Friday, July 3, 2009
Roughing it at drill team camp.....
So I spent the last four days with 18 of my 'Molahiettes' roughing it at drill team camp. We stayed in the Bellevue Hilton and attended the 'Elite Performance Dance Camp'. (I would HIGHLY recommend it.) The fifth camp I've gone to as a coach,and BY FAR THE BEST. This camp offered everything we were looking for plus a little more. We arrived on Monday. Our theme for camp was the 'Queens of Dance'.
They took our pictures, we ate our lunch and immediately started dancing. There was 273 girls at camp from 15 schools. The majority of the schools were from the west side of the state. That was really fun to get to know so many of them and their coaches. They warmed up and started right in on a camp dance which was really a lot of fun. After learning that they broke up into groups and levels. There was beginning, intermediate and advanced. Most of the girls took the challenge of the advanced classes and did great. (THEY WERE HARD!!!) WE had girls learn pom, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, kick and production/show. The advanced teachers were amazing. After dancing for 5 hours we had dinner and the seniors plus one got ready for the home routine showcase. I had the girls do a jazz number. Caitlynn also danced her solo. There were ooh's and aah's all over the crowd. And the girls received a trophy for 'Best Home Routine.' We took a little late night visit to 'Cheesecake Factory' for dessert and then some girls practiced and some went to bed. (I have to say, we would not have won the prize for the most practice had one been given.....)
Day two began with camp dance, review of Routine A, split into levels and division for Routine B and Ballet Technique.
During all the classes ribbons were handed out for style, technique, showmanship and 100 % effort. The ribbons were stacking up. The most exciting part of Tuesday and probably the camp was a Master Class taught by Shane Sparks. (He is SHORT!) He taught a fun hip hop routine and I honestly have never seen the girls move like that. He pulled Caitlynn, Megan and Kendra out to use as an example. Good Job Ladies! After he sat and talked to the girls and told them how important DANCE was in his life. It had saved him from a life of misery and he was so grateful to share the love with others. He told them that NOW is their time to train and learn and take advantage of every opportunity. They will never come again. (Thanks Shane, that's what I am always trying to tell the girls too!) He then gave autographs.
After Shane Sparks, dancing was not over. We had leap technique and then everyone learned a kick routine-intermediate or advanced. They picked 29 girls to perform the intermediate and 30 girls to perform the advanced. They also had a high kick routine. They kicked down to the top 12. (9 of them were Moses Lake). Congratulations Caitlynn, Mattie, Kayci, Kendra, Aja, Megan, Lauren, Kiersten, and Katelynn. (Funny thing about that 3 of those girls were not chosen for high kick routine? Someone please explain to me how that makes any sense....
Day three began with another routine and LOTS more dance. We had technique for turns and some team building sessions. We even had a crazy dancer contest and I have to say KENDRA dominated that!!! It also brought evalution for all the dancers of the camp dance and LOTS of SUPERIOR ribbons.
The night was a formal dinner and can I just say, "You girls clean up good." Thanks for showering Kiersten.
Day four brought reviews, performances and awards. I was so proud of everyone of the girls. They all challenged themselves individually and worked so hard. Lots of trophies were given and 7 of our girls found themselves in the 'Top 30 Dancers'. WAY TO GO GIRLS!!! Caitlynn and Mattie were award two of the TOP 4 spots.
And for those of you who didn't get the trophy this time or didn't get acknowledged I wanted you to know I noticed you... Your hard work and attitudes were amazing and I commend you for them.
As a coach it is a very rewarding experience to go away from a camp like this. The director's of the camp, the instructors and the other coaches were very impressed. The compliments came often and there were many. The first question every director, teacher or coached asked me is, "Where had the girls been trained?" They could tell they had all been studio trained and were very impressed. They couldn't believe how lucky the girls were to have an opportunity to take studio dance and do the drill team at the school. No other program has that opportunity. If you'll allow me just for a second to sort of explain how it feels I will try. I have devoted the last 14 years of my life to dance because I have a passion for it. I loved to dance as a child and it brought me a sense of belonging and accomplishment. It made me happy and increased my self-esteem and helped form who I am today as an adult. It hasn't always been easy and it hasn't come without sacrifice. But I wanted to share that with my girls and in that journey I have shared it with a few others I think. It has taken all those years to build up a program and in the process I took on the position of coach of the drill team because I felt like I had something to offer the program. It has always been a quality program but I knew it could be even more. Honestly people could not believe how amazing our 'dancers' were and really either could I. They excelled in every routine, technique class and competition they had. The only thing that stopped us from winning everything is because there would of been 14 other teams that went home completely unhappy and dissatisfied. But this level and ability didn't come easy, and it didn't come quick. Nothing worth getting in life is easy or quick and I hope that is one of the main lessons I have taught the girls. They are amazing because they have trained for YEARS to get where they are and have put in many hours of hard work. Now is the time for that!!! We only want to get stronger and better and with lots of hard work we will. I have no regrets about the hard work I have put in and I hope they will not either. Here's to a great start for the year 2010. Go Molahiettes!!!!