Eastview, Lakeville South dance teams protest results

Eastview, Lakeville South forgo High Kick awards after Faribault wins

Eastview and Lakeville South’s dance teams were among the five squads that stood together, holding hands and choosing not to come forward to accept their awards and recognition following the conclusion of the Minnesota State High School League’s High Kick competition Feb. 14.

The event was won by Faribault, which was suspected of plagiarizing a portion of their routine but was found to be in compliance with MSHSL rules after a complaint was filed Feb. 9.

An investigation resulted in “complete consensus on the part of league staff and the dance team rule coordinators that a violation had not occurred,” the league said in a statement.

Faribault coach Lois Krinke told the Faribault Daily News that the dance routine included a pair of four-count moves that they saw in a video from an out-of-state dance team. Other media reported about five seconds of the routine mirrored that of a Utah team.

The Utah coach told WCCO-TV news that the Faribault team copied the costuming, music, theme and some choreography.

League rules say choreography must be created by current, actively performing student members and coaching staff.

After the ruling was made Feb. 11, it was communicated to all state High Kick teams’ coaches Feb. 12.

The league will look into the conduct of the five protesting teams.

“The MSHSL will further investigate what took place during the Class AAA awards ceremony,” the MSHSL said. “League staff and the Board of Directors will determine a course of action after that investigation is complete.”

The league isn’t the only organization that will be undertaking an investigation.

The Lakeville Area School District said it will be looking into what happened.

“The district leadership takes issues like these very seriously,” said communications director Sarah Oslund.

She said based on the results of that investigation, the district will “determine the appropriate course of action to ensure that the integrity of the team, high school, and district is upheld.”

Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School district officials also said they are investigating the matter.

Eastview placed third in the competition, while Lakeville South placed fifth. The teams didn’t receive their awards because of poor sportsmanship, according to a message from John Millea, MSHSL media specialist, on his Twitter feed.

The other three teams that did not come forward to receive their awards were Wayzata, Chaska and Eden Prairie.

The head coaches of Eastview and Lakeville South are Jenny Raiche and Gen Adler, respectively.

Raiche has been the head coach since 2002.

Since that time, the team has won eight state High Kick championships, two second-place finishes, one third place and one fourth place.

Eastview was the 2014 Class AAA State Jazz and High Kick state champions, in addition to winning the section and conference championships in both divisions.

Emails sent to Raiche and Adler on Monday afternoon were not returned immediately.

Faribault is no stranger to the winner’s circle in High Kick. The team won High Kick championships in 1997, 1998, 2000-03, 2006 and 2007.

Krinke told the Faribault Daily News: “It feels really good to know that you’re the top team in the state. Even if other teams are poor sports about it.”

Tad Johnson is at [email protected]