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SHS dance team left without a conference

The Superior High School dance team’s season will look different this year, after one student’s letter seeking a change in Minnesota’s policy revealed that Wisconsin dance teams can’t compete in Minnesota conferences at all.

The SHS dance team has been part of the Minnesota-based Lake Superior Conference since it began in 2009. This year, the Superior school had to withdraw.

“There’s really two things holding us up,” said Superior High School Activities Director Ray Kosey.

“Minnesota doesn’t allow boys to compete in dance; Wisconsin does,” Kosey said.

Lawyers recently sent a letter to the Minnesota State High School League on behalf of SHS sophomore Kaiden Johnson looking for a change in that rule.

In addition, Wisconsin dance teams can’t compete in Minnesota unless the sport is sponsored by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association. Currently, cheer and dance are sponsored by the Wisconsin Association of Cheer/Pom Coaches.

“It’s not a rule that we really knew of,” Kosey said, but “We’ll see what’s best for our program and figure out a solution for it.”

He said the team is handling the news well.

“Obviously, they’d like to be in a conference and have all-conference honors, but the rules between Minnesota dance and Wisconsin dance are pretty extreme and our coaches always had to prepare, really, two different routines,” Kosey said.

Now, they can focus on one.

Kosey said the move will affect a single conference match each year, but it was a key one. At it, a conference champion was named and the all-conference team was chosen.

SHS was planning to host the Lake Superior Conference dance competition this year, as it has a number of times in the past.

With Superior out of the conference, Marshall School in Duluth has stepped up to serve as host, Kosey said.

The dance season begins in early November.

As many as 40 SHS students participate in dance annually, on the junior varsity and varsity teams. The dance schedule typically includes up to three competitions a year in addition to the cancelled LSC meet.

The team also competes at the WACPC regional competition, which offers the chance to advance to state.

In addition, the dance team performs at up to eight home sporting events each year.

“To offset losing the conference meet we will look at attending an additional competition to substitute for the one lost,” Kosey said.

SPARTAN SPIN: There are currently no plans for the Big Rivers Conference to add a dance conference.