Is Step Sing harmful to students?

Gracie Donoghue, Columnist 

Step Sing is one of Samford’s most beloved traditions. It has transformed into a full show complete with groups singing and doing complex choreography.
It has also become a popular event for parents, alumni, prospective students, faculty and other Samford students. Thousands of people filled the Wright Center or live streamed the four performances last weekend.
However, the thousands of people watching the shows from outside the “Step Sing bubble” do not understand the time commitment and exhaustion that comes with participation. No matter whether you are a first-timer or a veteran, the hours spent practicing are physically and mentally taxing.
During Step Sing, lack of sleep and illnesses are common among participants. There have been huge numbers of participants who have caught the flu or strep throat, and few participants get adequate sleep leading up to the shows due to the demanding rehearsal schedules.
A typical rehearsal can be three hours or more. They can include practicing both singing and dancing for hours on end. Typically, participants have to completely alter their lives in order to be fully committed to the beloved tradition.
Imagine a triangle with each point representing an aspect of your life. There’s your social life, school and sleep. On a normal day you have to compromise one to do the rest well.
During Step Sing, you have to make an even greater compromise. Participants not only cut back on their social life, but often also push school work to the back burner and give up on much-needed sleep.
Staying healthy is of utmost importance. Maintaining balance during Step Sing is all about sleeping as much as you can while managing time well with other priorities.
If you have committed to be a part of a creative Step Sing show, you need to fully commit your mind and body to the task at hand. If not, it is incredibly stressful and aggravating, not only for you, but also for the other members in your group.
There is no doubt that Step Sing is one of Samford’s most cherished traditions. That said, the three weeks of Step Sing are also incredibly hard on participants’ bodies, minds and spirits.
Samford should start practices before spring semester classes begin, limit the length of Step Sing practices or take actions to ensure the health and well-being of participants.

Donoghue is a sophomore journalism and mass communication major

Leave a comment

All fields marked (*) are required