Iowa lawmakers considering bill to excuse show choir students from P.E. class

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Iowa students may soon be able to sing and dance their way to meet their physical education requirements.

A bill is moving through the Iowa Statehouse that would allow middle and high school show choir students to earn their physical education credit.

The bill has advanced to the Senate after passing out of a subcommittee earlier in February.

Currently, Iowa students have to take P.E. classes each semester to meet the physical requirements.

East High School show choir students said they definitely meet those same physical requirements, if not more.

Ella Voloshen, an East High School senior, said show choir takes a physical toll on her body.

“I do think show choir should go in place of P.E. Because our rehearsal times are probably equal or more to the amount of time kids spend in P.E. Class and probably the same amount of physical excursion as well,” said Voloshen.

Carter Vanderloo, an East High School junior, said having the option to opt-out of traditional physical education will only serve as a benefit.

“I feel like, in comparison, it stacks up to P.E. and total well being combined. It definitely requires a lot of fitness. It requires a lot of energy. It definitely helps with your muscles and staying fit all year round,” said Vanderloo.

“I absolutely think it’s equivalent to P.E. If you look at the number of hours these kids are putting in, the work they’re putting in, I’d welcome anybody to come in any of these rehearsals for two hours and join these kids on stage and see how much work it is,” said Tom Hales, Director of Choral Activities, East High School.

B.J. Koch, Activity Director at East High School, said he agrees that show choir students’ efforts throughout the week make up for any P.E. classes they might miss out on.

“They’re working as hard as our athletes are working in their sports. It’s a lot of time. It’s constant movement and a lot of physical activity,” said Koch.

If the proposed bill goes into law, it will be up to individual schools to decide if they want to waive P.E. requirements for students in show choir.

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