Teri Rowe’s dance team experience goes way back!  She has coached and judged dance teams at the middle school, high school, college and all-star levels for over 30 years. Her teams earned numerous state, national and world championships, and she has also served as the President and Vice President of the Washington State Dance/Drill Coaches…

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Karl Mundt has choreographed some of the most beautiful and memorable national championship routines for so many teams at the high school and college level.  Not only is he amazingly talented, he is also amazingly generous and humble.  I picked his brain and he provided so much knowledge and information!  We talked about his dance…

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I’m joined by Carrie Smith, who was kind enough to offer up her services as interviewer so that I could finally share my own dance story, along with advice and tidbits of info that I’ve learned along the way.  We talk about how I got started, my high school and college experiences, teaching dance camps…

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The first episode for Season 3 of the Larkspur Dance & Choreography will be uploaded next Tuesday, September 15th!  Here’s a little preview of what to expect for our third season!  

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It’s just me, Melanie, on the podcast today sharing what has inspired me during the pandemic and some more coping mechanisms.  I got such a  positive response to the first episode I did where it was just me, so I decided to share some more things that have really helped me.  So glad others are…

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Carrie Smith’s dance team experience is vast, and includes coaching at Carlsbad High School and San Diego State, working for UDA for many years, and starting the National Dance Coaches Association.  She is the perfect combination of insightful and hilarious, and there’s no question that she is amazingly generous and loves talking dance team and…

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For this episode, it’s just me, Melanie,  sharing what I have done to cope with the pandemic for myself and my family, in hopes that this might help someone else.  

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Toya Ambrose’s dance team experience is vast,  including the University of Memphis Pom Squad and with NBA’s Chicago Luvabulls and Memphis Grizzlies.  Toya was the Head Coach of the University of Connecticut (UCONN) Dance, Cheerleading, and Mascot Teams, and also the former Head Coach of the 2-time National Champion University of Illinois at Chicago Dancing…

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Andie Stitt has loads of experience in studio dance and has traveled extensively with conventions and teaching.  She graduated with a degree in dance from Wichita State and is currently a dance teacher at the University of Kansas.  Her choreography has won numerous awards at the local, state and national level.  I chat with her…

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Rachel Levetzow, coach of the Ole Miss Rebelettes, talks about how they’ve gotten creative during this pandemic to keep the wheels turning for their team.  Her dance story is full of great lessons for all of us.  She also shares tips on game day, competition, team culture, cleaning routines, planning your dance year, and shares…

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Britney Hinote has a ton of dance team experience both at the high school and college level, and is currently the head coach for the UMKC Dance Team.  She shares all kinds of insight and advice on handling this uncertain time, building a great program, choreography, routine cleaning, and improving technical skills.  

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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…

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David Moore has years of experience in many different forms of performing arts:  studio, band, color guard, dance team, and professional dance.  He’s full of stories, lessons, and advice on taking class, choreography, and improving performances.  

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Chasity Tyus danced on two of the best teams in Missouri and is currently the head coach of the Florida State University Golden Girls.  We talk about how she followed her dream to become FSU’s coach, and she gives great advice on cleaning routines, preparing for competition and being true to yourself and your team.…

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Cyndi Kraemer has been involved in dance team for many years and during that time she has been a dancer, coach, judge and dance team association board member.  During this busy time of the season, we often lose track of what’s important, and my chat with Cyndi is just what we need to get us…

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This is a continuation of a very important conversation I had with my friend and former college dance teammate, Nicole Jacobs Silvey.  We finished up our talk on diversity, and she also gives some great advice that she utilizes with her clients through her company, Connection Coach LLC. Nicole’s recommended diversity resources:   http://www.racialjustice.org https://www.racialequityinstitute.com…

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Kimberly Campbell has many years of dance team experience as a performer, instructor, choreographer, coach and judge.  She shares all kinds of advice and insight on building or rebuilding a team, improving choreo and performances, what it was like to be on the first national championship Lindenwood team, and many times the only person of…

