COVID-19 will not cancel this year’s Dolphins show
By Norah Johnstone, Current Staff
This might be Bridget Pfiel’s second year coaching Dolphins, but it’s her first show.
The West Bend High Schools Dolphins synchronized swim team will perform Thursday for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started. This year’s theme is “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and four shows are planned over three days. The performances will be marked by many new safety measures.
“We’re excited for a safe and fun show week,” Pfiel said.
Pfiel, who was a Dolphin when she attended WBHS, was hired to coach the team last year but never had the chance to deliver a final show.
“It’s a little different because I haven’t gone through a whole season,” Pfiel said. “I was the new coach last year. And then we had COVID hit, so then March 12th was our last day and then we really didn’t have the rest of the season.”
This year things will be different, but the shows are still going forward. Recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have changed aspects of the performance to ensure the safety of all participants.
“This year we just have to stay in accordance with CDC guidelines, and then also what the superintendent directs for the schools to do,” Pfiel said. “Pool requirements are still 25% of the maximum capacity, which extends to the bleachers as well.”
In past years, students and parents have been able to come to the shows. This year, however, the amount is changing due to the guidelines.
“Shows will have parents coming to each of the shows, and then hopefully we can also include students as well for a couple of the performances,” Pfiel said.
The maximum number of people who can come to a show at a time is 110 because of the 25% capacity rule.
“I think the lower capacity makes it even more special to be able to go,” said Elena Chamberlain, a West sophomore and second-year member of the Dolphins. “The tickets are selling out insanely fast this year.”
However, there is an alternative for people who can’t come in person. The performances will be livestreamed. Information about the livestream will be available on the Dolphins website.
Despite the new guidelines, the sense of community within the team remains strong and the entire team is ready for the upcoming week.
“The overall energy of the team almost seems higher than usual because we have waited so long for this show and being in Dolphins has meant a way to connect with people, which is especially needed after a long year of Covid,” Chamberlain said.
The opening shows are at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. There are also performances at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday. All performances are inside the West Bend High Schools Natatorium.
A limited numbers of tickets are currently for sale in the bookkeeper’s office.
(Image: The West Bend High School Dolphins synchronized swim team on their first day of the season in January. Photo courtesy of Bridget Pfiel.)