The National Dance Coaches Association held a congress in Las Vegas May 19-21, 2017. The goal of the congress was to develop the foundation of the Association. A group of more than 50 dance team pioneers from across the country met in small and large groups to share ideas. The energy, enthusiasm and creativity resulted in an overwhelming amount of ideas on how the Association can help support dance teams and coaches.

As busy dance team professionals, we acknowledged that we can’t implement all of our ideas at once. In order to address the most prominent issues facing coaches today, we decided to focus on the following areas:

  1. Increase Association Membership – The more coaches and dance professionals involved in the process, the better it will be for everyone.
  2. Create a Coaches’ Credential – Dance team professionals do not have a single, nationally-recognized source for earning a credential that proves they have been trained in coaching dance team.
  3. Create a Dance Safety, Lifts, and Skills (SLS) Credential – Most of the safety credentials offered to dance team coaches are written from a cheer perspective. The goal is to create a training program/certification that teaches safety, lifts, and skills that are specific to dance teams and use the language of dance.
  4. 2018 Coaches’ Conference – The inaugural conference is scheduled to be held May 17 – 18, 2018 in Las Vegas. It will be an event all about dance and will be designed to offer sessions that help us think outside the norm.

It is not only important to define our goals, but also the fundamental principles by which we will operate.  After thoughtful discussion, we agreed on the following list:

  1. We are “pro-us” (not anti-anyone). Our actions will be designed with coaches’ needs first.
  2. We are autonomous decision makers. Coaches vote and make decisions for the Association based on what they want.
  3. Our main goal is to support each other, not compete against each other. Our action items will include experiences that help make each other and therefore our profession stronger.

If you were part of the Congress, thank you for sharing your time and expertise. Just making the trip demonstrated your dedication to giving our profession a unified voice. If you weren’t able to attend the congress but want to participate, join us and offer to share your expertise. If you are just trying to figure out if this is a place for you, explore more and ask questions. Passion for dance team (or needing to find your passion again) is the only prerequisite to membership!