Author: Cricket


Considering becoming a drill coach?

Cricket Radcliff, Dennis Caspary, & Taimane Kuehl Zoltz

Cricket Radcliff, Dennis Caspary, & Taimane Kuehl Zoltz

‘“Considering becoming a drill coach?”

Dance Drill  has gone the extra mile to help would be Drill coaches work with teams and parents. They have links on team development and offer coaches educational support as well.

Good information that  any drill coach should have.

American Dance Drill goes over the basic categories on their support page:

  • Officer and Team Tryouts
    Traveling With Your Team
    Helpful tips for Contest Preparation
    Parent Groups
    Nutrition & Conditioning
    Preparing for the seasons
    starting a new dance program, or reorganizing the old

When you are ready to get started you will need to go to the Utah High School Association Website to get started.  There is a lot to learn,  so be prepared to invest some study time.  You will learn as a coach that you will refer to these links a lot.

  • Drill team policies
    Clinics and Certification/Training
    Registration processes
    State tournament info
    UHSAA Forms
    UHSAA Drill Competition Materials (CD Packet)

importantteamAs many of you already know I was a drill judge way back in the day.  It was a fun and exciting time for a first time adult experience.  It isn’t for everyone however.   But neither is coaching or directing.  Really think about this before you go head into something that you might not be able to cope with.  It’s a big responsibility and the only person who gets to pick you up when you have problems “is you”.   But if you really think its for you, then you should do it, and put your heart soul into it.  Working with a team of dancers is a rewarding experience.  As an instructor for the past 15 years,  I have been privileged to watch my students grow up in the dance world, move on to drill and some are even thinking about college dance.   You have the ability to mold those future college level and pro dancers.

Good Luck, I wish you and your students all the success in the world.

Freelance Choreographers & Consultants

Freelance choreographers are professionals who out -source their abilities to a host of organizations including, dance studios, amateur performing dance companies, for dance camps, judging, team and solo choreography, and a lot more.

Freelancers are the people that usually move in  multiple  dance circles, and have many acquaintances in the dance communities they work in.  They may or may not own, and/or be attached to a studio.

They can move around  without  being overly  restricted by a lot of internal  constraints.  A lot are not studio based,  yet some do  carry their own name or brand.

A good thing about freelancing  is the independence and freedom to pick your own schedule and what you will teach.  You also get to keep your creative rights in some instances.  Although some teams prefer to have full ownership of the dance, so it is not sold again.

You can contract with local studios, but don’t have to hold any set loyalty if you don’t choose too.  It’s the experience and the dance, that  matters most.

Freelancers tend to have a larger  audience and are more apt to have fresher material because of all their outside choreography work.  A lot of freelancers have also been judges, and have had a chance to view new material that your studio and/or instructors may not have.

I judged for a short while and in that process I learned a lot.  I will be honest “I really think it helped me grow as an individual and instructor”.  Those weren’t my students on the floor, they were someone else’s.   I admit it was refreshing to be able to unbiasedly  look at these young individual’s and critic and praise them in the areas they needed.  No pressure – just do what I know.  At the same time, it was nice to see what others were presenting choreography wise.

It’s that rare team that really steps up and presents something unique and entertaining.  That’s the challenge each studio, and each performer faces.

As a freelancer you  have to stay current with dance,  and practice your  skills.  It’s in doing this that you are able to help teams learn new routines and specialty movements. You should be able to teach your students to incorporate their thoughts and ideas when needed for a routine.

It’s important that each dance look different, have its own style, and visual attraction – so your audiences (or judges) will be entertained.

At the same time, your dancers need to feel the dance.  They need to understand the emotional part of the dance.


Being able to freelance, allows me to set my own schedule.   I’m busy 24/7 some months – but  have leaned to curb that down in other months so I don’t burn myself out.   I like to be in many different settings learning and growing.  From  those learning settings,  I am able to  bring  back new and challenging choreography to my own students; both team and solo.

I love it when someone comes on line and says a kind word or two about something I’ve done.  I try to make sure I say something positive back.


With ballet, I always- always-always,  evaluate my students.   I want to know what skills they have acquired  before we begin learning new choreography and/or skills.  Young bodies have limits when it comes to training.  Their feet and legs need to be ready.   Emotionally they need to be able to follow directions without bursting into tears because they have to repeat certain sets.  One of the hardest things to do is say no.


As a business owner you know that you don’t have time to train your teachers.  They have to come to you already qualified.  It’s your family welfare on the line, and  your businesses reputation.  But even your best  teachers get stuck in a rut; so bringing in someone who has  new and challenging choreography can really help boost your team performance, and your instructors confidence.

I’m not competing with them, I’m augmenting what they already do.

It’s at this point that you pick up the phone and call those freelance choreographers to help you put together  choreography for upcoming events, team dances, camps, solos, etc.

This  is what I do.   Since  I’m not tied to any studio, I can work with all the studios and independents – on my time.  however, I do carry my own name and brand to distinguish myself  separately from the others. That is important for me.  I’m not competing with any studio, I’m simply augment what they already do.

While I do instruct a small ballet group – I choose to remain independent, and embrace the entire dance community.

Dance on!





Cheerleader Highlight – Taylor Beason “Tay Tay”

Tay TayWhen it comes to having someone around to help with administrative functions,  rounding up dancers, fixing hair, posting to websites, and my traveling buddy, Tay Tay is Queen of the land!  She also rides the roller coasters at Lagoon with me.

Tay would be the first to tell you, she didn’t want to dance or do cheerleading.  If you grow up around it – you are not escaping.  We had fun!

From learning that she had a voice and that she could cheer, to competing at Cheersport and freaking out over the ESPN camera’s – she’s come a long way!  Four years of high school cheerleading and following Crickets Dance around has produced a multi-talented leader.

She has a knack for keeping the conversation light when things go “oopsie”.

In cheerleading, she has a true heart of a cheerleader.  She knows the meaning of team and was voted captain by her Colorado team mates. She cared!

Tay Tay has a desire to teach kindergarten and worked as an intern during her high school years.  As she was walking across the graduation stage and they announced that she wanted to teach, her instructors greeted her as she was exiting the stage.  They shook her hand and told her to contact them when she graduated.  A true heart of a teacher – she was beaming with the knowledge that her dreams were also recognized by others in the teaching profession.

I’ve watched Taylor grow into a lovely young woman.  She will make an exceptional teacher and cheer coach.

Children flock to her and remember her name!