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SMITH: Creating a home away from home with FDC

EDITOR’S NOTE: Maren Smith is a senior at Mitchell High School who wrote for the student newspaper, The Kernel, last year. Because there is no student newspaper this year for Mitchell High School, The Daily Republic will run a twice-monthly column from Smith. Her columns will focus on high school events and news, along with thoughts and perspectives of a high school senior.

As a four-year member of Mitchell High School’s show choir, Friend de Coup, the upcoming competition season seems daunting. Friend de Coup has had a standard of excellence for years, placing in various finals competitions, bringing home multiple grand champion awards and winning the South Dakota State Show Choir title two years in a row.

For the other 16 seniors and myself, the pressure of this standard falls heavily on our shoulders. We feel an immense honor as the leaders of this group, but with this honor comes a great amount of responsibility to maintain the tradition of success — for the rest of our FDC family, for our school, for our town, for our director and choreographer, and, most importantly, for ourselves.

Senior dance captain Sarah Moore explains that as leader she must “direct the group with both the past and future in mind.”

“My decisions in the present must uphold the original goals and spirit of the group but also allow change and growth,” she said. “My leadership this year will affect the course of FDC as they carry on without me (and fellow seniors). Bringing something new to the table while honoring our legacy is the challenge I face this year.”

As the season progresses and practices become longer and more frequent, it is easy to get lost in focusing on the competitive aspect of show choir, but Friend de Coup is so much more than that. Rather, we place importance on hard work, consistency, vulnerability and creating a family within FDC.

Creating this home away from home, a place where members can express their true selves and be accepted and loved, is and always has been the priority of Friend de Coup. The name Friend de Coup means “friends take over” in French. This conveys well the essence of what sets Mitchell’s show choir apart from the rest. This love for each other and the hours of hard work spent on putting together a meaningful show of music and dance is what makes us successful. It is what makes us Friend de Coup.