National Dance Coaches Assocation
- 2018 NDCA Inaugural Conference Registration
- Conference Speaker: MELISSA MCGHEE
- Featured Member of the Month: Meag Warren
- RECRUITING: How to Build your Program! For Coaches at the College, High School, and All Star Level!
- 10 Minute Partner Workout
- APPS of the Month
- HOW TO: Shooting Star Lift with BYU Cougarettes
- Dear Old School Coach ... SENIOR GIFTS
ONLY TWO MONTHS LEFT! REGISTER NOW FOR THE 2018 NDCA CONFERENCE TODAY!
2018 NDCA INAGURAL CONFERENCE
Thursday, May 17th 2018 at 3pm to Saturday, May 19th 2018 at 10pm
1610 Lake Las Vegas Parkway
CONFERENCE SPEAKER: Melissa McGhee
A native of Toledo, Ohio, Melissa McGhee is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she obtained a B.A. in Business Administration. She is the current Head Coach of The Ohio State University Dance Team. Under her direction, the team has consistently placed in the top five at the UDA Collegiate National Championships and won both the Pom and Jazz Divisions in 2018. After sixteen years of studio training, she now choreographs and consults for dance studios and teams nationally and judges for numerous dance competitions including UDA, AmeriDance, Showcase America, OASSA, and the USASF Dance Worlds.
We are excited to have Melissa speak at this year's conference! Make sure to register so you don't miss out!
Featured Member of the Month
Meag Warren is the Director of the Youth Tigettes (1st - 7th grade) and the Broken Arrow High School Tigettes (8th grade - Varsity) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is in her 13th year of coaching and has worked teams ranging from 4th grade to 12th grade. She graduated from the University of Tulsa, where she danced on the Pom Squad all four years and served as Captain for two. Meag has been a math teacher for 9 years and has two children - Brady (7) and Brooklynn (5).
Three years ago, Meag started working with the BAYFA youth program and has now taken over as Youth Director, where she is starting to see the benefits of developing a PROGRAM and not just a team. Since then, she has noticed that there is a greater sense of community - dancers and parents proudly invest in a unified program. Dancers in all levels dress the same and together, attend events such as parades, community service projects, and fundraisers. Early on, dancers and parents learn how to be a “Tigette” - how to practice, how to perform, and how to be a good team member.
Benefits for the Varsity team:
- They learn to choreograph and teach, which filters into their roles on Varsity. They become better teachers and choreographers.
- Varsity dancers have the responsibility to be role models and leaders.
- With more training and experience from years as a Tigette, the Varsity dancers can be more competitive.
Benefits for the younger dancers:
- They receive dance training in the team style, preparing them to move up in the program.
- They are excited to work with the “big kids.”
- They have performance opportunities with the older dancers.
Benefits for Meag:
- When dancers reach the Varsity level, parents are accustomed to the expectations.
- Investing in teaching technique to younger dancers pays off at the Varsity level.
- Dancers and parents work to help the program thrive, even after they have graduated.
There is no doubt that expanding a team into a program by adding additional teams/dancers is more work, but the benefits in the long run can be profound. Meag is not only making her Varsity team better, but expanding her sphere of influence and making a difference in more lives.
RECRUITING: How to Build your Program! For Coaches at the College, High School, and All Star Level!
- Know the goals emphasis of your program - Are you a game day team or a competitive team or both? What styles will you perform or compete? How many “spots” will you have available each year?
Clearly identify the type of athlete that you want to recruit. Recruit for YOUR team, not just the most sought out, "best" dancers on each high school team or studio. Build the team that you want to coach.
Identify the best places to find the type of athletes you are seeking (high school dance teams, studios, all star teams, etc.).
Draft a clear recruiting plan to target those athletes.
Attend local, regional and national competitions. It helps to have at least 2 coaches or captains present at these events. Coach 1 can be up in the stands taking notes and communicating the top recruits from each team to Coach 2 who is seeking out the top dancers to give them a pamphlet, business card, flyer, etc.
Network with high school, all star and studio coaches. Build a relationship with them and learn about their upcoming dancers.
Attend a recruiting combine (i.e. Tribe 99, UDA, Michigan).
Identify and attend competitions and events that allow recruiting tables.
Maintain a recruiting spreadsheet or “watchlist” with recruit info and notes. Keep track of your top recruits.
The wider you cast your net looking for dancers, the better your chances are of finding the right fit. Don’t always fixate on “big name” teams or studios, counting out smaller, non-competitive teams.
Market Your Team
Take advantage of social media, create fancy flyers and pamphlets. Ask your marketing department for help. Sometimes the admissions department will provide pamphlets or folders to use.
Encourage the recruit to attend a clinic, shadow an audition, tour campus, meet with you and/or members of your team. Face to face communication is always better than digital correspondence.
Use your games, events, nationals send offs, etc. as recruiting tools. Invite recruits to see your team in action.
- Hold a recruiting clinic or recruiting weekend to get recruits to come to your campus.
