Tag: experience


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: http://www.danceadts.com/edsupport.htm

  • 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.

Working with technical instructors

06 photo shoot2 055Students who work with technical instructors fair better than with  the non-technical.  The problem comes when the student has to work with too many non-technical trainers.  That is when you start to see your student falling behind. When the non-technical teachings override the technical, you are setting your student up for failure. The effects are almost immediate.

The trade off for glittery  glamour and fancy costumes are no substitute  for technique. I find this hits home a lot in the ballet and technique courses taught at some studios.

A  good  rule of the thumb is that everyone should teach the same form of technique.  You must  be consistent.  However,  if you allow someone who has no formal background in ballet technique to be your lead,  you do your students a disservice. You are in a business, and you are supposed to hire the best, and to offer the best product you can.  Emotions and feelings will not build your studio.  True talent will.  

Take a good look at your studios top dancers.  Did you really train them or did someone else?  Have you taken the credit for someone else’s work?   What would happen if you lost that instruction?      I can tell you that your level of technically trained dancers will decrease.  If you aren’t teaching proper technique, you may have a nice sparkly show, but it won’t pay off in the end at competition.     As a competition judge – I’ll bust you on the technique score sheet.  Because I can, and because I should.  Dance is a discipline after all  – and you are there to compete and be judge.  If it weren’t for judging you wouldn’t show up.  Think about it. 

 I’ve watched this technique formula unravel recently as a newer off shoot studio had its dancers level up, and in many ways is beginning to pass the older studio.  It’s about being willing to WORK!  If it were a popularity contest there would be a lot more people beating down the doors to work for you.  At some point studio owners have to face the hard cold facts.  What is technique, and how does it effect my bottom line in the long term investment of my business?  What a concept “long term investment”. 

Studio’s need to hire the best.  But if the best is only versed in one style of dance, and  has little or no formal back ground in ballet, you only have short term profits to look forward too.  Dance styles change constantly, technique is here to stay however.  Your long term investment is in investing in someone who will discipline your students to be consistent and hit those movements every time.  That investment should include training the trainers as well. If your instructors are not on the same page from preschool to 3rd grade levels, your top levels will be weak and sporadic to say the least.  Those per former years are mandatory for  so many reasons.  From 3rd grade through 9th grade, you will have growth issues to content with.  You must have instructors who understand those growth spurts and can help student to re-learn technique. Their young bodies are developing, and muscle and bone growth is tremendous.  Example: The bones in the foot of a point ballerina.

Chances are, if you have neglected technical training for your dancers, your top dancers are getting training from someone else outside your organization.  So, back to the questions “Take a good look at your studios top dancers.  Did you really train them or did someone else.  Have you taken the credit for someone else’s work?”  Are you giving a non-technical short term instructor credit for years of someone else’s instruction. Possibly destroying hard learned technical disciplines to boot.

Look at your business as “a business”.  New and shiny is always enticing, but the true and proven, hard core disciple of dance is rough, and controlled, and has long term payouts.


Turns and Leaps!  Dance on !