Marshfield Dance Coach Fired after 'Blurred Lines' Routine, Speaks


Update: Tue 10:19 PM, Oct. 1, 2013

The former Marshfield High School dance coach, Lisa Joling, said the school told her it got a number of complaints about the song called "Blurred Lines" used for the performance during a game in August.

"The first game, that's as far as I made it this year," Joling said.

After teaching dance for 15 years, dancing since she was four years old and coaching dance at Marshfield High School for a whole season and a game, Joling said choosing appropriate songs for her dancers is a clear decision either in her studio or on the field.

However, this performance had some people in the crowd unhappy.

"You want music that the crowd can relate to," Joling said. "The song, being that it was top of the charts for a long time, was a good choice. The audience and majority of people like the song."

Joling said a sophomore student choreographer on the team chose chart-topping "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke. Joling said she edited out the parts she thought were inappropriate. But, that wasn't enough to save her from the several phone calls to the school's district office.

"I felt like the school should have backed me up," Joling said.

The school released one statement saying:

"Action was taken to remove Ms. Jolin from the assignment as high school dance coach based on appropriate reasons and following district protocols. Personnel matters are confidential, so further information will not be forthcoming from the district."

Joling is the owner and director of Universal Dance Academy in Marshfield, and said the 15-16 year old girls are "mature enough" to listen to an edited version of "Blurred Lines."

"Any song that you chose, any song," Joling said. "If I chose Christian pop music that would have been a problem, or if it would have been classic rock. I've had people say something to me about Disney Pixar movie music before."

Even though Joling said the school wouldn't give her a clear number on how many people complained about the song selection, she said she won't be discouraged to teach because of an unclear distinction of what's appropriate and what isn't.

"I'm sorry. I'm upset for the girls, the team," Joling said. "They're 15-16 years old ... kinda left them hanging."

Joling said she's only had one other instance of someone not approving of the song choice for her dancers in the 14 years she's taught..

Also, the dance captain on the team said the team didn't have a problem with the song.

"Blurred Lines" has been at the top of the Billboard charts at No. 1, and has more than 170,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Video of football game performance courtesy of Marshfield News Herald.
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UPDATE: Tue 3:18 PM, Oct. 1, 2013

MARSHFIELD, Wis. (AP) -- The head coach of the Marshfield High School dance team has been fired after the team performed to an edited version of Robin Thicke's popular but racy hit "Blurred Lines."

Superintendent Peg Geegan told News-Herald Media that she couldn't comment on personnel issues but Lisa Jolin was removed as head coach for "appropriate reasons and following district protocols."

Parents and students said they are concerned that the dance team might disband without Jolin. They say she brought a measure of respectability to an activity that students had looked down on, and two of the seven team members have already quit.

Jolin said she doesn't know how many people had called Geegan to complain about the song choice, but she heard no complaints immediately after the performance.

The statement from the school reads as follows
Action was taken to remove Ms. Jolin from the assignment as high school Dance Coach based on appropriate reasons and following district protocols. Personnel matters are confidential, so further information will not be forthcoming from the district.


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