‘Being an American means true freedom,’ says dance team after nearly being canceled for wearing American flag-themed attire

Members of a regional women’s country line dance team were asked not to perform at a Seattle dance convention after some attendees felt “triggered and unsafe” due to the team’s American…

Members of a regional women’s country line dance team were asked not to perform at a Seattle dance convention after some attendees felt “triggered and unsafe” due to the team’s American flag-themed uniform.

The Borderline Dance Team was invited to the Emerald City Hoedown in Seattle on April 6 by the Rain Country Dance Association. 

“Our Dance Team along with a few others were scheduled to perform at the Emerald City Hoedown in Seattle on Saturday,” the Borderline Dance Team said in a statement on Facebook. “They’ve been asking us for three years to perform but because of their Covid restrictions, we have been unable to until this year. 

“Dance teams work their boots off preparing for performances like these. Extra practices, babysitters, ferry rides, hours upon hours of practice and commute time and time away from their families. We all were very excited to perform for this event.”  

When the team arrived in their uniform, comprised of blue jeans and American flag tank tops, they were met with disapproval from a “small percentage” of attendees.  

“There was a small group that felt ‘triggered and unsafe,’” the team said. “They had several claims for this reasoning. Mostly associated with the situation in Palestine and the Trans community in America.” 

The dancers were reportedly first warned they could be jeered, but then ultimately were asked to either change or not perform at all. 

“At first, we were told we would just be boo’d, yelled at and likely many of them would walk out,” the team’s statement continued. “This did not deter us. But then we were given an ultimatum. 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.”  

Similar treatment was reportedly given to another group, the West Coast Country Heat, who were also wearing red, white and blue attire.  

Neither team chose to change their patriotic attire to perform.  

“Firstly, watching these teams band together was the greatest performance I’ve ever seen,” the Borderline dance team stated. “These people are strong, resolute and unwavering in their patriotism. They are the families and friends of people who have suffered the unimaginable so that we may all have our own opinions and sleep soundly in our beds at night. 

“THAT is why we wear the colors. Because although we may not always agree with the current state of things, we recognize that being an American means true FREEDOM. We all understood and accepted this and walked out with class and dignity despite the discrimination we had experienced.”  

The Rain Country Dance Association has denied asking anyone to leave the event but stated that it is reviewing the details of the incident.   

“We will be in continued communication with the captains of the dance teams that were slated to perform Saturday,” The Rain Country Dance Association Board President Ziadee Cambier wrote on Facebook. “To clarify, as this was not a competition, no one was disqualified and no one was asked to leave.” 

As of last week, the Borderline Dance Team has not received any communication from the Rain Country Dance Association regarding the incident, according to 770 KTTH.