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Male dance team draws fire for Christmas parade performance

Dec. 24, 2013 at 1:15 PM

SEMMES, Ala., Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Organizers of an Alabama Christmas parade said a male dance team's act was "inappropriate" but the dancers say critics are too focused on gender over talent.

The Prancing Elites -- a team of four men who perform a style of dance, using cheerleading-type movement and conventionally performed by women -- took part Saturday in the Semmes, Ala., Christmas parade, wearing costumes that featured tight white shorts.

The performance prompted complaints from spectators, and a parade organizer who approved their application to participate said it was "vulgar" and out of place for a family event, al.com reported Tuesday.

"I had no idea that they would be dressed the way they were and that they would think it's appropriate for a community Christmas parade," Karen McDuffie said. "Their costumes and the style of dancing were inappropriate."

McDuffie apologized on behalf of the parade's sponsor, the Friends of Semmes.

Kentrell Collins, the leader of the Prancing Elites, based in Mobile, suggested the criticism is based on a double standard.

"We are no different than any team out there dancing," he said. "We want people to stop looking at gender and focus on the talent.

"It's OK for a woman to put on tights and play football, but when a man wants to put on a leotard and tights, it's a problem."

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