Minnesota teens file lawsuit to allow boys on girl's high school dance team

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It’s a passion that spouted from years of gymnastics and an invitation from a friend. Now, dancing has become a part time job for 16-year-old Zach Greenwald. 

“My friend at camp said, ‘wow you seem like a really good dancer, you should come to my studio, and just take a couple classes just for fun,’ and I absolutely loved it. It was one of the best experiences of my life.”

Greenwald dances about 20 hours a week, but said he wants to dance even more. 

“I’ve been at a couple of different studios since then, but the ultimate goal was to end up on the high school dance team,” Greenwald said.

Greenwald is on his school’s performance team now, but Minnesota State High School League rules prohibit him from being on the competition team. 

“They feel like very similar programs on paper, but for me they are night and day,” Greenwald said.

After Greenwald and another boy from Roseville Area High School were turned away, they hired a lawyer and filed a lawsuit.

“Typically what you would see is you’d have a boy’s basketball team, or a girl’s basketball team, but when there’s a girls only activity like dance team, then the boys aren’t even able to try out, and that’s what we’re trying to change,” Attorney Caleb Trotter said.

So, Pacific Legal filed an injunction against the league in hopes of fast tracking the ruling in time for tryouts this fall.

“Zach and Dmitri are willing to stand up and say, ‘this is what I love, and maybe not all boys love it, but I do.’ They’re a minority, and I couldn’t be prouder of the two of them,” said Carol Grabowski, Greenwald's mother. 

In the meantime, the wait won’t keep Zach from dancing at studios or for his performance team. It also won’t stop him from pursuing his passion and pushing for change.