Resentments reopen in dance team feud

When the Minnesota high school dance team season starts next year, perhaps the priority will be restoring a little class to the image of the sport.

It was first damaged earlier this year at the state high school tournament when five teams refused to take part in a medal ceremony because the girls thought Faribault copied a winning dance routine from a Colorado school.

The Minnesota State High School League had already cleared the Faribault routine before the competition, but the five schools persisted anyway, to their embarrassment. Maybe.

But even an apology is running into deep-rooted resentment, WCCO reports.

The five schools have sent apologies to the Faribault team, but the coach is refusing them.

Only Chaska’s seemed authentic, she tells the station.

But coach Lois Krinkie said an apology sent by Lakeville South didn’t seem authentic

The message, addressed to her dance team, recognized that South’s actions detracted from the joy and excitement Faribault should have been experiencing.

It offers a congratulations, acknowledges Faribault has talented dancers and wishes the team well in the future.
Krinke says she received the message in an email.

“It was a note of apology and then somebody typed all the coaches names,” Krinke said. “To me, as I said, that’s not an acceptable apology. A canned note that somebody wrote and put everybody’s names on it, you know.”

Krinke said she’d rather have the other coaches call her directly and talk through their issues.

The Rochester Post Bulletin reports today that Lakeville South has given reprimands to head dance coach Genevieve Adler, assistant dance coaches Alexis Leone, Michelle Field, Stephanie Michael, Suzanne Thompson and Leah Kongsvik and activities director Neal Strader.

Sun Newspapers, meanwhile, reports the coaches of the five schools initially talked about boycotting the competition over Faribault’s routine, but Lakeville South balked, according to an investigation from a law firm the school hired.

The report stated the LSHS coaches were put in a “difficult position” by the other coaches, including some who have “significant influence in the Minnesota dance community” and were “passionate in their belief that the MSHSL did not appropriately handle the plagiarism allegations against Faribault.”

Adler suggested the teams hold hands instead of a boycott and others agreed. She called Strader and told him about portions of the plan.

Strader said he thought the teams holding hands during the awards would be the best option because it is a compromise and would allow her to “save face” and support the other four Class AAA finalists involved in the coaches’ room meeting.

Coaches also asked LSHS parents to cheer for all of the Class AAA finalists, except Faribault.

Classy. The investigation would appear to confirm that it was adults who orchestrated the display, using the kids to make their point.

Other than disqualifying the five schools, the Minnesota State High School League has not taken any action against the feuding schools.