Dancers React After First Season with Boys Allowed on Teams

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — For the first time in state history this fall boys competed on high school dance teams after a ban was temporarily lifted, and soon it could become a permanent rule change.

KDLT catches up with the first and only boy on a Sioux Falls high school dance team after a historic season.

“It was really nerve wracking but in the end it really paid off,” says Tyler Koester of Sioux Falls.

Koester has a lot to be proud of.

Washington High School is fresh off its 10th Grand Dance Title in 11 years, and he’s making history by being a part of the dynasty.

“It was crazy. I remember at the first competition people would be like ‘oh my gosh Washington has a boy on their team’,” says Koester.

Washington Head Coach Angela Nieman says Koester’s contributions are huge both in competition and at practice.

“I think what’s really neat about Tyler is that he didn’t expect any special privileges like he was a true teammate,” says Nieman.

This was the first year boys could compete alongside girls.

The South Dakota High School Activities Association was sued this past spring for not allowing boys to compete, so they lifted the ban, but only temporarily. However, the future looks promising.

After watching this season, the state’s Dance Advisory Committee has passed a proposal to allow boys to continue competing permanently and to monitor the number of boys participating to see if the state needs to make boys only teams.

Tyler, now 17, has been dancing since he was 2 and is thankful for the opportunity to open doors for those looking to dance.

“A lot of people seem to think that just because you have a boy on your team means they don’t have to work as hard. If anything they have to work harder than the girls have to work because you’re always the one that’s watched,” says Koester.

They’re watching to see if boys can hit the dance floor again next season.

The permanent rule change still needs to be voted on by the state Athletic Directors and the Activities Association’s Board of Directors.

Both of those votes are expected to take place in the spring.

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