Feb 5, 2011, 12:46 PM EDT
We take you now to Waunakee, WI, where the Waunakee High School dance team is headed to the state competition with a rather unique routine. In it, the team “gets crazy” while wearing uniforms resembling straitjackets and restraints with the words “Psych Ward” on them. The girls, however, have been forced to tone down their routine after complaints from mental health advocates and parents that their act mocks the mentally ill. Political correctness gone mad? You be the judge.
From the Capital Times:
News of the routine spread fast this week after photos of the dancers in their costumes were published in the Waunakee Tribune. “The pictures are quite disturbing,” says Hugh Davis, executive director of Wisconsin Family Ties. “We had parents and kids with mental health issues standing in the office with tears in their eyes. This brings up painful memories. It is incredibly insensitive.”
Following the uproar, the dance team has agreed to cover up the words “Psych Ward” on their costumes, and will also read a statement prior to their performance which includes a “we apologize to anyone we might have offended,” non-apology apology.
Not that they should be apologizing in the first place. Exactly who is crazy here? If the girls feel in retrospect that their routine is insensitive and wrong, they should admit it and dump it. If they don’t feel that way, they should keep it unchanged and go full-speed ahead with the madness. Teaching our children to back down under pressure is not cool.
Erin Cotter, the team’s head coach, says she is taken aback by how upset people are about the routine. “I don’t understand where they are coming from,” she says. Hip-hop is all about being “bold,” she says. Last year, a competing team dressed in orange jumpsuits pretended they were prisoners, she says. “The whole point is to get people pumped up and energized. Our intent had nothing to do with mental illness. Our total intent was just a hip-hop dance and the songs and the words that were popular. The thought never crossed my mind or the school’s or the parents’ or the kids’ that it was about mental illness.”
Look, until we get a complaint from Giants’ reliever Brian Wilson, I say that his dance routine is good to go as is.
Vital Signs: Waunakee High’s ‘Psych Ward’ dance routine upsets advocates for mentally ill [The Capital Times]
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