MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – There may be more fallout from this weekend’s State High-Kick Dance Competition.
Five dance teams protested Faribault’s first-place finish at the Class AAA State Championships last weekend at Target Center. The athletes and their coaches refused to line up during the awards ceremony, instead standing apart from the Emeralds dance team.
It was a response to allegations that Faribault copied an out-of-state dance routine. Last week, the Minnesota State High School League investigated the allegations and determined that Faribault didn’t copy a dance and could use the routine during competition.
“It’s very split opinions as to how you feel about it,” Erin Kruesi, dance team coach and founder of mnhsdanceteam.com, said.
Kruesi was at the tournament when the five teams from Wayzata, Eastview, Chaska, Lakeville South and Eden Prairie protested Faribault’s first-place finish.
“I think the most disappointing thing was they chose to do so at the expense of someone else,” Kruesi said.
A coach herself, Kruesi sees the reaction as going against the values of a normally supportive dance community.
“Certainly unprecedented in behavior of dance teams,” Kruesi said.
Also unprecedented was where the dancers and coaches decided to take a stand. Good sportsmanship is emphasized during the state tournaments.
“Unfortunately to many of the fans and many in this movement, they feel this was a showing of sportsmanship,” Kruesi said.
“This isn’t what we teach our kids about sportsmanship and competition. It’s a ridiculous spectacle is what it was,” John Millea of the Minnesota State High School League said during an interview with WCCO Radio. “What they did was totally wrong. That’s not sportsmanship. That’s not fair to the girls on those five teams. This is all orchestrated in advance by the coaches of those five teams before the awards ceremony. They knew what they were going to do. I heard from an administrator at a school not involved in this told me today ‘If my dance coach did that, I’d have an opening for a new dance coach tomorrow.'”
But blame isn’t necessarily being placed on students.
“This is all orchestrated in advance by the coaches of those five teams before the awards ceremony,” Millea said.
The discussion is far from over in a dance routine that’s now become a debate of ethics and sportsmanship.
“I think something should be done because if we were to pretend like this didn’t happen and move ahead and say don’t do that again, I think we would be sending the wrong message to both sides,” Kruesi said.
In email statements four of the five schools said they will investigate the issue but so far no one is saying if there will be any type of discipline to those involved The MSHSL said it will take up this issue in the coming days.