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The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

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Creating a legacy, like a girl

After being denied the right to compete last year, the Lousiana State University Tiger Girls competed at the 2022 UDA College Nationals and took home first place in D1A hip-hop with their routine ‘Like a Boy.’
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Courtesy of the LSU Tigers

Each year, college dance teams from all over the country arrive in Florida in January to compete for the UDA National Championship. Except last year; one team was denied by its athletics department to compete for the first time in 22 years: Louisiana State University.

The LSU Tiger Girls were unable to compete due to ‘COVID-19,’ ‘funding’ and the ‘limited amount of available athletics trainers.’ However, the limitations did not stop there. Even though the dancers could not compete, members of the team said they still had to follow NCAA rules and were required to perform at football and basketball games.

Being denied competing, but performing at games last year never made sense to any of us,” junior LSU Tiger Girl Chloe Tourelle said. “Knowing that we had to attend all other athletic events, but could not even attend ours, was extremely hard.”

Many disagreed with the decision that was made by the athletics department. A user on social media started #letthemcompete campaign, hoping this would change the athletic department’s decision. The campaign gained over 25,000 signatures on Change.org, but the outcome remained the same. 

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The unfairness in the system definitely was shown through their actions towards us, UDA Nationals was the only thing we as a team got to do for ourselves, so taking that away felt very upsetting,” senior LSU Tiger Girl Lily Dodge said.  “All year long we support other teams and their wins, so we just wished we would get the same support in our own endeavors.” 

According to NCAA, dance is not considered an NCAA sport. The website also gives no information about dance or the rankings. The LSU Tiger Girls decided it was time to send a message with their 2022 hip-hop routine at UDA Nationals.

I hope this routine just reminds young dancers that dance is a valid sport,” Dodge said. “Women’s teams are just as important and successful as a men’s team.”

The LSU Tiger Girls brought in Carsen Rowe and Sammy McFadden, choreographers from Tribe 99. Rowe and McFadden used this opportunity to create the impactful masterpiece LSU took first place with this year. Danced to ‘Like a Boy’ by Ciara, the powerful message about women and the lack of equality portrayed in female sports resonated loud and clear throughout their routine.

 Ironically, 2022 is the 50th anniversary of congress passing Title lX, which is federal legislation designed to provide equal funding and competitive opportunities. This title provides equality for all genders participating in sports; they cannot be denied the basic right to compete or be discriminated against under any educational program that is receiving federal financial assistance. 

“We wanted to show the world that we did not need a dance with a whole lot of tricks just simply dancing to show the disparities we face compared to male counterparts,” Tourelle said. 

The hardships the team went through tightly bonded the dancers together and made for an unforgettable year. From placing third in 2020 and being denied the right to compete in 2021, the girls were eager to make a statement and work hard.

“We all collectively came together to prove a point at nationals and just show off how ready we were to compete,” Dodge said. “Throughout the nationals seasons we constantly reminded each other that this dance was for no one but ourselves; this was our routine to perform and our message to deliver.”

The team not only won but after 24 hours of winning their fame on TikTok had just begun. With the trend #likeaboychallenge, thousands of people on social media started to recreate the routine and found their voice to dance for equality like the LSU team did. 

This routine impacted young dancers in various ways,” Tourelle said. “It shows them that they need to fight for what they believe in despite what they are told. Believing in yourself and your team is what matters at the end of the day.”

After winning, the women were asked to perform the impactful routine at the men’s basketball game. Hundreds of people came to watch the halftime performance to support the team on its journey of being heard. The routine symbolizes equality for women and men. 

The song reference acting like a boy because of the difference in respect and treatment received. In the song, ‘Like a Boy,’ the lyrics talk about switching the roles and seeing what boys could get away with. The LSU Tiger Girls used this song to represent what they had gone through last year, and how the boys were allowed to compete but they were not. Dancing to this song not only is a powerful statement for equality in women’s sports but created a meaningful legacy like only a girl could.

LSU Tiger Girls UDA College National Champions 2022, ‘Like a Boy’ routine:

 

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About the Contributor
Beth Kamman, Public Relations Coordinator
 Beth Kamman is a senior and has been on staff for four years. She is a member of the ACHS Varsity Dance Team. When Kamman is not dancing, she likes to go shopping, hanging out with her friends, traveling and reading. Kamman is excited about what the future holds.
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