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 Dancers

Fall is a fun and fast flying time for dancers as you head back to school and winter season dance seems just around the corner.  So what can dancers be doing to come into winter season ready to go and looking your best?  Here are some tips to make the most of fall

·         Flexibility.  Now is the time when it comes to building flexibility and getting those splits for the first time.  Waiting until winter puts you behind the game and sets you up for more soreness and injury when you’re trying to build flexibility while working on competition dances. 
·         Technique.  Try some new skills and fix those long time quirks during summer intensives at studios and camps, as well as making technique a primary focus of your fall seasons.  Coaches love to see improvement as a way to show you’re ready for that hard feature part or to make varsity for the first time.  Coming in looking the same old same old isn’t going to make an impression that you’re ready for anything.  Fall is also great because the pressure is off, you can relax and get the help you need without looking unprepared.
·         Dream.  If you’re helping with choreography, fall is a great time to be watching video, recording formations, and thinking up new skills combos to bring to the table.  Coming in without having thought about anything can make for a stressful 2 week choreo window in October
·         Cross-train.  Some of my best dancers never danced in the fall, rather they explored other sports or activities that built complementary skills and muscles.  The act of cross-training isn’t taking away from your dancing, rather when you come back to it you are more well-rounded and able to grow faster with your new muscle and endurance training you weren’t doing before.  If you aren’t into a fall sport, hit the gym for some weight training or a spin class (my favorite) or you have time to go the full P90X regimen and be in tip-top plyometrics shape.  Jumps will improve with 90 days of this plan.  I have personally done this and incorporated some drills into dance team practices.  Try “swing kicks” from the plyometrics DVD for amazing fans.  If you’re a hardcore athlete, Insanity is another great Beachbody offering.  I love the instructor for the series, Tony Horton.  His blog is here
·         Get your gear.  Do everyone a favor and don’t wait until day one of practice to decide you don’t have a waterbottle or good shoes anymore.  Best deals are found online so you’ll need to think ahead and order new goodies for a successful year – don’t forget practice clothes, hair stuff, shoes, dance bag, and anything your coaches specifically want every day at practice.  Spacing out paying for items is also a benefit to your (or your parents) hard earned dime.  (and you’re more likely to get something you want instead of just things you need if you’re on top of it J )Watch for an upcoming article on supply recommendations.
·         Fun.  Remember why you love to dance and enjoy the fall performance season (if you have one) or take some fun dance classes so you aren’t all business and no pleasure.  You never know what you might learn to bring to your competition team. 


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