons than our kids could ever afford. I’m pretty sure our girls have a different "style" than the girls from the other schools.
Here’s what hacks me (and some others) off: Would it have killed them to take the top 22 girls even if some of them weren’t as good as the ones from the other school? Surely, the freshman squad, which performs approximately four times a year, wouldn’t be completely destroyed by some girls with a little less dance training.
Cheerleading try-outs went a similar way–the squad was twelve. Eleven of them came from the middle-class school, one came from my school, and none were selected from the other low-income school. But, they did fill the squad rather than cutting it off early.
Just give our girls a chance! Once they’re old enough to make their own money or fundraise they can go to camps too! They can be taught! But, if you never give them a chance, you just reinforce the idea that the world is against them. I hope the freshman dance team is worth crushing these little girls spirits. Somehow, I don’t think it will be.