May 23, 2018

South Dakota dancing case on hold

By Caleb R. Trotter Attorney

We recently noted that in response to our lawsuit on behalf of Freddie Linden, the South Dakota High School Activities Association suspended its rule prohibiting boys from participating in high school Competitive Dance. As a result, Freddie (and any boy in South Dakota) was able to try out for his school’s team for the upcoming school year, and in addition to making the team, Freddie even managed to earn the highest score during tryouts. This week, we reached an agreement with the Association to stay our lawsuit for the next 12 months. During that time, the Association will study and consider permanently modifying its dance rules so that South Dakota boys can dance if they want to for years to come. We’ll report back next year with, hopefully, a positive final resolution to the case.

learn more about

Linden v. South Dakota High School Activities Association

Fifteen-year-old Freddie Linden of North Sioux Falls, South Dakota can now lace up his dancing shoes as part of his school’s competitive dance team. The accomplished dancer already competes nationally on private dance teams, but the South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA) established competitive dance as a “female-only” sport and prohibited Freddie from joining his high school team—because he is a boy. The rule is a misguided effort to comply with federal Title IX requirement that violates Freddie’s constitutional right to equal protection of the laws. Less than a month after PLF filed a federal lawsuit on Freddie’s behalf, the SDHSAA suspended its discriminatory rule for the upcoming school year, and will consider a permanent rule change in the coming months. Freddie has since made the school dance team for the upcoming school year—topping all scores at team tryouts.

Read more

What to read next