Being a dance coach is a unique, exciting, rewarding, and challenging job. Thinking about how different we are from other coaches, I decided to reflect a little bit on being a dance coach and created this fun, light-hearted list. What’s in your dance coach’s alphabet?
A is for artistic athletes. We are both artists and athletes, and probably the only people who understand what that means.
B is for bobby pins. In your purse, in your car, in your coaching bag, in your first aid kit, and randomly all over your house. And yet you buy multiple new packs every season.
C is for crafty. Coaches often have to get crafty. We make bows, costume accessories, goal tracking boards, big/little gifts, quotes boards. I have boxes of ribbons, markers, glitter etc. but only in my school colors!
D is for dedicated. We are so incredibly dedicated to our teams, 365 days a year! Probably more than we should be sometimes, but my team is a huge part of my life and I’m not sorry about it!
E is for emotional. Being a coach has so many emotional ups and downs. You love your dancers, then you want to strangle them, then you love them again and can never imagine life without them. The highs and lows of competitions. Those practices that make you cry tears of joy, to the late night texts and emails from Queen B of Psycho Parent World. Being a dance coach is an emotional rollercoaster.
F is for family. Our teams are our families. Even if we have our own actual children, our dancers are our children. I care for them, dream about them, plan for them, invest in them, and love them. Plus, when you do have your own children, they just come to practice and join the family.
G is for game time. Football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, whatever sport it is you can often find dancers on the sidelines and performing at halftime. Then we go home and keep working on our own competitive goals because we are that dedicated.
H is for hectic. Coaching is just plain crazy town sometimes!
I is for inspiration. We are the leaders of so many young people. Inspiring them through challenging years and pushing them to be the best possible versions of themselves. That’s my favorite part.
J is for Jr. Poms. Those fun few days when you run a fundraiser clinic for young dancers and you get to see the cute upcoming 5 to 10-year-olds. And then you remember why you coach high school and college… those kids are loud and exhausting!
K is for knee injury. I promise I only demonstrated once, but I don’t know where that bruise came from and now I can’t walk right.
L is for last time. My favorite phrase, but it’s usually a lie. I try, but there’s always something else to fix!
M is for music. One of the most inspiring, exciting, stressful, panic-inducing parts of our job. Not just picking music, but cutting it, speeding it up or slowing it down, and pushing play at competitions!
N is for nationals. It’s the culmination of the season for many, a wonderful week full of competition and team bonding. Then you come home and get sick because you haven’t slept or eaten anything healthy for a week!
P is for parents. No matter the level we coach, for better or for worse, our dancers’ parents are a part of the program. Keep your head up coach!
Q is for questioning ourselves. We shouldn’t do it, but we question decision all year. Was that the right theme? Should I speed up the music? Did I remember to tell them about XYZ? Did I do enough?
R is for rhinestones. So many rhinestones!!
S is for spreadsheets. There is so much to keep organized: uniform spreadsheets, contact info spreadsheets, goal tracking spreadsheets, appearance spreadsheets…
U is for uniform and undergarments. Why do they think a red bra underneath the white uniform is ever ok?!?
V is for video. So much video! Watching that same section of the routine, in slow motion, zooming in on different people, analyzing everything down to the “and” count… then we rewind and start over.
W is for weird language. We speak our own language, and it goes something like “boom, ka-ka, hit, up, shhhh, pa-pa-pa
X is for xesturgy. I’ll admit I looked this one up… but it is the proper name for the process of polishing, and while not the same context, it’s what we do. Polish up that routine for competition!
Y is for yelling. Not yelling in a negative way, just yelling throughout the dance to clean, encourage, and keep them motivated. Even an introvert knows how to yell when they’re coaching!
Z is for zillionth time. I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard that song, seen this routine, and said the same thing. Repetition repetition repetition.
Got any other good ideas? Comment and let me know what’s in your dance coach alphabet!