A Chat With Denise Heilers – LDCPS4E9

Denise Heilers is the long time coach of the Forest Park Dance Team.  They hold 23 state titles total in pom, kick, and hip hop.  They are also climbing the ranks on the national stage as well.  With this talent and quality of performances, one would assume that they come from a really large school…

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A Chat With Danielle Schneider – LDCPS4E8

Danielle Schneider is what I consider a triple threat in our industry:  coach, judge, and state association leader.  She has been a coach in the state of Oregon for many years so she has many ideas on what has worked in the areas of team management and culture.  She is also an experienced and knowledgeable…

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A Chat With Gretchen Noack – LDCPS4E7

Gretchen Noack is one of my favorite dance team people!  She’s so warm and friendly and so very welcoming to everyone.  She also really knows her stuff, having taught for USA for years, and judging dance teams across the country for even longer.  She shares her unconventional dance story, what makes USA so special and…

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A Chat With Jenny Matthews – LDCPS4E6

 Jenny Matthews is from Lafayette, Lousiana, where she began her training at a young age.  She was trained in all genres of dance but her true love is teaching.  She brings over 30 years of experience and has been teaching competitively since 2003. In high school, she was a member of the St. Thomas More Sparklers…

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A Chat With Jennifer Whitford – LDCPS4E5

Jennifer Whitford is an all around expert in so many facets of dance team.  She’s been a dancer, an instructor, a coach at the high school and college level, a choreographer and a judge.  Jennifer is now serving as head coach to The College of New Jersey Dance Team.  She’s also a wonderfully kind, generous…

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A Chat With Bianca Caryl – LDCPS4E4

Bianca Caryl is the coach of a major powerhouse, the Arizona State University Dance Team.  I think listeners will be pleasantly surprised and inspired by Bianca’s approach to competition, building team culture, and her team’s purpose.  She shares so much insight and advice from her wealth of knowledge and experience!   Follow ASU Dance Team:…

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A Chat With Mo Klug – LDCPS4E3

Mo Klug has lived on both sides of the country, but eventually settled here in the Midwest where we are so fortunate to have her.  She talks about her varied background and dance experience and shares all kinds of great insights and advice on coaching.  There are so many takeaways from this episode with Mo,…

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The Confident Dancer Summit with Dr. Chelsea Pierotti – LDCPS4E2

Join us for The Confident Dancer Summit August 6th – 8th, a free online conference for dance coaches and teachers!  You will gain knowledge and skills to teach your dancers to believe in themselves, help your dancers take the stage with confidence, boost your confidence as the educator, learn from a community of like-minded educators…

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The World Goes On: A Collaboration with country music artist Jamie O’Neal

We are so excited to announce the release of this collaborative project between Larkspur, Jamie O’Neal and college dance teams around the country during this pandemic!  Jamie’s song The World Goes On was released at the height of Covid, and it inspired us to create beautiful movement, and to reach out and make connections with…

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A Chat With Gretchen Jost – LDCPS3E26

Gretchen Jost is the coach of the national championship team West Fargo Packatahnas.  We talked about all kinds of great dance team stuff including how she has handled the pandemic with her team, planning a “normal” dance team year, building team culture, teaching skills and conditioning, cleaning routines, virtual competition tips, improving performances before and…

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A Chat With Mishra Keller – LDCPS3E25

Mishra Keller has been a competitive cheerleader, dancer, choreographer, instructor and judge so her perspective comes from years of experience.  Her perspective is also unique because she through her company Nutrisults, she offers a holistic approach that beautifully translates into dance teams, individual dancers, choreographers, and coaches.  We talk about choreography, improving routines and maximizing…

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A Chat With Apolla’s Brianne Zborowski – LDCPS3E24

Brianne Zborowski has a lot of experience in dance as a performer, instructor, and cofounder of successful competition teams in multiple states.  Brianne received her B.S. in Business Management with an emphasis on Management and Marketing from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan while teaching dance and working in the family business. She moved to Los…

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A Chat With Jodi Maxfield – LDCPS3E23

