April 2019

National Dance Coaches Association

In This Issue

  • Time to Register!
  • A Trip to the Spa
  • Volunteers Needed
  • Featured Article - Costuming Article from Ashley at Utah Valley
  • Auditions - Current Trends
  • Coaches Toolbox - Does Talent Outweigh a Negative Attitude?
  • Dance Spirit - The Best College Dance Teams
  • Seattle Storm Auditions
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REGISTER NOW!!! We are only 6 weeks away from the 2019 NDCA Conference! Click the link below to register for this unforgettable experience. You deserve it!

Take a Trip to the Spa at the 2019 Conference with 20% OFF!

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The Hilton Las Vegas' 30,000 Square foot spa and salon includes 24 treatment rooms, Jacuzzi’s, cool plunge pools for detoxification, steam rooms and sauna. You can also enjoy a stunning private courtyard, fitness room and cozy boutique. They offer a variety of services, such as the “Signature Experience” where you can top off your relaxing massage with a glass of champagne. You can also reveal your inner radiance with a customized facial, and round out your experience with a trip to the full service hair and nail salon.


The fitness center has a wide range of cardio and stationary equipment to help you achieve your fitness goals. Start your day with morning or evening yoga classes. You can then unwind with a visit to the Healing Waters; enjoy the Eucalyptus steam room or languish in the dry heat of the sauna.


Fitness Center is open at 6am – 7pm.


NDCA attendees will receive a 20% off of all full price services and full price retail in our boutique.


No guests under 18 allowed in fitness center or spa area.

Volunteers Needed!

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Are you interested in spreading your wings outside your school/program and making a difference in the broader dance team world? The NDCA needs you! We are currently looking for people to serve as representatives or program directors. There is a job to fit every area of interest and level of commitment.


Districts 1, 3, 5 and 7 All Star, High School, and College Representatives needed (see map below).

To find out more, please email us at nationaldancecoaches@gmail.com.

Utah Valley’s Costume Journey

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by Ashley Hardison & Bri Sorenson from Utah Valley University

The process of designing and creating a costume is one of our favorite parts of preparing for nationals! We have worked with Perfecto Designs for the past 5 years and each year we work together to create something better than we could have ever hoped for. Here's how the process works:


  • It begins with sending our pictures, discussing colors and fabrics and then we receive a sketch. We are able to make revisions and make sure what we see on paper is clear.
  • We sign off on the sketch and it is sent to get a prototype. This step is key! We are able to try it on, we adjust sleeve lengths, neck height, cut of bottoms, and think about the rhinestone design.
  • We communicate all the changes necessary and submit our custom sizes. Then they create the costume, we receive a picture of the changes that were made and the costumes go into production. Perfecto Designs' production team is quick.
  • The most rewarding is when we reveal the costumes to the team!


Our 2019 Costume Journey:


We began the process for our 2019 Jazz costume with a few designs that we liked and were trying to blend them together. When we got our first sketch the costume looked beautiful, but when we got a picture of the prototype it wasn't quite what we wanted. When talking with Laura, the owner of Perfecto, she was very understanding and we were able to start fresh.


Laura, Bri (Dance Coach) and Ashley (Spirit Squad Coordinator) all went to work searching for designs and styles we liked. We ended up finding inspiration on Pinterest that we felt could be cohesive and create something that was one-of-a-kind. Instead of lace like the Pinterest inspirational picture, we opted to choose rhinestones! Perfecto sent a second prototype and when we got it back, the costume was beautiful but we felt like it was too similar to our 2018 Jazz costume.


So again, we all got on the phone and talked through what we were going to do. Bri had a picture of a dress on her phone that she had held onto for a couple of years and when she sent it over we knew it was a design we could work with. It was less intricate but also had the edge that we felt like we wanted to go with our music and choreography. Prototype number three arrived and we fell in love! We loved the "wow" factor the rhinestone design had on the back and the arms but the front was still missing something. We looked at a few options for adjusting the front design, and communicated that to Perfecto. When we received the costumes and showed them to our team, the girls where in awe of the emerald green color, the stunning stone work, and the (surprising) comfort.


Elements to Consider:


· Inspiration: Most of our inspiration comes from images on Pinterest and other social media outlets, piecing together the front of one costume and the skirt from another, and adding different appliqué and stone designs. There’s nothing like the reassurance of your team stepping onto the stage in a one of a kind original costume.


· Overall feel: What should the costume feel like? Edgy, graceful, bold, subtle - all the details play into the feel. Evaluating the music and choreography always helps determine the look that we are going for.


· Style: The shape that your costume creates should definitely be considered, a long flowy dress for a hard jazz would definitely not be a good fit. For the costume this year we debated putting a skirt on or not but when we saw the prototype we just knew it wouldn’t fit the overall fee we were going for.


· Color: We try to represent our university in any way possible! If we can pull green into the costume we will. Also, the feel of the music helps determine which shade of a color we choose. For example, this routine would have had a completely different feel if it would have been a light color.


· Fabric: This year we chose to go with a velvet bodice and mesh sleeves because we wanted a fabric that would be flattering on our team, be easy to dance in, and look eye-catching onstage. We loved how smooth they appeared and the how they complimented the emerald color through the choreography. With such an extensive and intricate rhinestone design, we knew the fabric needed to not be as flashy. Textured fabric can really add dimension.


