Beyoncé has sent a cease and desist letter to an Australian dance school named Bey Dance, in an effort to protect the untouchable Beyoncé brand.
Starting in 2012, the Bey Dance school spanned across several states and focused on empowering people of all shapes and sizes, as Beyoncé has done consistently with her music.
However, as the ABC reports, Bey Dance Director Liz Calahan has received a cease and desist letter from Beyoncé’s Sydney lawyers, and is now forbidden to use ‘Bey’ or ‘Beyoncé’ in the name of the school, mention her on social media posts, use her music in her classes or even perform some of Beyoncé’s most iconic dance moves.
“They said they could see what we were doing was out of complete admiration for Beyoncé’s work,” Calahan said, “But it could be damaging to Beyoncé’s brand, because people might think we were affiliated with Beyoncé.”
However, Calahan also pointed out she felt the school had drifted away from being Beyoncé-centred ever since the release of 2016’s Lemonade, an album specifically about the experience of African-American women.
“A lot of my discomfort with the school really started when that Lemonade album dropped,” she said. “Not because I didn’t love the album and its message, but because it felt wrong for me to be claiming it… here I am, a white Anglo-Celtic woman in Australia, that’s not my experience to share.”
Bey Dance has already been renamed, and some of its classes have also been repurposed. Its music playlists have also been changed, and now include artists like Rihanna and Madonna, but sadly no Beyoncé.