Controversy is apparently roiling a tiny Wisconsin town after school district officials sacked a high school dance team coach because her charges performed a football halftime dance routine set to Robin Thicke’s chart-topping song “Blurred Lines.”
The dance routine — and the football game — occurred on Aug. 23 at Marshfield High School. The coach, Lisa Joling, was fired three days after the incident, reports local ABC affiliate WAOW.
Joling told the local ABC affiliate that she allowed students on the dance team choose the songs for their routines, and this instance was no exception.
“We edited the music to make it appropriate for a high school dance team performance,” she added.
Joling also said that she has been left in the dark about the details of the district’s decision to terminate her employment.
“I got no specifications on how many phone calls were made, no specifics on what was said, nothing specific on exactly what they were unhappy with,” she told WAOW. “Was it the performance? Was it the movement? The song choice?”
The unrated music video for “Blurred Lines” features three topless models wearing flesh-colored thongs. They cavort next to Thicke, Pharrell Williams and rapper T.I. The lyrics of the massive Top 40 hit are sexually suggestive. Some critics call the lyrics misogynistic as well. (RELATED: ‘Blurred Lines’ hottie to costar with Ben Affleck in ‘Gone Girl’ [SLIDESHOW])
As of September, the song is the longest-running number-one single of 2013. It has sold over 5,000,000 downloads in the United States.
In a terse statement, school district Superintendent Peg Geegan said Joling was canned “based on appropriate reasons and following district protocols,” then added that “personnel matters are confidential.”
Kathy Hennick, the mother of Marshfield High’s dance team captain is not pleased with the outcome.
“I have known Coach Joling from having my daughter attend dance classes, and whether she was a dancing instructor or whether she was a coach, she really upheld a high standard of professionalism,” Hennick told WAOW.
Joling told The Marshfield News-Herald that she feels bad to leave the now coach-less team midseason.
“It’s upsetting because these girls signed up to be a part of the dance team, and it’s supposed to be a learning experience with a lot of great memories,” she said.
The dance team had seven members for the halftime show featuring “Blurred Lines.” Since Joling was fired, two dancers have quit.
Marshfield High is currently seeking a new dance team coach. The job is posted on the school district’s website.
Also, for the record, Marshfield High lost the football game that night 10-9 loss to Wausau West.