- If you are able to, give away team t-shirts or apparel. Recruits LOVE this and it’s not cheating if you are allowed. :)
Key in on your team’s strengths, accomplishments and perks. What makes your team special? What differentiates it from others? Are there any perks that your school provides to your athletes?
If you do not have scholarships available, be sure the athlete you are recruiting can afford your university’s tuition or will have access to financial aid. If you have team fees, consider this too.
Make sure dancers can keep up with your academic requirements. If they can’t hang in high school, there’s a good chance they won’t be eligible on your team in college.
Make sure dancers are mature enough to handle a college team. Talk to their coach, get to know the dancer personally. Is his/her parent dominating the conversation? If your school is away from their home, will they be able to handle it?
If possible, observe them in action with their teams. Watch their behavior and interactions with teammates and coaches.
Be clear with your expectations of a dancer. Don't sugar coat your practice schedule, event/game calendar, fundraising expectations or team conditioning regimen just to win the recruit over.
Give yourself enough time to recruit! Start early! Make contact with athletes prior to senior year to make sure they will fit with your program AND your program will fit them. If you wait until their senior year, they may have already committed to another school or it is too late for them to be admitted to yours. Build a relationship with them early. They will have more time to improve skills specific for your team, seek out financial aid, etc.
Don't do it alone! As dance coaches, we usually don't have the ability to have one staff member whose sole responsibility is recruiting. It can be a beast so split it up between several coaches and include your team leadership if it makes sense for you.
Be sure to always check with your university/college to ensure that you are abiding by any specific recruiting guidelines or rules.
- Control the controllable and don’t just wait for talent to walk in the door!
Bio: Kelsey Moffe is a former dancer and Head Coach of the University of Cincinnati Dance Team and the US National Dance Team. During her coaching tenure, she led these teams to two D1A National Titles and four ICU World Titles. Kelsey now lives with her family in Washington where she serves on the NDCA Executive board as Treasurer and acts as a consultant for dance teams across the nation.
Having a strong freshman class gives us all hope for a successful new school year. Here are some ideas to get middle school dancers to your tryout.
- Attend 8th grade parent night. Set up a table, have a video playing, and pass out your audition packet. Bring uniformed dancers with you to answer questions and provide their perspective.
- Update your social media with information about the audition. Be sure all current and graduating members of your team post the information on their social media too.
- Don’t forget to provide information about your audition to charter schools, magnet schools, and private schools in your area.
- Take note from college teams and offer a pre-audition clinic to clue in potential candidates on your program’s expectations.
- Have your current dancers wear their uniforms to the middle school, set up a table at lunch time, and give information about auditions. Show a video to stir up more interest.
- Form a relationship with the middle school dance coach and team
- Offer to send a dancer to help with choreography, technique, and/or cleaning. Work with the high school to get the helper independent study credits toward graduation.
- Host a clinic for middle school dancers.
- Help the middle school team book a performance at one of your high school’s basketball or football games.
- If you host a show or competition, invite them to be guest performers.
- At these performances, give awards for “Star Performers” and invite these dancers to attend a competition with your high school team to see what it entails.
- Ask the middle school to help you arrange for your team to perform at a middle school assembly. Have one of your dancers introduce the team and say a little about your program.
- No middle school team? Recruit one of your former dancers to start one.
- Team up with the best studio in your town to teach a technique class once a week to your high school team at their studio. Recruit dancers from that studio to audition for your team. Get the studio teacher onboard and invested in your program. Then, he/she will encourage dancers to audition for your team.
- Ask your high school dancers, “Who are the good dancers coming up?” Once you have a list, assign your high school dancers the task of connecting with these potential candidates to tell them about your team and the audition.
Bio: Kim Hille has been coaching for 25 years. She currently coaches Tumwater High School, Bush Middle School, and with the local Parks and Rec programs. She was named Washington Coach of the Year in 2005 and has since been inducted into their Hall of Fame. Kim is a Nationally Board Certified Language Arts teacher at Bush Middle School.
Trying to recruit and grow an all star dance program can be tricky because we do not have the school feeder system that a middle school or high school may have. Getting the word out for all star programs tends to be easier at a scholastic level. However, there are some proven methods for growing a program that you can implement as you begin recruiting for your 2018 –
- Have an inclusive attitude about the dancers you take. With all the category and skill level options we have in the dance team and studio competition format, there is a place for everyone! Taking a chance on a hard-working dancer this season (with proper staging considerations) will grow fruitful for you in the next couple of years. Recruit not only for this season, but for future seasons to come.
- Review and revise your social media and/or website to reflect all areas of your program. Big trophies and flashy costumes are amazing, but be sure to include what parents really want in an activity for their child. Showcasing that your program also develops strong leaders, confidence, time management skills, passion, and possible community service will be a bonus selling point.
- If you have a community performance such as a parade, have small flyers or business cards to pass out at the event to people who ask or show interest.
- Involve current parents and dancers to spread the word on how much they love being a part of your program and have them recruit every dancer they know! People always want to be a part of something that others are excited about.
- Last, but certainly not least, go get them yourself! Approach a dancer and parent personally and let them know you would love for them to be a part of your program. Often times just a few kind words in the studio hallway can push someone who was “lightly considering” to definitely participating! A personal letter to the dancer is a plus as well – it’s much easier for a dancer to show up at an audition when she knows she is wanted.
