About Coach Erin

Erin is a 17 year veteran dance team coach in Minnesota. A 3 time MADT coach of the year (2009, 2010, 2014) and winner of 2 state championships in high kick with the Cannon Falls Bomber Dance Team. In high school Erin danced for Winona and Apple Valley high schools. Erin is a nationally known blogger, writing for the Radio City Rockettes and a Hollywood movie among other projects. Erin also teaches on a freelance contractor basis for many MN high school teams and can be contacted for date/time availability at mnhsdanceteam@gmail.com


GIRLS Dance Team….or just Dance Team

So there’s a lot of “go dancers!” “everyone can dance!” going on as the news that has been brewing about a boy who wants to join girls dance team.  After a year, this finally comes to a head.  A lawsuit is on the way.  see link.


I learned a year ago about a Superior WI boy who wants to dance for his high school team while they compete in Minnesota- and he’s not allowed.  At first, I’m shocked and angered….this is exclusionary.  We need more participation in dance team – not more controversy and drama.  Ok.  Then I thought about it…..


….for 9 months.  Why DON’T we allow boys???  Maybe it’s not about boys – it’s about girls.  And I thought really hard about if women were really (really) equal and don’t need something that helps them stay in athletics.  Helps them grow without the influence of men (for better or worse).  Are we ready to ignore our gender and the protections of Title 9?


I want men to dance.  I want boys in dance class as much as football camp.


I also want women to have a place to thrive.  Girls dance team isn’t about excluding men, it’ s about including women.


Research shows again and again that women in single gender situations raise their hands more, work communally, and assert themselves with “male” traits of leadership and aggression. As a coach, I see the value in a single gender environment that fosters the skills women need in the workplace, in college, and in their relationships as an adult.


Men have opportunities to express themselves in competitive and exhibition dance in many communities and studios around the state.  Women who join men’s teams  – do so for a lack of options.  Is there a co-ed football studio I can compete and exhibition with?  A co-ed private wrestling league?  I worry about us comparing mens’ dance opportunities against women who join a male only league.  Options and preference are two different things.


The amazing thing about dance is that women aren’t the weaker gender who need protection from male dominance.  Ginger Rodgers did everything Fred Astaire did – backwards.  Girls get dance.  Men get dance.  It’s beautifully pan-gender.  Girls dance team isn’t about making you the best dancer you can beIts about making girls into young women.  If that’s the goal in our narrow scope of MSHSL girls winter competition dance team – then we can’t feel bad about providing the best environment for women that we can.  Even at the expense of men’s dance opportunities.


I hope boys can find their dance outlet.  Those who love dance will always have a common bond, even if some teams are just for girls.


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