MINNEAPOLIS – Five state high school dance teams were disqualified from the state tournament at Target Center Saturday for protesting the winning team’s routine.
The Faribault Emeralds dance team won the state Class 3A High Kick dance championship, but during the awards ceremony, the other teams refused to line up and accept their awards.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Todd Sesker, superintendent of Faribault Public Schools.
Before the finals at Target Center, the Minnesota State High School League investigated claims that the Faribault dance team plagiarized part of its routine.
According to a MSHSL spokesperson, Faribault was accused of stealing their routine from a different dance team in Utah.
The League investigated the claims, looked at video of the two teams, and determined Faribault did nothing to break the rules.
“…current MSHSL Dance Team rules were not violated,” the letter said. “This team will be allowed to compete in the tournament this weekend.”
Faribault Dance Coach Lois Krinke admits to copying the Utah team’s concept but using their own moves for the routine.
“If any amount of time was similar, it was four seconds here and there and never consecutively,” said Krinke. “We had performed this dance in competition three times prior to, and nobody said a thing. We get to sections and we win, and then all this happened. So you draw the conclusion,” she said.
On Saturday, following Faribault’s unanimous victory in the high kick competition, all six teams were supposed to line up in a row and receive their awards.
Faribault got into position while the other five teams did not.
Instead, they gathered together on the side of the court, held hands, and refused to line up.
According to Krinke, the teams shouted, “United we stand. We are one.”
KARE-11 has attempted to contact all five of the teams involved in the protest, but our emails and phone calls have not been returned.
The MSHSL is not pleased with the lack of sportsmanship.
“The state high school league is very disappointed and looking into how to move forward,” said John Millea, media specialist for MSHSL.