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


Winter Auditions are Here!

Welcome back to winter dance!  The leaves are down and it’s time to head back into the gym and get busy dancing.  I am so excited to see the new routines this year and especially to see the new scoresheet in action.  It’s going to be an amazing year.


Most of us have some sort of team placements or open tryouts going on this week, so I’ve shared some thoughts on getting the most out of that experience for dancers and families.  It’s never easy to make these tough placement decisions.  Just keep in mind it’s only for today.  It can seem like such a huge make-or-break moment, but it rarely is.  Things change, you grow as a dancer, and one tryout result isn’t going to take away from what it feels like to be dancing again and be with our teammates.  Work hard, and keep it all in perspective.


Some ways to be at your best for placements:


Know your material:  This seems so easy, but for many dancers learning a routine so fast for tryouts is tough.  I struggle to honestly score your dancing when it’s obvious you’re still learning the steps.  Don’t assume your coach or judge will give you a pass on “I just learned this” – be proactive and memorize like crazy.  Video, writing things down, and mental-rehearsals during your breaks in the school day all help get past the slow learning phase.  Veteran dancers should offer help to those struggling if this part is easy for you.


This is a job interview:  Come prepared.  Dress sharply.  Do your hair.  You want to be taken seriously?  Don’t show up with no waterbottle and a broken hair tie.  Looking the part and taking it seriously during the entire audition cycle does not go unnoticed.  My team used to wear lipstick to our tryouts back in the 90s.  I’ll always remember that.  Now, it helps me spot those who bothered to pull themselves together and present a positive image.


Decide how you’ll feel and react in advance:  Your placement might be a surprise, but it should never be a shock.  Know how you’ll respond, the questions you’ll ask, and the people you’ll thank – in advance.  Talk it thru with your parent (or your dancer) so it’s not a total wave of emotions to deal with on results night.  I ask my dancers to decide if they’re on this team or not, and how they’re going to feel and work this year long before a team assignment happens.  Don’t let a disappointing placement steal your joy.  You decide how you’ll feel.  Talk about it in advance.


Good luck on a bright new year!  See you in a few short weeks for some pre-season speculation and a new podcast!

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