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Larkspur Clinics

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Hi everybody!  This is Melanie Dailey with Larkspur Dance & Choreography.  I hope you all are staying safe and finding new ways to navigate these unprecedented circumstances.  Normally at this time, I would have released information about our summer clinics.  We do have host school locations for Kansas City North, Kansas City South, and in St. Louis.  As soon as we can actually get dates scheduled I will release those along with registration.  In the meantime, know that we are here for you and will do everything we can to help you and your team through this time of uncertainty.   To better be able to serve you, we have decided to bring on some additional instructors!  I am so pleased and proud to announce  our new Larkspur-In-Training (L.I.T.) Program!  With more manpower, we will have the capability to work around the best dates for host schools, and will be able to fulfill the need for private instructional clinics and choreography as well.  The inaugural members of our new LIT program were hand selected by me for their talent, work ethic, teaching ability, demeanor and attitude.  Their personal philosophies align with that of Larkspur, which is that every dancer, every team and every coach is important.  I absolutely cannot wait for these amazing humans to teach your dancers!  Photos and bios of each LIT Instructor are below.   

You’ll also find in this newsletter information about the 2020 Kansas City Classic!  I hope to see you all there!  

Please be patient as we try to finalize other dates during this time.  Many of you are educators, so you know firsthand that making plans beyond the next day or week at this time is not something that administrators are prepared to do.  As we all work to reach a new normal, we will release dates for clinics and other Larkspur events.  In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything, even if it’s just an ear to listen and empathize,  or a virtual hug.  We will get through this and I can’t wait to see you all on the other side of this trying time!  

Much love and many prayers,

Larkspur-In-Training Instructors
Briana Cottingham started dancing at age 5. She began her dance career at Priscilla and Dana’s School of Dance. She studied there for 3 years until her mother’s studio, Mia’s Elite School of Dance, opened in Belton, Missouri. She became a prominent member of their competition team winning numerous awards on a regional and national level. Achievements include:  Ms. PrimeTime, Ms. Showbiz, and runner up Ms. StarQuest. Briana continued dancing throughout high school and was a Varsity Prowler all 4 years at Raymore-Peculiar High School. She attends the University Of Missouri-Kansas City. She was a member of the Division One UMKC dance team. Briana has been a dance teacher and choreographer for her studio, high school dance team, and college dance team. She is known for her innovative choreography and has won multiple choreography awards. Briana has worked with various high school dance teams including Harrisonville, Staley, and Blue Valley, helping them with technique, choreography, and being on the judges panel. She is studying Elementary Education, grades 1-6, and then plans to get her masters in Education. Her goal is to work in administration one day. Briana has been on the Deans List, National Honor Society, A+ Program, and Honors College. She was also selected for the prestigious Kansas City Elementary Teachers Club Scholarship. She is a substitute teacher for the Belton School District. 
Courtney Benner discovered her passion for the art of dance when she began her dance training in Kansas City, Missouri at the age of two. Courtney spent 9 years in the competition dance circuit with Conservatory of Dance Education (C.O.D.E.) where she received many regional and national awards. She studied dance under the direction of Mr. Phil Vitug and has trained extensively in ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, tap, and musical theatre. Courtney has had the opportunity to volunteer for 10 years and perform as a principal dancer with the non-profit Liberty Youth Ballet Company. Throughout high school she was a member of Liberty North’s Varsity Golden Girls dance team, receiving many honors including a Missouri State Championship in 2015. The dance industry has allowed Courtney to become versatile with her many experiences through teaching, assisting choreographers, choreographing, and performing with Vitug Entertainment Productions. This included taking part in Worlds of Fun’s new summer event, Carnivale. Courtney also had the opportunity to train at the Rockette Summer Intensive in New York City for two summers. After graduating, she decided to pursue dance at the University of Missouri Kansas City.  In school, she had the privilege of working with Sabrina Maddison Cannon, Ronald Tice, DeeAnna Hiett, and Gary Abbott, along with many talented students in the conservatory. After four years, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography.
Kathryn Elliott started dancing in Illinois when she was 3 years old. When she moved to Kansas City, she danced at a few different studios until she found her home at The Movement and Company. She is still currently working there, teaching a variety of classes. In high school, she was a member of the Raymore-Peculiar Prowlers. Throughout studio dance and high school dance, she had numerous top five and first place finishes at regional and national competitions. After graduation from high school, she continued to dance in college.  She danced on Avila’s dance team, The Glitter Girls, all four years. Throughout her time at Avila, the Glitter Girls have won Conference championships, and had numerous top 10 and top 5 finishes at Nationals.
Brian Morris grew up training in dance studios and competed in all large circuits.  He has won many titles like Mr.Starquest, Mr.Legacy, Mr.Spotlight and more.   Brian was also apart of his award-winning high school dance team.  While dancing for Civic Memorial High School in Bethalto, Illinois, Brian won 4 State Titles, 4 Grand Championships, All-American Dancer, and Top Gun Turns.   Brian also has a huge passion for color guard and winter guard arts. He competed with world-class circuits in WGI and DCI. He began his dance adjudication career with a passion to provide more than just a score, but critiques to truly help the teams grow. Brian strives to provide the most effective feedback for dance teams, studios, and dancers across the United States. He judges for many associations like IDTA (Illinois Drill Team Association) certified general effect judge, IHSA (Illinois High School Association) certified official, IHSDTA (Indiana High School Dance Team Association) advanced judge, DTU (Dance Team Union), NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics), TeamDance National Championship (Studio Competition). Brian also has received a certification from NDCA as an advanced dance judge. He also serves as a volunteer on the marketing team for NDCA (National Dance Coaches Association). Brian is an active dance teacher & dancer and continues to hone and teach his craft at dance studios in the St. Louis Metro East area of Illinois.  
What can you expect from a Larkspur clinic?  Our main focus will be to teach usable and crowd pleasing material for the upcoming school year.  We’ve heard from countless coaches that camp can be a valuable experience, but it’s also an expensive one, and often teams don’t come home with a lot of performable material. Here are some attributes from our clinic that have resulted in great positive feedback from coaches and teams that have attended the past three years:   