Need more tips and tricks? Have some to share? Reach out to the National Dance Coaches Association - we are here for you! Good luck and happy recruiting.
Bio: Bri Lakomy graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with concentration in Choreography from Columbia College Chicago. She is the curriculum director at the northwest Indiana studio M2 Dance Center where she also teaches, choreographs, and helps direct the Indiana Danzforce All Stars.
10 MINUTE PARTNER WORKOUT
Here's the list of partner exercises in this video: 1. 4 x 1 Toe Tap/Drop 2. Walkout Fives 3. Toe Tap/Reverse Lunges (R/L) 4. Superhero Planks 5. Targets (A/B) 6. Plank Toe Taps 7. Crossback + Knee Drive (R/L) 8. Crab Toe Touch 9. Hi-Low Fives This whole routine, as shown, is 10 minutes long. Feel free to perform 1-4 rounds total. If you're doing multiple rounds, take 1 minute breaks in between each round.
APPS OF THE MONTH!
Children learn by saying, seeing, and doing. With this unique teaching tool, the child can hear the term spoken, watch the video of the step being performed and see the correct spelling and phonetic pronunciation.
SayBallet, the informative and fun way to teach ballet terms!
-Search for term definitions in the reference glossary
-Hear the term spoken
-Watch videos of each movement (no Internet access required)
-See pictures of position and form
-Test your knowledge by taking interactive quizzes
Over 140 terms and 77 videos.
BAND - Organize your groups
BAND is BEST for:
● Sports Teams - Schedule game days or practices with the team calendar, notify all members quickly about canceled practices, and share videos + pictures from games with the team all in one place.
● Work/Projects - Share files and keep everyone in the loop with the community messaging board. Have a quick group call with remote teams. Stay accountable with shared to-do lists.
● School Groups - Plan all your school events easily with the calendar and use polls to decide activity and food options. Send out group messages to update everyone on how the event is going.
● Faith Groups - Organize activities with a weekly notice and calendar RSVP to all members. Support each other throughout the week by privately sharing prayer requests through chat.
● Gaming Clans and Guilds - Set up a raiding schedule with the group calendar and share important information about any game with all your members. Use multiple chat rooms for group finder, recruitment and sharing strategies.
● Family, Friends, Communities - Stay connected with your family and friends. BAND also has public groups! Use the discover feature to find communities with similar interests or near you.
BAND is the best way to stay connected with all types of groups!
● Be social & organized in one place
Community Board / Calendar / Poll / Group File Sharing / Photo Album / Private Chat / Group Call
● Create or join a space that meets your group’s unique needs
Adjust privacy settings (secret, closed, public), control notifications, manage members (admin & co-admins), assign privileges, and make a vanity URL or home cover design dedicated to your group. You can customize everything about your group and make it unique!
You can chat wherever you are. BAND can be used on any device including your phone, desktop, or tablet by going to http://band.us.
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HOW TO: Shooting Star Lift by BYU Cougarettes
Dear Old School Coach ... Senior Gifts
With Spring approaching, it means the end of the season is near. I would love to get a head start on finding my seniors a great gift for senior night, any suggestions?
Probably one of the most common gifts for such an occasion involves a framed collage of photos from their year or years on the team. The danger in that, is that since they are to be “moving on” what was a great memory might not feel as special as it would have when they are still on the team. If they are leaving HS, it’s time to start enjoying photos and souvenirs and awards from their college team or from their next stage in life. If they are leaving college - it’s time to move on from dance team altogether. Not that the memories aren’t priceless, I just often wonder where those photos or collages then end up. I prefer those kind of gifts for holiday time when they are still on the team.
For HS, I favor purchasing one of Dr Suess’s books such as “Oh the Places You’ll Go” and either coaches write messages inside or the entire team does. You write at the top of the inside front cover what the occasion is, and then everyone writes a short complimentary farewell message. If that particular book doesn’t suit, there are other alternatives. I think people like to look back at the favorable things people said about them - doesn’t matter how much time goes by - that’s always uplifting right?
For College, I favor something similar but maybe make it more of a “compliment” journal. Purchase a photo album that will fit 3x5 index cards. Have each team member write something memorable and complimentary on the card and fill the album with the compliment cards. Then you can slip a few photos in too if you want. Doesn’t have to hang on the wall, is easy to carry along, and is fun to look at for years to come.
For either HS or College another option is a hand stamped necklace from one of the many jewelers out there that can customize/monogram. Either a disc or a bar (sort of like charms) that has their name on one side, name of team on the other, and then you can add small stones in the school colors. You can also do something like one bar for their name and graduation date, one bar for team name or any combination thereof. It is subtle enough they can wear it long after. This is a bigger budget item potentially, if you choose one of the nicer jewelers. Etsy is possibly an option for this as well.
Also there are some “dance themed” trinket boxes out there, that look mature enough for both ages to have. Just a small reminder on their dresser of their time on dance. Something like Limoge or something similar.