Kickin’ it with Clel

Freshman Clel Howard already playing a significant role


Photo by Alex Berry

by Amelia Severn, Sports Editor

When watching any of the performance teams of cheer, drill, or flags you may see something similar about all the teams; most of the performers are female.That is for everyone except Clel Howard, freshman, the lone male on the drill team. But Howard does much more than energize the crowd in drill’s terrific performances, he also is part of ASB and he does theater playing the role of Trent in Shorewood’s upcoming musical, “the Prom.” 

From his first day, Howard has been trying to make an impact on anyone he meets. “I try as hard as I can to be personable to everyone and I really try to put myself out there in every aspect. Try everything-reading, writing, performing, just see what I want to do in my future,” Howard said. This is one of the reasons Howard decided to do drill, but he also joined due to his love for dance. “I really have always loved dance and I have always appreciated it, and I thought drill would be a really good gateway into dance and since elementary school I’ve always loved performing, and so combining those two things sounded like a dream to me.” 

Howard has loved his experience on the drill team so far. “I couldn’t appreciate them more for how much they have embraced me,” he said. “I really love to build that community with the team…just having that new sense of community in a different space is awesome.”

But being the only male on Shorewood’s performance teams doesn’t come without challenges. “Competitions are a big challenge because a lot of the conversations and makeup are done in the locker rooms, so not being able to be in that space kinda poses a challenge…another challenge is being the first guy, you have a lot of pressure on you to do your best and show that everybody can be on this team.”

Howard’s love for performing started long before drill. “It was third grade, I had just tried out for the school musical and I didn’t know how to do musical theater or anything…but my parents wanted me to do an extra-curricular and I hated sports…so I tried out for the school musical and I got cast as Robin Hood and it was a big experience.” From then on Howard has been performing in musicals ever since, and this resulted in him getting a leading role in the upcoming musical “The Prom.”

“Continuing on with that process and playing that role, I’ve loved it, it’s just been amazing. And working with Abraham who is a senior who shares that role, I’ve learned so so much,” Howard said.

From performing, Howard has gained a passion in public speaking. He is a freshman officer and he plans to run for sophomore officer. “I love speaking in front of audiences. My goal is to try to get a point across to an audience and if I just help one person then I’ve achieved my goal,” he said. “I think ASB was definitely a big part in getting that gateway into public speaking but also social change.”

Howard has already played a significant role in many aspects of the community. “It’s kind of cool, it’s definitely interesting. It has its struggles, but I’m glad I’m kind of breaking down that barrier and I’m hoping that by setting that precedent I will make it available to other guys,” he said. As for trying to encourage other males to start joining a performing team, Howard said: “No matter if you think you can’t do it or won’t fit in, trust me when I say these teams are really welcoming. So if you go in there and are your best self, and you really push yourself, you’ll be successful in what you do on any dance team and you’ll do amazing.”