  • It’s a local opportunity that is an affordable alternative or enhancement to a larger camp experience! 
  • discount is also offered to teams that have attended prior clinics and/or the Kansas City Classic and Show-Me State Showcase.
  • At our clinic we will teach you a total of 6 routines that are fun AND fit to perform at pep rallies and athletic events for your school.  Routines include transitions, visuals, and different options so that you can make the material fit your team.
  • We keep the routines true to the assigned ability level, but no routine is a throw away! You’ll be able to perform it at home!  It’s been a thrill to see video performances of the material taught at our clinic, whether it was the full routines, or even the hip hop sidelines incorporated into full length routines!
  • We’ll also include a warm-up routine that you can utilize at practices to strengthen the all important core muscles, and improve cardio conditioning and flexibiltiy.
  • The coaches aren’t forgotten.  They go home with information they can use to help them as they work with their teams, tips for planning a successful year and perfecting routines.  We strive to be a helpful and supportive local resource to coaches and teams, and your attendance at our clinic will be a good start to, or a continuation of, relationship building and networking, not just with Larkspur, but with other coaches as well.  
  • Team members make great connections too by dancing with other school teams!
  • Each team goes home with flash drives of all the music used at the clinic, and the music is compliant with copyright laws.
  • Routine instruction and performances can be videotaped to help with memory. 
  • 2 leveled technique classes to improve turns and leaps for beginners all the way up to advanced dancers.

We hope you’ll take advantage of our clinic that has a proven track record for providing great material and a positive experience for your dancers!  

More info and registration coming soon!  

Click the photo below to check out a highlight video from our previous clinics!  
And if you want something more tailored to fit your team, we offer private clinics as well!  Contact for more details!  
We also love working with dance teams on choreography, either from scratch or fixing existing choreo, or consulting with you team and building a collaborative masterpiece!  Check out our dance team choreo reel by clicking the photo below, and email for more info.  
Another way we are helping teams through these uncertain times is through our podcast!  The last two episodes we released devoted the first portion to different ways to deal with this pandemic on a personal level and also with your team.  Here’s more information about each episode: 

This podcast episode with former University of Wisconsin coach Jenna Schneider could not have come at a better time! With her background in public health and her completion of the University of Wisconsin Professional Coaching Cohort in 2019, she is launching Jenna Schneider Coaching and will continue to advise and inspire individuals as they strive to reach their goals. We spend the first part of the podcast talking about healthy and constructive ways to deal with the Coronavirus and how it’s impacting all of us. We spend the last part of the podcast talking about lessons she has learned from 16 years of dance team coaching.

Britney Hinote, coach of the UMKC Dance Team, has a ton of dance team experience both at the high school and college level. She shares all kinds of insight and advice on handling this uncertain time, building a great program, choreography, routine cleaning, and improving technical skills. You’re going to want to listen with a notebook! 

You can find all the episodes at, and on all major podcast directories.  We hope you join us!  

We held our ninth Kansas City Classic Dance Team competition in December!  Check out highlights by clicking the photo above!  
Save the date for our 10th Kansas City Classic:  

December 12th, 2020
Our first Show-Me State Showcase was a huge success and we cannot wait to do it again!  We will release the date as soon as we can!  
Our first College Dance Team Expo was also a huge success and we will release info for this year’s Expo as soon as the date for State is finalized!