Dance Team Could Not Perform Over Uniforms

Seattle’s Emerald City Hoedown, an annual event celebrating country and western dance in the LGBTQ community, was met with controversy this year. The event, which took place over the weekend, faced criticism from a Seattle women’s dance squad, Borderline Dance Team, over their treatment at the event. According to the group, they were not allowed to perform in their signature American flag-themed uniforms because some attendees felt “triggered and unsafe.”

The Borderline Dance Team, who were originally excited to showcase their moves at the Emerald City Hoedown, were surprised when they were given an ultimatum by the event organizers, Rain Country Dance Association. The dance team was informed that their red, white, and blue shirts, which they had worn to previous events without issue, were deemed “offensive” by some attendees.

In a statement on their Facebook page, the Borderline dancers explained that their uniforms were found offensive due to reasons such as the “situation in Palestine” and the “trans community in America.” However, the team insists that their uniforms were not meant to make a political statement, but rather to represent their patriotism and support for the military, veterans, and first responders.

The incident escalated when the Emerald City Hoedown organizers asked the Borderline Dance Team to either change into street clothes or provide them with older event shirts, or they would not be allowed to perform at all. The event organizers also edited their website, removing photographs of the dance team’s uniforms, which they had previously been aware of.

The Borderline Dance Team, along with another dance squad, West Coast Country Heat, chose to walk out of the event in solidarity. In their statement, the Borderline team said that their decision to refuse to perform in alternative clothes was an easy one, “as we knew would happen because there really was no choice in our minds. It was a unanimous NO.”

In an interview with the Jason Rantz Show, co-captain of the Borderline Dance Team, Lindsay Stamp, clarified that their team does not take a political stance and that they had simply come to the event to dance. She added that they are a “patriotic group” and support their country’s military and first responders. The team also commended West Coast Country Heat for joining them in walking out of the event.

The Emerald City Hoedown organizers have not directly addressed the controversy but instead put up a vague statement on their Facebook page. The statement mentioned “misunderstandings” but did not offer any specific details on the incident. The comments on the post were also disabled. However, in a comment under another post, Rain Country Dance Association Board President Ziadee Cambier insisted that the dance teams were not asked to leave and that the organizers are working on mending any miscommunications with the teams.

According to Stamp, however, this was not just a misunderstanding. She expressed her hope to see more conversations “opened about people accepting one another, about being wholly inclusive.” She added, “You know, every group of people talks about being inclusive and accepting. And I think that we need to work on being inclusive and accepting of people outside of our immediate comfort zones.”

The incident at the Emerald City Hoedown has sparked a larger conversation about cultural sensitivity and inclusivity. Many have taken to social media to express their support for the dance teams and call for a more inclusive community. The controversy has also shed light on the importance of open communication and understanding in creating a truly inclusive and accepting community.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here