Seattle Dance Team Barred From Performing Due to American Flag Uniforms Making People Feel 'Triggered and Unsafe' -
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Seattle Dance Team Barred From Performing Due to American Flag Uniforms Making People Feel ‘Triggered and Unsafe’

A dance team from Seattle could not perform while wearing uniforms featuring the American flag at a country dance event because some attendees felt “triggered and unsafe.”

The Borderline Dance Team members were “excited” to show off their moves at the Emerald City Hoedown until the LGBTQ group hosting the event gave them an ultimatum.

Rain Country Dance Association, a nonprofit organization known for its efforts to unite the “queer” community with country and western dance, allegedly informed the Borderline dancers that their red, white, and blue shirts were deemed “offensive.”

“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,'” Borderline Dance Team wrote on Facebook.

The team elaborated on why some individuals were offended, citing “the situation in Palestine” and “the trans community in America” as contributing factors.

“At first we were told we would just be booed, yelled at, and, likely, many of them would walk out. This did not deter us,” the dance squad said. “But then we were given an ultimatum.”

Members recounted being instructed to “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.”

Borderline also stated that the organizers of the Emerald City Hoedown were previously informed about their patriotic uniforms. However, on Wednesday, the event hosts edited their webpage to remove the photographs of the outfits that were previously displayed on their site.

The Borderline dancers stated that opting not to perform in alternative clothing was an easy decision.

“We don’t speak for our team, we speak on behalf of them, so the choice was theirs — as we knew would happen because there really was no choice in our minds. It was a unanimous NO,” the Facebook post continued.

The team credited another squad, West Coast Country Heat, for walking out of the event, “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,” Borderline stated.

In an interview with the Jason Rantz Show, team co-captain Lindsay Stamp stated that the complaints, which arose within just 30 minutes of their arrival at the venue, were from only a “small percentage” of the event’s attendees.

“My team doesn’t take a political stance. We came to dance,” she told host Jason Rantz. “We’re a patriotic group. We support our military, our veterans, our first responders. We’re a group of patriots.”

“We all understood and accepted this and walked out with class and dignity despite the discrimination we had experienced,” the group’s Facebook post explained.

While the Emerald City Hoedown did not address the incident directly, it put up a vague post and shut off the comments:

Hi, y’all! After the close of another amazing Hoedown weekend, we know there are some questions about the Saturday night performance line-up. We appreciate y’all giving us the time to clear up misunderstandings and address the situation with people directly involved. We will be posting a follow-up statement later this week once we are able to have those conversations.

In a comment on another Facebook post, Ziadee Cambier, the Board President of Rain Country Dance Association, clarified that the Borderline Dance Team was not told to leave.

“We will be in continued communication with the captains of the dance teams that were slated to perform Saturday,” she wrote:

To clarify, as this was not a competition, no one was disqualified, and no one was asked to leave. While we are mending our relationships directly with the dance teams, we will be disabling comments on this post. We will be sharing more information later this week to hopefully clear up any misunderstandings.

Stamp emphasized that this wasn’t simply a case of misunderstanding.

“It’s pretty clear to me. There’s always room for error in any situation, but I don’t believe so,” the dance captain told Rantz.

“I would just love to see more conversations opened about people accepting one another, about being wholly inclusive,” she continued.

“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. I would love to see that,” she concluded.

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