Coach of the Year...

When I started DCA 3 years ago, I wanted to bring together some of the best dance coaches in the country to share their knowledge to other coaches. My dad always says “surround yourself with others that make you better”….and I did just that with these mentors.

We truly have the best coaches in the country as our DCA mentors. I wanted to take a moment to recognize two of those mentors.

Alyse and dancers.jpg
Alyse pic coach of the year.jpg



Alyse Iorio was just named the Minnesota Association of Dance Teams 2018-2019 Class AAA Coach of the year. Her team won BOTH jazz and kick this year at the Minnesota State Dance Competition. Those dancers are better for having you as their coach Alyse and we are so proud of you!



Another one of our DCA mentors Melissa McGhee, was just nominated for the National Dance Coaches Association Coach of the year award! Here is Melissa’s nomination:

Meet Melissa McGhee - College Coach of the Year Nominee  Melissa McGhee is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she obtained a B.A. in Business Administration. She has coached The Ohio State University Dance Team for the past eight seasons. Under her direction, the team has consistently placed in the top five at the UDA Collegiate National Championship and won the D1A Jazz Division in 2018 and the D1A Pom Division in 2018 and 2019. After sixteen years of studio training, she now choreographs/consults for teams nationally and judges for dance competitions including NDA, UDA, AmeriDance, Showcase America, OASSA, and USASF Dance Worlds.   Here is what Melissa’s nominator had to say about her.  "Under her direction, Melissa led The Ohio State Dance Team to their first ever UDA National Championship title in both Division 1A Pom and Jazz at the 2018 national competition - something that has never been done in the history of OSU dance program. Additionally, she and her dancers were awarded one of The Ohio State University’s highest alumni awards, the E. Gordon Gee Spirit of Ohio State Alumni Award, for personifying excellence in representing OSU at school events, in the community, and on the national stage. She was instrumental in the formation of The Ohio State Dance Team Alumni Association which provides support and scholarships for the current dance team and former members."  "Melissa has created a culture based on hard work, respect for self, respect for others, and a camaraderie that I have not seen in many other programs. She is constantly giving constructive feedback in a way that not only supports the athletes but is an effective leader that just gets it. While Melissa always has high expectations of her athletes, she also provides a number of resources to allow them to grow and progress each and every day."

Meet Melissa McGhee - College Coach of the Year Nominee

Melissa McGhee is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she obtained a B.A. in Business Administration. She has coached The Ohio State University Dance Team for the past eight seasons. Under her direction, the team has consistently placed in the top five at the UDA Collegiate National Championship and won the D1A Jazz Division in 2018 and the D1A Pom Division in 2018 and 2019. After sixteen years of studio training, she now choreographs/consults for teams nationally and judges for dance competitions including NDA, UDA, AmeriDance, Showcase America, OASSA, and USASF Dance Worlds.

Here is what Melissa’s nominator had to say about her.

"Under her direction, Melissa led The Ohio State Dance Team to their first ever UDA National Championship title in both Division 1A Pom and Jazz at the 2018 national competition - something that has never been done in the history of OSU dance program. Additionally, she and her dancers were awarded one of The Ohio State University’s highest alumni awards, the E. Gordon Gee Spirit of Ohio State Alumni Award, for personifying excellence in representing OSU at school events, in the community, and on the national stage. She was instrumental in the formation of The Ohio State Dance Team Alumni Association which provides support and scholarships for the current dance team and former members."

"Melissa has created a culture based on hard work, respect for self, respect for others, and a camaraderie that I have not seen in many other programs. She is constantly giving constructive feedback in a way that not only supports the athletes but is an effective leader that just gets it. While Melissa always has high expectations of her athletes, she also provides a number of resources to allow them to grow and progress each and every day."

There is still time to vote for Melissa so head over to the NDCA website to vote today!

I’m proud to have been on this coaching journey and DCA journey with both of you.

We are in the planning stages for our next DCA Spring/Summer coaches online training session. To be notified when registration opens, head to our main page on Dancecoachacademy.com and enter your email to join our community of coaches! We can’t wait to see many of you in our next session!

Keep inspiring coaches,

Jenna

Find us on Instagram @dancecoachacademy

"You can't make your goals their goals"

I was sitting in an in-service meeting for my job as an instruction coach, and this bold statement was made.  And I, like any other obsessed dance coach, immediately thought of my team, and had the stark realization that this is why my first few years of coaching were such a struggle.   I mean, I eventually have figured out WHY they were a struggle, and have implemented many changes in my program, but never had someone put it so succinctly.  

My first few years as a coach, I had high aspirations. After having won several titles as a dancer, I would settle for no less than a national championship as a coach.  I even went so far and said that my program would win a national title within my first five years.  That first year I found myself banging my head against the wall CONSTANTLY.  I knew what it took for me to win, why couldn’t my dancers see it?  I was willing to sacrifice, to push, to do the extra, why didn’t they?  It boils down to this… I wanted it more than they did.  I was trying to make MY goals THEIR goals.  

I am a goal oriented person.  I have always incorporated goal setting for my students in class, and the teams that I have coached. But when I moved up to the college level, there was a difference in how I approached it.  My team would say “Our goal is to make finals at nationals” and I would come back with, “that’s it?” My team would say, “we want to be successful at nationals”, and I would say, “but really… what place do you want to get?”  I wanted them to say MY goals out loud.  I wanted them to WANT to be national champions.   

What I have realized over the past 8 seasons is that I cannot make my goals their goals.  BUT, I can build a culture where pushing yourself, doing the extra, and making sacrifices comes natural. If you don’t intentionally create the culture, it will create itself (and probably won’t be one that you like). Take the time to create your culture.  Allow your team members to have ownership in the process. Use your resources (like the amazing mentors at the Dance Coach Academy). And slowly, but surely, you will see, as I have, that your goals and their goals become one in the same.

~Jenny Eustice, University of Iowa Dance Coach