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Hot Ukrainian Dance Team Too Hot for Turkey

8. September 2010 by Michelle 0 Comments

The Red Foxes are RED HOT!

Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, began hosting the FIBA World Basketball Championships last week and players and fans are pleased with the pre-game and time-out entertainment selection – the dynamic dance team from Ukraine known as the Red Foxes. However, not everyone wants to see the girls’ unique compilations of rhythmic gymnastics and colorful choreography.


The Red Foxes have been asked not to perform during any games involving the host country, a mostly Muslim nation, whose officials believe the dancers’ outfits are too provocative. Even though they had created special routines and cultural outfits for each country, Iranian officials appeared to be offended as well. The girls proceeded to cover up with black tights and oversized white t-shirts during Iran’s game.


FIBA released a statement assuring fans that these decisions were not coming from their organization, saying “This is not FIBA’s decision, and the dancers will continue to perform at other games in Ankara involving other countries … the dancers bring much fun and joy to fans watching games and help to create a vibrant, happy atmosphere in the arenas.”


The Red Foxes dance team was created in Kiev in 2001 and they appear in a wide range of sports competitions, concert programs, television shows, commercial presentations, and fashion shows all over the world. When asked why the dancers didn’t appear during Turkey’s game, founder and coach Elena Rozhkova said it’s a political question and chose not to comment any further. Some are speculating that the Turkish Basketball Federation President, Turgay Demirel, barred the Red Foxes to gain favor with government officials.


“It is a balance between respecting the culture and making sure basketball delivers all the pace, excitement and entertainment that goes with the world championship,” said Patrick Baumann, the FIBA Secretary General said. He continued, “If it needs a little bit of adjustment, that is fine with us.”


However, many believe this censorship is still very controversial. A former Turkish national team member, who withheld his name for fear of government retribution, remarks, “It’s crazy … in a secular country like Turkey, they shouldn’t have to do that.”


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Source: The New York Times