Principal Amy Pressly announces new name for BVNW dance team to be “Purple Pride”

Principal Amy Pressly announced to potential BVNW dance team returners and their family members tonight of the new name for the team: “Purple Pride.”

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Principal Amy Pressly announces new name for BVNW dance team to be “Purple Pride”

The logo of the newly named dance team,

The logo of the newly named dance team, "Purple Pride."

Photo courtesy of Amy Pressly

The logo of the newly named dance team, "Purple Pride."

Photo courtesy of Amy Pressly

Photo courtesy of Amy Pressly

The logo of the newly named dance team, "Purple Pride."

Anna Cowden, Editor-in-chief

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Following a Federal civil rights lawsuit and Blue Valley superintendent suspending the dance team this semester, principal Amy Pressly said the BVNW dance team is undergoing changes for the 2019-20 school year. In hopes to drive a more “inclusive” dance program, Pressly said she announced tonight to potential returning dancers and their families the new name for the BVNW dance team: “Purple Pride.”

The Blue Valley Unified School District, Pressly, former dance team head coach Carley Fine and BV teacher and Dazzler parent Katie Porter were named as defendants in the suit filed by former Dazzler and 2018 graduate Camille Sturdivant. Sturdivant claimed her civil rights, protected by the the 14th Amendment, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, were violated during her time as a Dazzler.

The district and Pressly denied several of the allegations made against them in a response filed in January.

With the goal of “reconstituting” the BVNW dance team, Pressly said a committee of 11 people made the decision to scrap the “Dazzler” name. The committee, she said, is comprised of several people from district office, former dance coaches, BV teachers and a parent.

Pressly told BVNWnews she hopes to announce the new Purple Pride head coach in the next week to ten days.

Along with the new name and head coach, Pressly said Purple Pride will opt out of Nationals and their annual Spring Show next year. She said the district will decide if the BV dance programs will be an extracurricular activity with no class provided, or if a Study Hall will be available for the dancers to take during the transitional year.

Though BVNW ELA teacher and 1995-2007 dance team head coach Erin Pearson declined to comment about the origin of the “Dazzler” name, she said the name was coined during the 1995 season. Prior to the season, the Dazzlers were known as simply the BVNW Drill Team.

Sophomore and 2018-19 Dazzler Courtney Krebs said she plans to return next year as a dance team member, and assumes most of the potential returners will do the same.

“I think they put a lot of thought and planning into next year,” Krebs said. “I feel like it’s really well organized and planned out.”

The rebranding of the BVNW dance team, Pressly said, will be an opportunity to encourage more dancers to try out.

“I want dance to be inclusive and for an opportunity for lots of people to participate,” Pressly said. “We have lots great dancers in this building, some of which I don’t think have thought in the past they could be a part of that. I really want to make sure that all kids who are interested take the opportunity to try out and to be a part of this great thing we’re gonna create.”

Though there are no set Purple Pride tryout dates, Pressly said they will decide on dates after the new head coach is selected.

Pressly did not allow reporters nor anyone not a returning dance team member and family members to attend the meeting.