June 2020

National Dance Coaches Association

Table of Contents

  • 2021 NDCA National Dance Coaches Conference Dates Announced
  • 2020 Award Winners
  • Credential Classes
  • Coaching is NOT Cancelled - Get inspired by Kaitlyn Marquette from Manhattan College
  • College Survey Results Released Soon
  • Return to Dance Guidelines - Pick Your Source
  • Featured Member - LIndsey Lococo, UIC
  • Thank You to our Partners
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NDCA Awards video 2020

Credential Program Information and Schedule

Courses Currently Offered Online:

Level 1 Coaching Credential

Level 2 Coaching Credential

Level 1 Dance Safety Credential

Click Here to be directed to the website to register for the classes listed above. NOTE: Member password is #NASH2020!

Judging Credential Classes

Classes run June – October 2020.

In response to COVID-19, all classes will be offered for free and online, with paid membership.

All courses begin at 8:30pm EST

Proficient Level 1

1. Introduction to Proficient Judging

  • Monday, June 8th
  • Monday, September 14th

2. Separating Artistic and Technical Measurements

  • Tuesday, June 9th
  • Tuesday, September 15th

3. Giving Feedback

  • Thursday, June 11th
  • Thursday, September 17th

Advanced Level 2: Open to members who have completed all three Proficient Level 1 classes

1. Introduction to Advanced Judging

  • Monday, August 3rd
  • Monday, October 5th

2. Advanced Scoring Lab

  • Monday, August 10th
  • Monday, October 19th

You will receive an email with a link to a Zoom video conference call prior to each class.


College Survey Results

At the 2019 NDCA Coaches Conference, college coaches voted to administer a national survey aimed to collect data from college coaches nationally. The survey was launched and conducted in Fall 2019. The data represented in the survey is derived from over 75 collegiate dance team coaches. The data represents Junior Colleges, NAIA, Division III, II, I (FCS, FBS and Non-Football) Programs. The findings summarized in this report are intended to be used as an educational tool for coaches to learn more about the current dance team landscape.

Survey results will land in NDCA current college coach mailboxes this week.

Here is a sneak preview of some of the information collected:

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Coaching is NOT Cancelled - by Kaitlyn Marquette of Manhattan College

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Manhattan college jasper dancers senior surprise

My day on May 15th is not what I had planned. Instead of cheering on a sea of kelly green caps and gowns, I wrapped a mask around my ears, and put my car in drive. Six poised young women were meant to walk the stage as Manhattan College Jasper Dancers and college graduates. They spent four years dancing for my program while earning degrees in Civil Engineering, Philosophy, Communications, Childhood/Special Education and English.

They’ve come in dead last at nationals, and returned ready to take on another year. They fought for every count at grueling overnight training camps and local competitions. They performed at hundreds of basketball games.

The passion these seniors had for our little family of dancers never waived. They never questioned our journey. They always had faith in me, and in our future.

They won a national championship in 2019, and were putting in the hours to earn another.

In February, I got nominated for 2020 NDCA Coach of the Year, a career peak. The big conference was set for May 15th, which was graduation day for my seniors. I took the winter to think it over, and decided to miss their ceremony and travel to Nashville. I knew the opportunity to learn as much as I could to better my program for the future and grow as a coach was the right choice. My seniors would understand.

March came with a global punch to the gut. Nationals, the NDCA conference, and life as we knew it got cancelled. My seniors wouldn’t get to walk, and the weeks leading up to May 15th, were some of the hardest for me. I couldn’t imagine how they felt.

But I’m still their coach, and I could still show up for them.

No trophy, award, or ceremony could replace the look on their faces after driving 485 miles through Staten Island, Long Island, Connecticut, and Maryland to my six seniors: Megan, Natalia, Taylor A, Taylor M, Alyssa and Draya.

The week of their graduation, I reached out to their parents with my plan. I compared my idea to the trending birthday drive-by’s making their rounds on social media. They confirmed the girls would be home (..obviously!), and helped me schedule it all out. I’d start with a 7:30 a.m. surprise at Meg’s house in Connecticut, and finish strong in Great Mills, Maryland for Draya by 9 p.m.

A bandshell-level knot formed in my stomach as I drove up to each house. Was this crazy? Did they know I was coming? I had blocked them from my Instagram accounts, where I was sharing my trip with their Jasper Dancer teammates and my coaching community.

The moment they stepped outside, our mutual joy eclipsed everything else. Their utter shock, appreciation, and happiness made every mile worth it. Even though they never got to take

the floor in Daytona, or accept their diploma with pomp and circumstance, their work, legacy and impact would never be forgotten. I’m still their coach, and nothing can cancel that. As I pulled back into my own driveway, their journey into the world had just begun.

