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ACGC officials considering making dance line an official sport

GROVE CITY -- With a room full of young women looking on, the case was made Monday to make dance line an official winter sport in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District.

The board did not take action on the request but will take it up at a later date.

Since it began four years ago, the junior varsity and varsity program has grown from a dozen members to 21 team members. A community recreation class for young students has grown to nearly 70.

The program has "generated a significant amount of excitement," said Marcy Houk, a parent volunteer who presented information to the School Board. Besides the strenuous physical workouts the sport requires, Houk said dance line can increase self-confidence in young women who might not participate in another organized sport.

Adding dance line as an official winter sport would help ACGC meet the Title IX requirement, said Houk.

Although ACGC has not been notified it's violating any law, the goal of the district is to have a balance of boys and girls sports, said Superintendent Roger Reuckert. In the winter there is basketball for boys and girls, but wrestling is also offered to boys.

There would be some hoops to jump through to make dance line an official Title IX sport, as well as additional costs, said Matt Bergmann, activities director.

Bergmann said two area schools that have large dance line teams he consulted with spend about $14,000 a year for the program.

Much of the labor and funding for the current team at ACGC comes from volunteers and donations, Houk said.

The school sponsors the program now by allowing the booster club to support it, Reuckert said. If it's made an official sport, the school would financially support the team and coaches would be hired.

Hosting dance line competitions also generates revenue. A recent event at ACGC brought in nearly $2,000, Houk said.

Currently the dance line team practices wherever it can find space. If it attains official status, Bergmann said, the team would be put into the regular sport rotation for using gym space.

The dance line season runs from October to February. Organizers are hoping approval will be given to make it an official sport this fall.

In other action:

- Students will be going to school one day longer this spring. The board agreed to extend the student school year to May 29 to make up for snow cancellations this winter. School was set to end May 28 under the original calendar. Teacher checkout day will be June 1.

- Reuckert told the board the projected general fund balance would have a $110,000 surplus this year, but because of decreased revenue for special ed funding, as well as adding staff to respond to health and safety needs, the district's fund balance is about $21,000.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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