MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities high school student is suing the Minnesota State High School League for not being allowed to dance because of his gender.
Dmitri Moua was told he could not compete on the Roseville Area High School Dance Team because of MSHSL policy. Another boy from Minnetonka is also involved in the lawsuit.
Moua says he has had a knack for music and dancing since he was very young.
“I like how I’m able to express myself through moving and choreography,” Moua said.
He was good enough to make the high school rec dance team, and was the only boy on it.
When many of his teammates and friends moved on to the competitive team, he asked to try out.
“The coaches told me that I wouldn’t be allowed to compete,” Moua said.
The MSHSL’s official handbook says that the Girls Dance Team “may not rise to the level of gender equity activity for the purpose of Title IX.”
“It made me really sad because I worked just as hard as any other girl on the team,” Moua said.
He and his mother, Bao Xiong, decided to fight it, inspired by another case in which a Wisconsin teen was not allowed to compete in Duluth because of Minnesota rules.
“There are more boys out there that probably want to dance but don’t know how to go about it, or that it’s even an option,” Xiong said.
He and his mother believe the rule is discrimination, and that allowing boys to compete would encourage more to come out of the woodwork and show their talent.
“Dancing with them would just make me feel complete,” Moua said.
The lawsuit against the MSHSL was filed on Wednesday. The lawsuit also involves another 16-year-old boy who wants to dance for Hopkins High School.
Moua’s family says they do not aont money — just the ability for girls and boys to dance.
WCCO-TV reached out to the MSHSL for comment, but did not hear back.