A female line dance team, called The Borderline Dance Team, chose to not perform at the Emerald City Hoedown in Seattle on Saturday. The decision came after learning that their American flag-themed outfits made some audience members feel “triggered and unsafe.”

Statement Issued

On Sunday The Borderline Dance Team decided to speak on the situation in a post on their official Facebook page. The team acknowledged that they spent the previous days before the statement “answering dozens of calls and messages from friends and family.”

Source: Facebook/Borderline Dance Team

Upon arrival, the team was faced with convention goers who made it clear that their flag tops were “offensive.” The statement mentioned that a “small group” felt “triggered and unsafe.”

Not Deterred

The team stated that initially they were told that their flag top outfits would cause people to boo at them. They were also told that they may have been yelled at by some attendees.

Source: Unsplash/Robert McGowan

There was even the “likely” possibility that “many of them would walk out.” The team addressed the fact that they were aware of these things, however they were not deterred by any of them.

Offended Community

The team said they received several claims supporting that attendees were feeling “triggered and unsafe.” One claim referenced the “situation in Palestine.”

Source: Unsplash/CHUTTERSNAP

They were also informed that the transgender community in the United States may take offense to their outfits.

The Ultimatum

The team said they were given an ultimatum after they made it clear they would not be deterred by potential boos, yells, and walkouts. The ultimatum required them to “remove the flag tops and perform in either street clothes” or event shirts that they still had at the venue from previous years.

Source: Unsplash/Adi Goldstein

A number of dance team members did not bring street clothes with them, in fact most of them arrived at the event wearing their team uniforms. The alternative to that was not to perform at all.

Team Statement

The team stated that they “don’t speak for our team, we speak on behalf of them.” The Facebook post emphasized that “the choice was theirs.”

Source: Facebook/Borderline Dance Team

They continued with “unanimous NO” was not surprising since “there really was no choice in our minds.”


Lonny Ray Williams, the National Chairman of the Independent American Patriots, expressed his support on Facebook for the team’s decision to take a stand. He stated that he was “proud to see great patriotic women…stand up for principles and values that our nation was founded upon.”

Source: Unsplash/Usman Yousaf

He said that many of his ancestors “stood and served for our country, our flag, and for people” like the dance team members. He concluded with, “American Patriots stand with wonderful patriots.”


Another dance team, The West Coast Country Heat, decided they would also be opting out of the performance at Emerald City Hoedown event, it was reported that the team made this decision as a stance to stand in solidarity with the Borderline Dance Team. According to the Borderline Dance team, that team “too proudly don the colors of our country in the same spirit of patriotism.”

Source: YouTube

This indicated that both teams “stood in solidarity and put actions to words.”

Exited With Class

In a post on Facebook, the Borderline Dance Team stated they “walked out with class and dignity despite the discrimination” that they had experienced. The team expressed that they “recognize that being an American means true freedom.”

Source: Unsplash/Bernard Hermant

The statement read, “watching these teams band together was the greatest performance” ever seen.


The Borderline Dance expressed their overwhelm from the outpour of support from “the majority of the community.” According to the team’s Facebook post, “even several of the organizers” showed their support.

Source: Unsplash/Bonnie Kittle

The statement also highlighted how disappointing the experience was for those that showed their support.

Reason Why

The Borderline Dance Team also gave statements as to why they chose to wear those colors, in a team statement they said “families and friends of people who have suffered the unimaginable so that we may all have our own opinions and sleep soundly in our beds at night.”

Source: Unsplash/Joseph Chan

The team expressed that “we may not always agree with the current state of things.” However, the concept of “true freedom” is what binds them.

Claims Made By The Dance Team

The dance team concluded their statement by mentioning that they “only wanted to entertain.” However, they “didn’t get to do that.”

Source: Unsplash/Thomas Vogel

On a more positive note, however, they were able to “make new friends.” Additionally, they were afforded the opportunity to”build some bridges that maybe wouldn’t have been possible without this incident”

Retired Navy Chief

A retired Navy Chief, Michael Shelton, wrote a post on Facebook that he fully supported the dance team’s decision to not perform. Shelton stated that he was “so proud” of the team.

Source: Unsplash/IIONA VIRGIN

He also stated that the choice the dance team made “took courage and might to stand up to those bigots.” He concluded with, “all should be blessed for the brave decision” that they made.


Kimberley Spitler, a Facebook user showed her support by commenting on the Borderline Dance Team’s statement. She said she was “proud” of them for “handling this with grace.”

Source: Unsplash/Benjamin Faust

She also said, “people have lost the understanding of the word ‘triggered.'” She explained that the misinterpretation is that the word “triggered” means “I don’t like it; therefore, I can cancel it.” She highlighted that the term should be reserved for the ones suffering from PTSD, autism, hearing loss, and others that have “experienced specific life threatening events.”


Olivia Keister, a registered Democrat, shared her support via Facebook as well. She said she was “so embarrassed to have ever called [herself] a Liberal.”

Source: Unsplash/Kelly Sikkema

She went on to explain that “these communities that run on Progressive Liberal principles and policies are in danger.” She highlighted the need “to be there for them when they fail.” According to Keister, however, “we do not need to expect to reach these people in this current era.”


A comment referred to the Facebook post several times, indirectly addressing the people that are threatened by the American flag.

Source: Pixabay/Larry White

Another user said that it is “heartbreaking” to be disappointed in flag tops and the United States flag. While another Facebook user expressed to the dance team that they should “be prepared for the flood of compassion, love and support.”

Navy Veteran Tells Borderline Dance Team

Jim Capo, a United States Navy Veteran, also offered up his support to the Borderline Dance Team. He referenced an experience when someone told him that his U.S. Navy Veteran hat was offensive.

Source: Unsplash/Ian MacDonald

Capo said he “just laughed at the lady saying it.” He concluded his post with the remark to “never back down on your patriotism.”

Organized By ‘Non Profit LGBQT’ Community

The Emerald City Hoedown event was allegedly put together by the Rain Country Dance Association (RCDA).

Source: Unsplash/Jakayla Toney

This association is described as a “nonprofit LBGTQ country western dance community in Seattle.”

No One Has Reached Out

The Co-Captian of the Borderline Dance Team, Lindsay Stamp opened up about the RCDA Board President’s statement during an interview with KTTH’s Jason Rantz on Tuesday. She expressed that the group has not had anyone reach out to them from the RCDA yet.

Source: Facebook/Emerald City Hoedown

Stamp stated that “my team doesn’t take a political stance. We came to dance.”

RCDA Board President

Cambier stated that they are “in continued communication with the captains of the dance teams that were slated to perform Saturday.” They clarified that “this was not a competition.”

Source: Facebook/ Borderline Dance Team

She added “no one was disqualified and no one was asked to leave.” and stated that they would be “disabling comments” on the post while “mending our relationships directly with the dance teams.”