New dancers break the gender barrier
by Heather Anichini
Times, they are a changing. Ever since the turn of the century women and minorities have fought hard for equal rights. Both insisted upon being allowed to do anything they were qualified to do without discrimination based on race or sex. Until recently, however, most men have remained within the traditional confines of society. Here at Maine South, for example, football has traditionally been for boys, and Hawkettes have typically been for girls. Recently, however, new strides have been made toward making all activities at Maine South available to anyone who wants to participate, regardless of sex.
Two boy,s senior Cleve Barton and foreign exchange student Thomas Kellenberger, auditioned for and made the Orchesis dance team. According to Kellenberger, the entire episode began when he and Cleve went to auditions to watch a friend dance. About half an hour before the actual try-outs, the two boys decided that what the girls were doing looked like fun, so they thought they'd give it a try. Both boys had some dance experience, particularly Kellenberger who had studied ballet extensively and competed in Switzerland before coming to the United States.
Apparently, they had the talent to make the dance team. According to the Orchesis coach, Mrs. Sinclair-Day, "the boys are actually pretty good; they should add to our overall performance level." Most of the female members of the team agreed that the experience of having a male partner would be beneficial in the long run. "I'm looking forward to trying [new dances] we could never have done without the boys," one member said.
The news that Barton and Kellenberger had made the Orchesis squad quickly spread to other students at South and opinions were mixed. Todd Pytel, a senior, was quoted as saying, "I think it's a positive step for men's rights everywhere." While most students did not feel the event was quite that monumental, few could fault the boys for deciding to do something they wanted to do. Mrs. Sinclair-Day says "it is about time students started doing things they want to do instead of what other students tell them they should be doing."
As men slowly begin to move beyond society's limits, Cleve Barton and Thomas Kellenberger are preparing to leapk turn, and plie their way into Maine South history.