Jodi Maxfield danced as a Cougarette at Brigham Young University back in the day, but as a coach of that program for 30 years, she built the program into the internationally celebrated and acclaimed powerhouse that it is today.  This legend shared so many valuable pieces of advice, tidbits of info, and all kinds of…

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FLOURISH with Larkspur – Race Relations with Adrian Singletary & Book Club Follow Up with Iris Lynne Sherman

I’m so pleased to have Dr. Adrian Singletary on the podcast!  He’s been an athlete, a coach, an athletic director, and an administrator, but my favorite role of his is that of our Natalie’s husband.  We spend a little time talking about what those of us in dance team want to know:  motivating our dancers,…

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A Chat With Coree Smith – LDCPS3E21

Coree Smith has extensive dance team experience as a performer, choreographer, instructor, and judge.  Although she is an expert in this field, she is still a very enthusiastic, lifelong learner when it comes to dance team, and her positivity is contagious.  Her routines have won more than 65 state championships in Iowa alone over the…

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Melanie’s 50th Birthday Episode Pt. 2

I’m joined by the wonderful Nick Clement as guest cohost as we’re continuing to celebrate this milestone birthday.  We talked about surprises that this podcast has brought and some choreo successes and failures.  Then  I spilled the tea or brought the juice or whatever the cool cats are saying these days, by sharing some details…

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Melanie’s 50th Birthday Episode Pt. 1

On today’s episode of the podcast, my dear friend, talented choreographer, king of kick, and guest cohost extraordinaire Nick Clement asked me the questions and I gave the answers!  It’s a very forward looking episode, as I  spent a great deal of time talking about where I see Larkspur in 10 years and things I’d…

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A Sequel Chat With Sara Heptig – LDCPS3E18

Sara Heptig coached the Olathe North Eaglettes for years, leading them to national championships for two different brands.  She is now coaching the Kansas State University Classy Cats, a role she cherishes because she too was a Classy Cat during her time at K-State!  We talk about her journey to secure that coaching position, which…

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Covid Coping Mechanisms – What’s Next? LDCPS3E17

In this episode, I talk with my dear friend, long time educator, guidance counselor and dance team coach Shelley McCain about what she has seen that has worked when dealing with the Covid pandemic, the effects on our dancers we’re going to witness, and how to deal with this situation both in the present and…

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A Chat With Dave Sanchez – LDCPS3E16

Dave Sanchez, also known as Dazzman, ran a wildly popular Yahoo Group dedicated to dance team, and he was known for accurately predicting outcomes of competitions on a national level.  Many did not know that Dazzman is also a Harvard educated attorney whose passion for dance team started in a really unique way.  He’ll also…

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Video Tips For Virtual Competitions – LDCPS3E15

Missouri Dance Team Association President and experienced dance team judge Brett Elder and I share helpful tips and advice for showing your team’s routines in the best possible light via video for virtual competitions.   You can submit routines for video feedback only or to have them considered for the Show-Me State Showcase for $60/team…

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A Chat With Kate Ridge – LDCPS3E14

Kate Ridge is from Australia, and that’s where she currently resides, but she spent years here in the United States, and during that time she was a performer, instructor, choreographer and judge.  Her experience isn’t limited to America and Australia though.  She has also worked in other countries including China and Korea.  I picked her…

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A Chat With Rachelle Kiehle – LDCPS3E13

Rachelle Kiehle is the coach and choreographer for the Eisenhower Dance Team.  This powerhouse program from Michigan has been national champions eight times over, and has achieved the honor of double national championships in jazz and hip hop for three of those years.  Rachelle passed on so much great advice, tips, and pointers on building…

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A Chat With Katie Groven of Dancer Fitness – LDCPS3E12

Katie Groven is a certified personal trainer, a dancer with 25 years of dance experience, holder of two world championship titles and has coached for ten years.  She is also the owner of Dancer Fitness, an extensive exercise library with training plans she’s carefully created with coaches and dancers in mind.  We talked about important…

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A Chat With Mallori Walker – LDCPS3E11

