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Home2019 Conference Recap


The 2019 NDCA Conference took the content and energy of the 2018 Conference to a new level. Coaches danced, networked, learned from leaders in the industry, and won fabulous prizes. Some sessions were designed to give coaches the necessary tools to navigate the day-to-day workings of dance teams, and some to push us out of the day-to-day and into the “What is possible?” and “Why are we doing this?”

At the Gala, we inducted three dance team leaders into the NDCA Hall of Fame, including Joyce Pennington, Cindy Clough, and Teri Rowe. It was an honor to have all three of them present to accept their award and meet/inspire conference attendees. We also recognized nominees and recipients for Coach of the Year and Associate of the Year, and awarded service pins for coaches reaching milestones of 5, 10, 15, 20, etc. years of coaching. After the Gala, we put on some headphones and danced to the “Silent Disco.” If you missed this, search for a video on YouTube to check it out. It might be an idea to use for your next event.

Thank you to those who shared their expertise, volunteered their time, and attended the conference. Together, we are making our profession stronger and more united.

Mark your calendars to attend the 2021 NDCA Conference in Nashville May 13 – 15. We are sure to have ourselves a heck of a boot-scootin’ good time!

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Mel Mah
Mel Mah
Mel Mah was born and raised in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, and currently lives in Los Angeles. She has trained in all styles of dance including ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, lyrical, and tap, and she has her Advanced Foundation in Royal Academy Dance ballet and her pre-professional certification in Vaganova ballet. Mel got her jumpstart in the entertainment industry when she competed on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA (Season 2) in 2009 and made it all the way into the top 6. From there, she moved to LA and experienced much success as a professional dancer, performing on America’s Got Talent, Dancing With The Stars, X Factor, The Voice, and Glee. She also worked for some of the biggest artists in the game including Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, and Becky G. Her number one dance dream came true when she was chosen as one of Janet Jackson’s UNBREAKABLE world tour dancers in 2015, and this experience was the ultimate cherry on top of her professional dance career.

Since then, she’s decided to pursue other passions that were pulling at her heartstrings. Mel is now actively pursuing a career as a film director and is motivated to direct powerful movies that share inspiring stories. She spent the last year and a half working side-by-side with director George Tillman Jr. on the 20th Century Fox film THE HATE U GIVE, released in theatres October 19, 2018. She is also a passionate yoga teacher and has her 500-hour teaching certification from Corepower Yoga. In addition, Mel is the director and co-founder of the women’s empowerment company YOU GOT THIS, GIRL! (, where she fuses together her love for movement, yoga, and meditation to teach women how to achieve their goals while cultivating positive thoughts, self-confidence, and mindfulness.

Passion and persistence are qualities that define Mel, and she’s grateful for every opportunity to create and collaborate with others. Her mission is to use her creative voice for good, educate and inspire others, and to spread love everywhere she goes.

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Rob Miller: Proactive Coaching
Rob Miller: Proactive Coaching
Rob is a motivational speaker for “Proactive Coaching“. Rob uses his speaking skills and “coaching” knowledge to promote the “Proactive Coaching” mission of helping coaches positively impact their athlete’s lives. His experience gives him an amazing view at the status of modern day coaching and parenting. Rob is also the commissioner of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, with schools in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. Throughout his career, Rob has been a coach at the high school and college levels. He was also instrumental in building up the NAIA’s Champions of Character program.

Undergrad: Spring Arbor College, MI 1986
Masters: Michigan State Univ. 1995
Professional last 18 Years:
Director of Champions of Character–NAIA 2000-2008
Partner Proactive Coaching–2008-Present
Commissioner-The Sun Conference 2009-2012
Commissioner-Wolverine Hoosier Conference 2013-present
High School Boys, Girls Basketball and Track/Field
College: Men’s Basketball
Youth: Soccer/Basketball
Lives in Liberty, MO
Wife Susan
Daughter Kendall (22)

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Dr. Nicole Lavoi
Dr. Nicole Lavoi
Director, the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport
Senior Lecturer, School of Kinesiology
University of Minnesota
@DrSportPsych    @TuckerCenter

Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D. is a Senior Lecturer in the area of social and behavioral sciences in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota and the Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport. Through her multidisciplinary research she answers critical questions that can make a difference in the lives of sport stakeholders—particularly girls and women. As a leading scholar on gender, leadership and women coaches LaVoi has published numerous book chapters, research reports and peer reviewed articles across multiple disciplines. Her seminal research includes the annual Women in College Coaching Report Card which is aimed at retaining and increasing the number of women in the coaching profession, a groundbreaking book Women in Sports Coaching (2016), and a documentary GAME ON: Women Can Coach (2018). GAME ON is the third collaborative film project with tptMN, the first Concussion & Female Athletes (2011) was Emmy-nominated, the second Media Coverage & Female Athletes: Women Play Sports, Just Not in the Media (2013) won a regional Emmy for best sports documentary. As a public scholar she speaks frequently to sport stakeholders, fields media requests, and serves on national advisory boards for Gustavus Women in Leadership (GWiL, Sports Advocacy Network of the Women’s Sport Foundation, espnW and WeCOACH. LaVoi is also part of the core teaching faculty at the NCAA Women Coaches Academy. LaVoi played collegiate tennis at Gustavus Adolphus College where her teams took 1st, 2nd and 4th place during her tenure at the NCAA-III National Championships and she was a two-time Academic All-American. Prior to her career in the academy, she was the head tennis coach at Wellesley College.

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Petra Krebbs: The Jon Gordon Companies
Petra Krebbs: The Jon Gordon Companies
Topic Expertise: Positive Energy Tools One Word Vision Culture and Leadership Excellence Purpose and Brand Discovery Entrepreneurial Courage and Confidence

Petra holds a bachelor’s degree in Education and is passionate about engaging, equipping and elevating others to achieve their very best. Her energy is contagious, and her focus on outcomes is refreshing.
Petra’s professional career spans over 18 years in sales, leadership, training and development for several corporations where she helped clients and employees to reach their goals. She is an entrepreneurial thinker and built a large thriving direct sales organization while raising two children. She served there as a Leader, Mentor, Coach, Trainer and Speaker for over a decade. Jon Gordon’s principles have been a guide in her personal and professional journey. Those experiences drive her passion to support others in their quest for excellence.

Her faith is her compass in building a life of purpose with her husband of 24 years. They enjoy traveling with their grown children to connect their world to the global perspective and impact of many.

2019 Conference Partners