It’s been a while since I’ve checked in here for you – but there has been a lot going on behind the scenes for teams and coaches especially. It’s tryouts season around here and many of our awesome seniors are off to college auditions that are going on all spring. Good luck in your new ventures there, I’d love to share your new teams you’ve joined via twitter, tag me and let me know where you’ll be dancing next year. (@mnhsdanceteam)
- Coaching Positions: There are a TON of jobs this year at all levels, head/assistant/JV/fall/part-time. We need some new faces at the coaches table, and that starts with us in the dance community rounding up some new talent. Starting out as a new coach can be daunting, so maybe you can help by adding that extra encouragement to those who may be good candidates to apply. Same is true on the judges side. The judges shortage continues unless we fill the ranks with qualified and dedicated adults.
- MADT Rules Changes Voting: The coaches association is doing an extra special voting by ballot for rules changes this year, as we have had many to work on and discuss. Head coaches of member schools got this mailing, and it needs to be carefully considered and voted on by Tuesday 4/28. Full text of each change is in the member news section of madtcoaches.net (I know, I know – you don’t have your password. Ask! This is important.) If you have questions about proposals you don’t understand – the authors are listed for contacts. Reach out. Consider carefully. Make decisions in the best interest of the whole sport. Change is a hard thing for some of us – but it might just be time for an open mind and a willing attitude. At the very least, your vote matters coaches. A great turnout gives MADT an idea where you stand. Many thanks to our author teams – you worked very hard on some tough issues.
- Team Tryouts: Many of our teams have some kind of open recruitment audition event in the spring – some teams are going all out to be visible in their community. Some great ideas include a YouTube highlight video to build interest, twitter hashtags specifically about tryouts, and informational meetings that break down the misconceptions. Take a peek around social media and get some ideas you can use in your school. Dance Team is growing everywhere thanks to your efforts! Way to go.
- MSHSL News: Silence is golden around the league of late. I attended the last board meeting to hear any dance team related talk, but not much to say at this point. I’ll be there to cover the news as it becomes known. There are a ton of open questions regarding our rules change process, ongoing communication issues, and what we’re doing from here. If they’re working on any solutions to those issues, it’s not being made known to our community. Not surprising, so stay tuned and let things take their bureaucratic course. I hate the red tape too. In brighter league news, our dance team history article for the MSHSL Centennial events next year is done. That will be coming out next fall for all to enjoy the unique history of MN sports. Check that out.
- Summer Training Opportunities: 3 cheers for summer dance! Teams will be offering their own events, but so will Just For Kix and WOW Factor Sports. Check out the WOW camps – smaller metro options and shorter timeframes if you’re not going to hike up to Brainerd. Individuals can also look into their area dance studios for skill, flexibility, and dance team specific summer classes. If your area studio doesn’t offer something – better ask! Area coaches and dance team friends are out setting up clinics in your own school and there’s a good option out there for everyone. Don’t forget to cross train, hit the weight room, and participate in other activities to keep you active and busy this summer. A good dancer is a good athlete first. Find a challenge that meets your needs, and have some fun this summer. (Hello, lake!) Don’t forget – we have a summer coach/student no contact week which is AFTER the 4th of July this year – it’s goofy. Don’t accidentally schedule team events that week after the 4th. Check your MSHSL website for details. There is also good info there about what can and can’t be required activities.
- Think it Through: Just a reminder to all our dancers about positive behavior this time of year. Dance season may seem like a long way off, but trouble from a poor decision around Prom and Graduation season can follow you. Your new rookies on your team follow your lead and see your every decision – how you talk about that girl, what you act like with your friends, and if you follow a healthy lifestyle. Walk the walk.
That’s all for now! I’m hoping to get a joint effort going to list our invitational dates and who’s going where in a public form. Right now the best option is just a google doc – let me know if you’ve got a better plan. I know teams want to plan their travel better and “self-sort” into the right places for a better invitational experience next year. We’ll see if we can’t make that happen.