Recognize your team on and off the floor, inside and outside of practice, through all the highs, the lows, and everything in between; they are people first and athletes

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Instagram: @manhattancollegedanceteam

Email: Jasperdancers@manhattan.edu

Facebook: Manhattan College Dance Team

Kaitlin's Instagram info is @coach_kait_

Returning to Dance Guidelines - Choose What Fits Your Program

Featured Member - Lindsey Lococo, UIC Dance Team

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Please give a warm welcome to our NDCA featured member – Lindsey Lococo! Lindsey is a professional Choreographer, Coach, Adjudicator and Dancer. She has judged regional, state and national competitions for the IHSA, WACPC, IHSDTA, UDA, Varsity All-Star brands and was the founding President of the Alliance of Illinois Dance Adjudicators. Over the last 15 years, her choreography has won several state titles in Illinois and Indiana, as well as a DTU National Championship. For the last ten years, she has been the Spirit Coordinator and Head Coach of the University of Illinois at Chicago Dance Team and has led her team to several top 3 finishes at NDA and DTU. She currently owns LL Choreography, LLC and lives in Aurora with her husband and son.

You wear many hats in the dance world as a choreographer, coach, adjudicator, and dancer. What propelled you into this vast ecosystem of dance? Tell us about your roots in dance.

Growing up I was a studio competition kid, I studied ballet, tap, traditional jazz and jazz funk—at that time, there were no studios by me offering hip hop class. I was also a 4-year member of my dance team at Yorkville High School. The life changing moment for me was transferring from Bradley University to UIC. Once in Chicago, I immediately started dancing for the school’s competitive team, Hip Hop Connxion (a professional hip hop co.) and staffing for UDA. I went on to dance for several hip-hop companies, arena sports teams and doing commercial/industrial projects-while teaching, choreographing and judging. I wanted to do everything I could with dance! I think that all of these experiences collectively shaped my career as it is today. I owe a huge “Thank You” to two people, my first hip hop director, Suavé, and former UDA state director, Paula Hess. As mentors of mine, they gave me my first opportunities as a dancer/choreographer and the confidence and knowledge to find my niche in the industry.

As the Head Coach and Spirit Director for UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago), what do you look for in choosing collegiate athletes for your team? How have things changed since you graduated as an alumna dancer at UIC?

At UIC we are always looking for high-level performers- powerful, energetic and engaging. We try to make the game experience at UIC as unique as our university. Our team is known for being a program that focuses on hip hop, but we also do a lot of jazz. Often, we are asked to work commercial or industrial events in the city, so we want dancers that are mature, professional and versatile with their dance experience and training. For me, it’s character, work ethic and commitment over talent any day!

Since I was on the team, things have definitely changed! The level of the dancers is evolving every single year, so many new skills, tricks and stunts, it’s exciting to see! We are also more ingrained in our Athletic Department, receiving more athlete resources and financial support.

As a performer, you have several professional experiences with some big names in the industry. What has been your most exciting or unforgettable performance?

I’ve been really lucky to have had some incredible performance opportunities while living in Chicago. My favorite (and most nerve-wracking!) was Oprah’s Finale Show dancing as a back-up dancer for Beyoncé during her “Run The World” performance. The audition process was two days, one very long day of rehearsals and taping in front of a packed United Center the next day. Stevie Wonder, Tyler Perry, Madonna, Michael Jordan, and so many others together in one show—I could not believe who we were surrounded by backstage, very surreal. It was an unforgettable experience with my fellow Chicago dancers that I will always be grateful for!

In light of this national pandemic - what are the top three things that have changed or made the biggest impact for you?

* I have found first and foremost, it’s brought me closer to my family and friends—some of the downtime has created time and space to connect and re-connect with so many people I love.

* It’s challenged me to find new ways to self-motivate (and get out of my sweats!), communicate more effectively and be critically thinking about solutions to new problems.

* It’s brought me closer to my community of coaches and choreographers—sharing ideas, solutions and general support—ALL the Zoom meetings!! I haven’t always loved technology as a platform, but I’m slowly embracing the change.

Kate is due any day now! We have a four year old boy and he’s so excited to help with her. My mom helped with the nursery décor and the theme is ballerinas. I am so happy to have some time off to spend with our sweet new girl.

Instagram LIVE Sessions

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Make sure to tune into our Instagram LIVE Sessions EVERY Friday @11:00am PST/2:00pm EST.

Don't miss our upcoming session with Bri Lakomy, NDCA Dance Rules Director, June 5th. She wants to hear from YOU, and start a conversation about what dance would look like if we had a standardized set of rules for ALL competitions like football, basketball and baseball! Make sure to tune in!