Faribault Emeralds State Champs, Other Dance Teams Protest
The Faribault Emeralds Dance Team is state AAA champion in high kick, but competitors protested at the trophy awards ceremony Saturday night and second and third place trophies weren't awarded.
Six teams competed at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. Faribault was accused of copying a dance from an out-of-state team. A statement issued by the Minnesota State High School League says: "On February 9 MSHSL staff was made aware of a possible rule violation during the Section High Kick competition. That allegation was investigated by the school and by MSHSL staff. After a review of the report from the school and a review of video and other information, there was complete consensus on the part of League staff and the Dance Team Rule Coordinators that a violation had not occurred. This ruling was made on February 11. On February 12 this ruling was sent via email to all coaches competing in the High Kick Division at the state tournament."
The other five teams competing in Class AAA did not abide by instructions to line up for the awards ceremony. Instead, Chaska, Eastview, Eden Prairie, Lakeville South and Wayzata held hands and stood away from the Faribault team in a protest of their first-place finish. Because of this, Wayzata and Eastview were not awarded second- and third-place trophies. MSHSL officials noted in their statement they will further investigate what happened during the awards ceremony and then will determine a course of action after that investigation is complete. Emeralds members Johann Villa and Abbie Meehl were named to the AAA All-Tournament Team.
Some Faribault residents attending tweeted out their distaste for the protest, saying it was very bad sportsmanship. Some noted it did put a damper on the Emeralds' 10th high kick title.
Sartell-St. Stephen captured the AA high kick crown and Aitkin was the Class A champ. In the jazz division, winners were Marshall School of Duluth (Class A), Benilde St. Margaret's of St. Louis Park (Class AA) and Maple Grove (Class AAA).