I was having a discussion recently about how a drama class differs from a dance class. For me, one of the main differences is how dependent we are on the commitment of each member of the class when it comes to a performance. You see, it's not like a dance troupe where everyone is learning the same dance moves. Nor is it like a sporting team where they have some members sitting on the bench for sections of the game. Each student in a drama class learns their own role - dialogue and movements. Each student and their character brings something different to the play which would be glaringly absent if they were to step away. They have their own costumes, make-up, hairstyles. And when a student drops out of a performance it affects the ability for every other cast member to reach their potential, because we don't have understudies in a drama class. A professional theatre might be able to hire understudies. Often amateur societies cast understudies. However, in a drama class we cast each student into their own role so they have a chance to perform. Each character is given a chunky enough role so that students can put into practise what they have learnt through the semester. There is no one character that can be dismissed.