Mallori Walker is not only the coach of the Purdue Dance Team, she is also a former member of the team.  She is so passionate about dance team and the team she coaches, and she passed on so many tips for not only how the team is getting through Covid, but how they are utilizing…

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BONUS Episode: Pumpin’ The Brakes With Larkspur

One of the most listened to episodes of the podcast was at the end of Season 2.  It was during a very uncertain time of the pandemic, and I just picked up a microphone and started talking.  This episode is done in that same spirit.  I’m joined by Larkspur members Kayla and Natalie (our precious…

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A Chat With Savannah Miller – LDCPS3E9

Savannah Miller has had a baton in her hand for about as long as she can remember, and through tremendous dedication and hard work, she has won numerous titles on the national and world level, and was the featured twirler at the University of Arkansas, entertaining thousands.  She also has worldwide acclaim when videos of…

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FLOURISH with Larkspur – Race Relations with Yvonne Cole

In an effort to keep this topic at the forefront, our second episode in our FLOURISH with Larkspur series of the podcast discusses the sensitive topic of race again.  This time I sit down and chat with Yvonne Cole, the longtime coach of the Lindbergh Flyerettes and Missouri Dance Team Association founder and board member,…

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A Chat With Rob Miller – LDCPS3E7

Rob Miller has influenced and guided the most successful and significant dance team coaches through Proactive Coaching, an organization that  works with coaches to help them create character-based team cultures, provide a blueprint for team leadership, develop confident, tough-minded competitors, and train coaches for excellence and significance.  He is one of my favorite speakers, and…

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A Chat With Lindsey Lococo – LDCPS3E6

Lindsey Lococo is the coach and choreographer for the University of Illinois – Chicago Dancing Flames, but her fantastic choreo can also be seen on other high performing teams.  She shares with us her choreo process, what she does to keep things fresh for game day, how she cleans routines, and she also shares some…

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A Chat with T.J. Maple – LDCPS3E5

T.J. Maple’s dance team story is full of perseverance, hard work, and an untiring pursuit to better himself and the teams he works with.  He also has an ability to create some of the most stunningly visual routines that win national titles.  He is so generous with his knowledge and experience, and gives us so…

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FLOURISH with Larkspur – Race Relations with Iris Sherman

We’re very excited about new FLOURISH themed episodes for this season’s podcast that will involve other important aspects of our lives besides dance.  In our first FLOURISH episode, I welcome back my dear friend Iris Lynne Sherman, who gave us all some great advice from her long and varied career as a performer during a…

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A Chat with Teri Rowe – LDCPS3E3

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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A Chat With Karl Mundt – LDCPS3E2

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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Melanie’s Dance Story – LDCPS3E1

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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Season 3 Preview

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!   Connect with Larkspur at the following links: Website: https://www.larkspurdance.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/larkspurdance/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LarkspurDance/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/LarkspurMelanie

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Some Inspiration and More Coping Mechanisms – LDCPS2E26

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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A Chat With Carrie Smith – LDCPS2E25

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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Corona Coping Mechanisms – LDCPS2E24

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.   Connect with Larkspur at the following links: Website: https://www.larkspurdance.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/larkspurdance/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LarkspurDance/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/LarkspurMelanie

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A Chat With Toya Ambrose – LDCPS2E23

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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A Chat With Andie Stitt – LDCPS2E22

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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A Chat With Rachel Levetzow – LDCPS2E21

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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A Chat With Britney Hinote – LDCPS2E20

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.   Connect with…

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A Chat With Jenna Schneider – LDCPS2E19

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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A Chat With David Moore – LDCPS2E18

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.   Connect with Larkspur at the following links: Website: https://www.larkspurdance.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/larkspurdance/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LarkspurDance/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/LarkspurMelanie

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A Chat With Chasity Tyus – LDCPS2E17

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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A Chat With Cyndi Kraemer – LDCPS2E16

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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A Chat With Nicole Jacobs Silvey Pt. 2 – LDCPS2E15

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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A Chat With Kimberly Campbell – LDCPS2E14

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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A Chat With Lynsey Payne – LDCPS2E13

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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