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Lynsey Payne is the head dance team coach at Baker University and has built this program into one of the top competitive teams in the NAIA.  We talk about how she has done that through recruiting, team culture, practice schedule and structure, conditioning, and fostering leadership.  We also talk about the strides the NAIA has…

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Dr. Chelsea Pierotti has been utilizing her coaching experience and PhD in Sports Psychology to help coaches and dance teams all over the country.  We talk about coaching philosophy, accountability, choosing leaders, punishment, building confidence and mental preparation.  Her website is filled with all kinds of helpful info.  passionatecoach.com

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Shelley McCain has been a dance team coach for over 30 years and has built one of the strongest programs in Missouri at Lee’s Summit North.  She’s also a longtime executive board member of the Missouri Dance Team Association and is relied upon by so many of its members as a mentor and friend.  She…

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I attended the NDCA Conference again this past year and had another fantastic experience learning and connecting with other dance team people!  For this recap I’m joined by Lynsey Payne, dance team coach at Baker University, who attended the conference as well.  We go through our notes and share all the inspiration, knowledge, tips and…

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Susan Dustin was on her pom team in high school, became a Golden Girl at the University of Missouri, and then spent the next several years as a professional dancer at Disney, Branson, Las Vegas, on a cruise ship, and then finally as a Radio City Music Hall Rockette in New York.  She shares behind…

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A lawsuit that was filed by a dancer against a local school district accusing a dance team coach of discrimination rocked the dance team world and gained national attention.  In an effort to contribute  productive and proactive ideas, I sit down and chat with my friend Nicole Jacobs Silvey.  Nicole is a philanthropist, activist, successful…

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Get ready for lessons in dance team history and geography and loads of great tips from one of the most astute and helpful judges I know!  Julie was a member of the first Lindbergh Flyerettes team to compete nationally.  She shares from her wealth of knowledge and experience and passes on her guiding philosophy.  

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Melissa McGhee is the coach of two time national champions The Ohio State University Dance Team.  Get ready to be inspired by this humble, hard working, down to earth, helpful and generous coach as she talks about team culture, preparing for competition and the surprising source of support that she leans on year after year.…

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Nick Clement is the owner of NKC Choreography, which specializes in high kick intensives and pom, kick and team performance choreography.  Nick is a former Disney dancer, but now works full time with dance teams and has been an instrumental part in the success of many teams on the national level.  He shares so many…

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Many, many years ago, I, too, was a dance team coach!  On this episode of the podcast, I sit down and chat with one of my former dancers, Gina Artese.  Gina is a professional dancer and actress in New York, with an impressive resume that includes Black Swan, Center Stage, 30 Rock, and The Unbreakable…

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One of the first people who came to my mind for an interview when we started this podcast was Erin Alvarado, head coach for the Texas Tech Pom Squad, and I’m so glad she agreed to do it!  You will be too, because she knows a ton about about building a successful program, and she’s…

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I can’t think of a better way to wrap up Season 1 of the podcast than by having a chat with Valerie Potsos, coach of the University of Michigan Dance Team!  This experienced and down-to-earth expert gave a ton of insight, advice, and practical tips that can be applied to any team at any level.…

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There was a reunion of epic proportions in St. Louis this month!  I got to see my longtime friend for the first time since ’95!  It was great catching up with April, and she was kind enough to sit down and record an episode with me, passing along all kinds of great advice and insight…

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Gail Holder has been involved in the dance team world for over 40 years as a performer, instructor, coach, contest director and judge.  Dance team has always been an avenue for her to help, educate and inspire.  She’ll share advice and insight on dealing with rejection, how to approach competitions, and teaching leadership skills to…

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Just in time for tryouts, Kathryn from Avila and Briana from UMKC will give you tips and insight on preparing mentally and physically for and succeeding during auditions.  We also delve into the major differences between high school dance team and college, what to do if you’re injured or burnt out, and they also offer…

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Kara coached the Eureka Golden Line for almost two decades leading them to placements at the state and national level.  She has some great insight on delegating, what made her teams successful, the proper mindset in your dealings with parents, and how to build leaders.  

