One of the purposes of the NDCA is to honor and recognize outstanding coaches in our profession. For the next two weeks, we will be introducing you to the candidates for our “Of the Year” awards. These coaches and associate members were nominated for the award and have submitted their bios and headshots to us so that we can introduce you to them and share their accomplishments.
Meet T.J. Maple, Stephen F. Austin Coordinator of Spirit Programs
What TJ’s nominator said about him:
“TJ is an amazing coach and mentor! I know my college coaching career would be very different if he wasn’t part of it!”
For the last 23 years, T.J. Maple has been Choreographing and Coaching Dance teams across Texas and beyond. Maple has coached at SFA since 2005 and has won NDA College Nationals in 2009, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 (x2) and most recently 2018 under his leadership. Maple has a Bachelor of Science with an emphasis on Kinesiology and Art from Stephen F. Austin State University. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Dance Department at SFA where he teaches Theory & Practice of Dance Team Coaching and Dance Team Choreography courses. Maple has been a Choreographer, Head Instructor, Adjudicator, Speaker and Unleashed Master Staff for the National Dance Alliance (NDA) in Dallas, Texas. Maple is part of the ESP Productions staff for the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, FL. He is also an adjudicator and master teacher for numerous companies including American Dance/Drill Team School (ADTS), Crowd Pleasers Dance and MA Dance. He has been a member of the Texas Dance Educators Association (TDEA) since 2001. Click here for full bio
Meet Melissa McGhee, Head Coach Ohio State University
What Melissa’s nominator said about her:
“Under her direction, Melissa led The Ohio State Dance Team to their first ever UDA National Champion title in both Division 1A Pom and Jazz at the 2018 national competition – something that has never been done in the history of OSU dance program. Additionally, she and her dancers were awarded one of The Ohio State University’s highest alumni awards, the E. Gordon Gee Spirit of Ohio State Alumni Award, for personifying excellence in representing OSU at school events, in the community, and on the national stage. She was instrumental in the formation of The Ohio State Dance Team Alumni Association which provides support and scholarships for the current dance team and former members.”
“Melissa has created a culture based on hard work, respect for self, respect for others, and a camaraderie that I have not seen in many other programs. She is constantly giving constructive feedback in a way that not only supports the athletes but is an effective leader that just gets it. While Melissa always has high expectations of her athletes, she also provides a number of resources to allow them to grow and progress each and every day.”
Melissa McGhee is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she obtained a B.A. in Business Administration. She has coached The Ohio State University Dance Team for the past eight seasons. Under her direction, the team has consistently placed in the top five at the UDA Collegiate National Championship and won the D1A Jazz Division in 2018 and the D1A Pom Division in 2018 and 2019. After sixteen years of studio training, she now choreographs/consults for teams nationally and judges for dance competitions including NDA, UDA, AmeriDance, Showcase America, OASSA, and USASF Dance Worlds. Click here for full bio
Meet Erin Alvarado, Texas Tech Pom Squad Coach
What Erin’s nominator said about her:
“Erin is well mastered at coaching, teaching and choreography.
She is a wealth of knowledge for her team, her colleagues and her friends in this industry.
She leads with a passionate heart and her energy is contagious.
Erin deserves to be recognized for numerous reasons but most importantly because of the work she continuously does to keep our industry rising.”
“I will be forever grateful I walked into Coach Erin’s office as a prospective dancer that summer day. Coach Erin has been the most impactful, inspiring, life-changing role model in my life. Her knowledge of every style of dance is extensive and she constantly pushes us to be the most remarkable versions of ourselves. Through her experiences, she knows how to lead a team to success and keeps us hungry for the end goal. She has not only left a mark on me and Texas Tech but everyone in the dance world. From her, I have embodied the WE>ME moto, always putting my team first. She lives by this motto, for her dancers and the dance world.”
Erin Alvarado (Harold) @erinmalvarado
•Texas Tech Pom Squad Coach•
•Educator, Choreographer, Motivator, Adjudicator, Mentor, Traveler•
•5X NDA National Champion, USASF Lyrical/Contemporary Category Director, WVU Graduate
• StrengthsQuest: Strategic, Individualization, Responsibility, Learner, Futuristic
“Whatever you are, be a good one.” Click here for full bio
Meet Tasha Hinex, Head Coach Oklahoma City University
What Tasha’s nominator said about her:
“Tasha is the person you look up to because of her passion, kindness, and hard work,” “It’s one thing to have a coach who shows up to make the team successful, but it’s another thing to have a coach who is there for us during our individual trials and successes,” “Tasha would do anything for her athletes if it meant helping them to succeed.”
“Tasha has led her team—a team she built from the ground up—to five national titles in the ten years that the team has been in existence. She leads this team with grace, poise, and tenacity. I had the pleasure of dancing under Tasha’s direction for three years and dancing for her was the reason that I, like many others, wanted to attend OCU. She encourages her team members to push themselves as dancers, as students, and most importantly, as people. I have watched the team change over the years that I have been involved with it—but what has always remained a constant is the respect that the team members have for one another and for Tasha. This can only be explained by Tasha’s ability to always lead by example—showing respect to anyone she comes into contact with, putting in countless hours to better our team, and being an excellent role model for each of us to follow.”
Tasha Hinex loves to teach and develop students into the best versions of themselves. By using a mix of traditional and creative procedures, she is able to develop trustworthy and respectful athletes who are champions not only on the field but in life.
Tasha Hinex- Mover, motivator and mentor Click here for full bio