Fine arts programs impacted by COVID-19 guidelines

All aspects of school have been modified to follow guidelines set up by the CDC and TEA because of COVID-19. These guidelines have created a unique set of alterations for both the drill team and the band. Taking the field on Friday nights is happening, but it looks a little different this year.

“COVID-19 has impacted Shy-Annes tremendously,” Shy-Annes director Taylor Torres said. “We had to start this year off with a virtual audition which has never been done before.”

The team has also made modifications such as only allowing ten people in the locker room at a time, wearing masks at all unless times they are dancing, and altering formations for performances.

“Several traditions that have been in place for years such as meeting members of the visiting schools team during the 3rd quarter have been suspended this year due to the district’s decision not to allow in outside drill teams and bands,” Torres said. “The girls have handled all of these new changes well and they understand that everything implemented for this season is only to help to keep them safe.”

ShyAnne’s Catie Incardona is happy to be back preforming on the field despite the new guidelines and rules associated with COVID-19. 

“Being back on the field gives me faith that things will go back to normal,” Catie said. “It gives me faith that we will get through this and figure it out as a team.”

Torres is optimistic about the Shy-Annes being able to keep certain aspects of the drill team, while still following the guidelines put into place.

“I always like to make it known how thankful I am for the group of kids that we have this year,” Torres said. “They have been so professional and understanding of everything that has been thrown at and taken away from them. I am so proud of them for their level of maturity throughout all of the uncertainties that we have and will continue to face this year.”

Color Guard director Marie Debellis is thankful that their equipment has required little change since they are already spread out enough for the COVID-19 practice requirements.

“COVID hasn’t impacted color guard as much because our equipment is six feet long, and we have to be 6ft apart to spin flags, so formations haven’t really changed,” Debellis said. “We have had to monitor break time and there has been no team bonding because most of those things require contact.”

Although things are different and more difficult now, students are happy to be back doing what they love.

“I am happy to be back on the field,”  Sophomore Sarah Pratt said, “it’s just different. When we are in the stands we are 10 feet apart and on the field we are distanced anyway.”

Debellis acknowledges that there is still more to do even though their formations have required little change, but is thankful to be back on the field, regardless.

“It is very exciting to see them preform finally,” Debellis said. “I think there was a lot of joy and excitement for them to be able to be out there, even if it was a little different.”

Band director Breanna Osborne shares Debellis’s excitement to be back on the field, despite the changes COVID-19 has caused.

“Returning to the field means band kids get to be in their happy place with their friends and still get to do what they love, even if it’s a little different,” Osborne said. “We have some awesome band kids with great attitudes who are willing to be flexible.”