· Rhinestones: We knew we wanted major pop and to come up with something we’d never seen before. We spent years stoning our own costumes to get them to the look exactly how we wanted, even having our alternates stone during practices, but with Perfecto the costumes come completely stoned and ready to be worn. It allows us more time to focus on the routines and gives our team more opportunities to practice and perform in them prior to nationals.

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Updates to College Dance Team Auditions - A Must Read if You Have High School Seniors!

Are you a high school or all star coach with graduating seniors looking to dance in college? The NDCA has resources for you.


  1. Click here to access the “Members Only” section of the website that contains a list of states with links to college team websites. The members only password is NDCA#1492. That password is for NDCA members only, so please help us maintain its exclusive use.

  2. Check out the article, “Preparing Dancers for College Auditions.” It gives you the “5, 6, 7, 8” step-by-step instructions on how you can help.

  3. Continue to read this article about recent changes in audition procedures that are happening around the country.


A couple of months ago, we featured Laura Pucker, coach at Keiser University in Florida. In her interview, she discussed her video-only audition procedure. Laura isn’t the only coach moving in this direction. Some teams are conducting a video pre-screening and then inviting candidates to come to the in-person audition. Others are operating a recruitment strategy where there is no “official” audition, but a procedure to seek out talent and use a variety of strategies to determine a good fit. You can click here to visit our January Newsletter discussing the video only audition for KU. Here is more information on two other programs using non-traditional audition strategies.


Washington State University


Head Coach: Kaila Evenoff


Type of Audition: Video Pre-Screening Followed By an Invitation to the In-Person Audition


What must be included in the video?

  • 45 – 60 Second Solo

  • Double, Triple, and Quad Pirouette

  • 2, 8 Counts of an Advanced A La Seconde Combo of Choice

  • Jete on Right and Left

  • Leap in Seconde

  • Leg Hold on Right and Left


Why is she making the change from a traditional three-day on campus audition?


  • “It alleviates dancers from making a long-distance trip, especially if they are not able to make it past the first round of auditions.

  • It cuts out time from the overall audition process. Auditions in the past were 3 days; doing it this way cuts an entire day out.

  • We are able to see each dancer more than once, without feeling like we need to rush through the first round of auditions. With video we are able to go back and review each dancer and their technique/skills as many times as we like.

  • It gives us a much better idea of the skill-set and level of each dancer before they walk in the door for the final round of the on-campus audition.

  • If dancers know ahead of time that they have made it to the final round of auditions, it makes it much more worthwhile for them to travel, and it gives us a good idea of how serious they are about committing to coming to school here.”



The Ohio State University


Head Coach: Melissa McGhee


Type of Audition: Recruitment Only


Official Strategy Statement: “For the 2019-2020 Season, The Ohio State University Dance Team is moving to a recruitment model for team selection. This is similar to the model that most every other D1A Sport runs. The coaching staff evaluated dancers through numerous touch points including competitions, combines and clinics. Through this process the coaches are able to evaluate the dancers’ technical ability and contact them to further get to know them should it be a good fit. Dancers are offered spots for the team on a rolling basis as the roster needs are determined with the goal of having a solidified roster by April 1st.”


Why She’s Using This Strategy:


  • To achieve consistency between how the Dance Team operates as compared to other sports and to attract the best talent. Holding open tryouts was a big point of differentiation between Cheer/Dance and every other sport.

  • Each year, auditions started to feel more redundant. With recruiting, top talent can be identified and evaluated for a good fit. This model also prevents dancers from flying in and attending a three-day process when coaches have a clear vision of what types of dancers they want.


The Bottom Line: Dancers need to identify the colleges/universities that they are interested in early and research the audition process for those schools. Contacting the coach of the team in a professional manner to show interest is recommended, as well as attending any camps or clinics offered by the team.

The Best College Dance Teams in the Country

Click the link below to find out about some of the best College Dance Teams across the country AND what it takes to be apart of them!
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Coaches Toolbox Presents: Does Talent Outweigh a Negative Attitude?

Can you justify keeping a talented player that causes trouble and brings the team down?

Ideally, our best players are our best leaders. They work hard, they motivate their teammates, and they communicate well with the coaches. But what happens when a strong talent is an energy suck? What if they only bring negative energy? Does the good (their talent) outweigh the bad (their attitude)?


Not according to experts.


Will Felps is an Australian collegiate professor who focuses on the negative effects of bad apple teammates among other things. Felps “estimates that teams with just one deadbeat or downer suffer a performance disadvantage of 30 to 40 percent compared to teams that have no bad apples.”


30-40%????!! How many close games or races did your team lose this year? Could it be because of your bad apple?


I’d say this is a pretty solid argument for being aware of, trying to manage, or ultimately getting rid of the bad apples on your team.


By Dawn Redd-Kelley, head volleyball coach at Beloit College

Published in CoachesToolbox:

https://www.coachestoolbox.net/team-building/does-talent-out-weigh-attitude?utm_content=9da397676292c73e53946728c5f98481&utm_campaign=190307all&utm_source=Robly.com&utm_medium=email

Seattle Storm (WNBA) Audition Information - Sunday, April 14

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Click the link below for more information about the Seattle Storm Auditions!!!