About Coach Erin

Erin is a 17 year veteran dance team coach in Minnesota. A 3 time MADT coach of the year (2009, 2010, 2014) and winner of 2 state championships in high kick with the Cannon Falls Bomber Dance Team. In high school Erin danced for Winona and Apple Valley high schools. Erin is a nationally known blogger, writing for the Radio City Rockettes and a Hollywood movie among other projects. Erin also teaches on a freelance contractor basis for many MN high school teams and can be contacted for date/time availability at mnhsdanceteam@gmail.com


JV Season Comes to a Close

It’s JV week here at MNHSDT Online.  JVs are the up and coming future of the sport, and we want to recognize your efforts to improve this year!  Many JVs have their final meets or performances coming up this week or next before varsity takes the show at sections and state.  Today we’re talking with Patti Tillman, the coordinator of the Mounds View Winterfest JV Championship that happens this Saturday.  This big JV (and varsity) event will honor the final competition of the year for our extra hard working JV teams.  If you haven’t had your JV at the Winterfest meet, you’re missing out!  Good luck JVs – your tireless work for little recognition pays off in the improvement you’ll see by the next round of tryouts.  We salute you!


Erin: So Patti, tell me, when did this event get started, what prompted you to start doing something larger to recognize JV’s?
The event started with the St. Paul Winter Carnival.   Mounds View had hosted the event and the representative from the Winter Carnival were looking for a school that would continue the tradition of Winterfest.  They knew from working with our team, coaches and parents that we would keep the quality and tradition alive.  It takes many volunteers and our alumni are always willing to help out.
We hold our event the last weekend in January.  For some dancers on JV or B Squad this may be the last time they dance on their team and we want to make it a special experience for all the dancers.
Erin: How many JV teams typically participate?  What is the awards structure like for them?
Last year we had about 25 JV/B Squad Teams and in 2011 we had roughly 30 teams.
Our award structure is set up similar to the State competition for Varsity.  The top 3 teams are recognized.  Each team is asked to send the registration coordinator an alphabetical list of every girl on their JV jazz and JV kick teams.
When their team is announced the entire jazz or kick team is presented with a trophy and medals are given to the coaches.  As each girl’s name is called, the coach puts their medal around their neck.  We take pictures of each team during the presentation.

Erin: What kind of feedback have you gotten from JV teams about this event?  Has it stepped up the level of competition among JV teams?
We have received very positive feedback.  Many schools are very happy we acknowledge the achievements of their JV teams.  Many schools return to our event year after year because of the way we recognize the JV teams.  I believe it has stepped up the level of competition for JV and B Squad.  I have heard repeatedly from dancers and coaches how excited the dancers are to be individually recognized.  When they hear their name announced their faces say it all.
Erin:  What about B-squads and middle school programs?  how can they be involved?
We medal B-squad, in their own category.  The dancers names are announced just like JV.  We welcome Middle School teams to participate in Winterfest.  Middle school has the option of doing exhibition or competing with other B Squad teams.  We want to acknowledge all the teams for their hard work over the season.

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