Borderline Dance Team / Facebook

Members of the regional women’s country line dance team were allegedly kicked out of a Seattle dance convention after some audience members claimed that their American-flag-themed shirts made them feel “triggered and unsafe.” The Borderline Dance team attended at the Emerald City Hoedown in Seattle after the organizers, the Rain Country Dance Association, had been inviting them to the dance convention for years. This year, the organizers were able to accommodate the Borderline Dance team, but they did not have the experience that they were hoping to have.

Co-captain Lindsay Stamp, spoke with Jason Rantz about their experience. She said that their outfits sparked a “small percentage” of complaints, shocking the members who had only been there for approximately 30 minutes. “My team doesn’t take a political stance. We came to dance,” she explained. Stamp said that their outfits were not to make a political statement, but to show their patriotism. “We’re a patriotic group. We support our military, our veterans, our first responders. We’re a group of patriots,” she said.

The Borderline Dance team wrote in a statement on Facebook that they were given an ultimatum. “At first we were told we would just be booed, yelled at and likely many of them would walk out,” the statement read. “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.” They revealed that they were not the only dance team to receive this kind of backlash at the convention. “Our friends, West Coast Country Heat, who were also scheduled to dance for the convention that evening also did not perform 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,” the Borderline Dance statement said.

A representative for the Rain Country Dance Association said, “Rain Country is in the process of reviewing the details of the matter and reaching out to those directly involved. Our organization is committed to our core values of inclusivity and respect, and we will release a more comprehensive public statement later in the week.” In a Facebook comment, board president Ziadee Cambier didn’t get specific on the outfit controversy. But she said Borderline Dance team members weren’t asked to leave. “We will be in continued communication with the captains of the dance teams that were slated to perform Saturday. 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,” she wrote.

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