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


Fall Preparation for Coaches:

 As if coaches ever stopped preparing for the upcoming competition season!  Since I know firsthand how stressful it can be to pull together a plan last minute- here’s some reminders of the long list of “to-dos” this fall:

·         Music. Music. Music:  You need it and it’s not worth putting off.  There is nothing worse than getting into a competition season and wishing you hadn’t just settled for something you were less than excited about and being stuck with it from then on.  Don’t forget this is more than coming up with an idea, it’s also about production.  Key mixers Mark Henderson, Matt Wallace, and Chip Rauth fill up fast – they have more to worry about than just you, so don’t delay scheduling a rough draft of your mix.  If you’re saving money mixing at home, look for my upcoming article on music editing at home.
·         Costumes: if you’re planning something new or just ended up needing something new for a theme, costume schedules can take a loooonnng time.  Generally expect 6 weeks to 3 months for the entire project depending on how custom you are getting.  Also note that you have to have cash or check IN HAND to get things started and if your school is anything like mine- it might take weeks to get a check cut in the summer.  Don’t forget that important step. 
·         Schedule: Invites fill up fast and require pre-registration.  Waiting until the last day can often mean you are the first one bumped if its too full.  Practice space is also another one that goes fast if you let the basketball teams get in there first and schedule away without you.  Make sure you’re advocating to be treated equally with the other varsity winter sports – it shocks me how many teams are still turning on French fry grease in the cafeteria every day.  Imagine if we all just said enough of that?
·         Book your consultants, camps, clinics, and special team events when possible.  Outside help at practice once and a while can be refreshing for everyone, and I find it is harder to schedule it when you really need it in the heat of things.  Just giving someone a heads up about coming in at Christmas break goes a long way to making sure it actually happens. 
·         Incentive challenges:  Winter coaches can’t work with dancers in the fall – but what about letting them know about a fitness or skill challenge coming up when the season starts?  One of my favorites is to give out goodies (like hairspray, a team t-shirt, ect) to girls who have flat splits the first day of practice. You’d be surprised how well that works.  Same kind of thing can help with fundraisers if you have trouble getting participation. 

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