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MN boys sue high school league to join dance team

A Minnesota State High School League rule states only girls can compete in winter dance.

MINNEAPOLIS -- You’d be hard pressed to pick out 16-year-old Dmitri Moua in a dance lineup.

Online videos of his performances with the Roseville High School dance show him dancing in step with the girls on his team.

“A friend told me about it and asked me to join,” Moua says.

Just a few days in, he was hooked.

“You’re just able to move freely, be yourself, be with a team, but also stand out as an individual,” Moua says.

He danced with his teammates throughout the entire Fall season, performing at numerous sporting events at his school.

Moua soon heard about the Winter competitive dance team and immediately wanted to join, only, he couldn’t.

"Just saying only girls can do it, it just shocked me," Moua says. “I feel like if you can listen to music, move your body, you should be able to dance.”

A Minnesota State High School League rule states only girls can compete in winter dance.

So, he became the team manager.

"I would wake up at five o'clock with the team, get on the bus and I would go to competitions," Moua explains.

But while everyone else danced, he could only watch.

"It's not fun just sitting on the sidelines when you put work in," Moua says.

He heard about another boy in South Dakota who also wanted to dance and sued the state league.

"The majority of states do have laws that would allow boys to dance," attorney Tim Snowball says.

Attorneys with the Pacific Legal Foundation took the boys case and won.

Moua heard about the victory and decided to file a lawsuit of his own.

“The basis for our complaint and our lawsuit is that this rule unconstitutionally discriminates against boys in Minnesota, our clients, and all boys who wish to dance and be a part of the team,” Snowball says.

Another 16-year-old boy from Hopkins has also joined the suit.

Together the two boys are hoping to change league policy so they can compete with their friends before their last two years of high school are over.

"And if I'm not able to dance, I want this lawsuit to raise more awareness, paving a path for boys in Minnesota,” Moua says.

Attorneys have filed a preliminary injunction, so the two boys can compete until the lawsuit is hashed out.

They’re waiting to hear the judge’s decision on that injunction.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota State High School League says they’re not able to comment while the lawsuit is still active.