A high school dance performance in Barrie is being called “offensive” and a misrepresentation of black culture.

Rhiannon Hoover was in the audience last week when students from Eastview Secondary School took the stage for a performance called “Black Dance Evolution.”

The piece was supposed to highlight the influence of black culture on modern dance, but Hoover says, in her opinion, that just wasn’t the case.

“Instead they created a piece that used various elements of cultural appropriation and it ended up being very offensive," the 17 year old says. "I don't think this is going to come off the way that they want it to."

Video she posted on social media of the performance shows dancers in robes, and wearing multi-coloured wigs during a “disco” routine.

Hoover's father says he's disappointed, but not surprised. He hopes students and teachers use this as a learning experience.

"It’s just the way it was done.  Certainly you can honour other cultures through art in better ways than this," Darcy Hoover says.

The Simcoe County District School Board issued a statement on the performance, saying “we are confident that there was no ill intent, but acknowledge that the performance was not culturally respectful."

Irfan Toor, principal of equity, diversity and inclusion for the school board, acknowledges that there’s still a lot to learn as a system.

“We're going to take this as a learning opportunity for us, for our staff, for our students.”

Hoover says she doesn't think the students intended to be offensive, but hopes the situation opens up a broader classroom conversation about cultural appropriation.

One of the dancers has apologized to Hoover.

A spokesperson for the school board says a representative actually visited Eastview Secondary School on Monday to speak with students and teachers involved with the performance.