Dance team forced to withdraw from competition over American flag shirts

A Washington state country line dance team was forced to withdraw from a dance competition earlier this month after organizers of the event informed them they would have to change their uniforms.

The event organizers claimed the dancers’ uniforms, specifically their American flag themed shirts, “triggered” some of the people in attendance.

According to Borderline Dance Team, they had been invited to the Emerald City Hoedown for the past several years, but due to the event’s Covid restrictions, they were only able to make it this year.

The team was excited and couldn’t wait to perform. However, when they arrived the event organizers, Rain Country Dance Association, an LGBTQ+ dance community, cautioned them that their tops might be offensive to some of the guests.

“Unfortunately, what our team was met with upon arrival was that our flag tops were offensive to some of the convention goers. There was a small group that felt ‘triggered and unsafe,’” the Seattle-based dance team shared on Facebook.

“They had several claims for this reasoning. Mostly associated with the situation in Palestine and the Trans community in America. At first we were told we would just be boo’d, yelled at and likely many of them would walk out.”

The dance team was unbothered by the potential disruptions; they just wanted to dance.

But the event organizers wouldn’t let them. Instead, they gave Borderline Dance Team an unltimatum.

“Remove the flag tops and perform in either street clothes (which most didn’t bring as they traveled there in their uniforms) or they would supply us with ECH shirts from years past… Or, don’t perform at all, which effectively was asking us to leave.”

Feeling they didn’t have much of a choice, the team unanimously decided to leave.

According to a lengthy statement released by the dance team, another team was also faced with the same decision.

“Our friends, West Coast Country Heat, who were also scheduled to dance for the convention that evening also did not perform as they too proudly don the colors of our country in the same spirit of patriotism that we do. Both of our teams stood in solidarity and put actions to words,” the statement read.

Do you think it was right for event organizers to tell the dance team they needed to change their shirts? Let us know your thoughts!

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