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Jenny is head coach of the University of Iowa Dance Team, but got her start on amazing teams like Wayzata and the University of Minnesota.  She shares her perspective on the hands-on and practical details of coaching like planning your year and cleaning routines, but we also delve into what she considers to be the…

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Iris has been a professional performer for many years.  Her advice, though, can be applied to anyone in any career path.  As a seasoned dance instructor and a judge for dance team and studio competitions, she gives some valuable insight on preparation, maintaining longevity, and how to view rejection constructively.  

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Kelly has been involved in the dance team world for over 40 years, 25 of those years she spent as a coach.  She will share some really valuable insight from her years as a coach, but also from her experience as the Judge Coordinator for the Indiana High School Dance Team Association.  Tune in to…

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Yvonne Cole founded the Lindbergh Flyerettes and went on to coach them for 33 years, turning them into a powerful and cohesive team that had success at the state and national level.  She’ll share advice and insight on forming a philosophy, dealing with parents and adolescents, motivating your team, and how to prepare for and…

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Katie Jackson, coach of the Mill Valley Silver Stars, shares some great insights and advice on choreography, cleaning routines, building a positive team culture, and how the different brands of national competitions differ.  She also shares what elements judges look for in competition routines.  

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Jeff Storey has years of experience in education and in many different forms of performing arts:  band, color guard, and dance team.  He gives a ton of insight on getting inspiration from other art forms, coaching in general, and what he looks for when he is judging.  We also talk about the super different hip…

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Jen Sims coached in the great dance team state of Minnesota for almost 20 years, leading her teams to success in a very competitive state and attaining the honor of being named Coach of the Year.  Jen will talk about the biggest challenges of being a dance team coach, pass along some choreo and cleaning…

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Maggie Willis has been the coach of the Liberty Sapphires for almost two decades now, leading them to many State titles and numerous placements in the top 10 at UDA Nationals.  She shares some very helpful tips on the specifics of coaching:  routine cleaning, year planning, running practices, and dealing with all the ups and…

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Cindy has spent the last 20 years coaching Avila University, a highly successful collegiate team that did well at nationals their very first year, and they continue to do well year after year!  She’ll share useful advice on how to build a program, plan your year, clean routines and maintain a positive team culture.  She…

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Kristy has extensive experience in all facets of dance team: performer, choreographer, captain, coach and judge. She also happens to be one of the coolest, funniest, warmest….just absolutely everything-est human on the planet. Kristy is a Larkspur favorite for sure! You will love her, and her advice and tips she has learned along the way!

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Kayla Kernel, our resident makeup artist and skincare expert, and I discuss the use of makeup in the dance team world:  how it can enhance your routine, the difference between game day looks and competition, and how to master those pesky false eyelashes.  The last part of the podcast is dedicated to anti-aging and Kayla breaks…

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The coaches of Millard North share their journey with this team that has been climbing the ranks at UDA Nationals!  They share how they’ve gotten successful results, built a support system, and how they perfect routines.  

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Tasha Ruble shares her experience on many levels:  talented dancer and performer, coach at the Big 12 powerhouse, the University of Kansas, and dance team competition judge.  She’ll share tips on how to up your team’s game-day experience, how to prepare for and succeed at national competitions, and how to utilize male dance team members…

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I’ve heard from many coaches, choreographers, dancers and pretty much anyone involved with dance team who need some clarification on what exactly judges at a dance team competition are looking for.  With the help of good friend and Larkspur colleague, Kayla Kernel, I break down categories that are present on just about every dance team…

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Sara Heptig is the former head coach of the Olathe North Eaglettes, who have been national champions for not only NDA, but for DTU as well.  She is the most passionate and caring coach I know and she was able to motivate her team with focus, positivity and an unparalleled service component that is sure…

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Shan is the choreographer and former head coach of The Millard West Dance Team.  Millard West has been placing at the top level at UDA Nationals for years now, but that doesn’t just happen.  Listen in for Shan’s journey from her first year to achieving a national championship in hip hop.  She’ll share her tips…

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Brett and I discussed his experience as a dance team coach, the insights he has gained from being the president of the Missouri Dance Team Association, and some invaluable tips as a seasoned judge to improve your scores!  

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