A New Wave of Coaches

From the top! The dance team is starting fresh as they welcome a new director, Katelyn Miller, and two new assistant coaches, Erik Sosa and Jess Steinkamp. After saying goodbye last year to their director Cameo Carolan and their assistant coaches Mandy Korpenin and Elizabeth Petrin, the team and coaches are restaging to take a new approach.

Both Steinkamp and Sosa recently graduated from NPHS, Steinkamp in 2012 and Sosa in 2013. Since then, Steinkamp has performed on the television show The Big Bang Theory, worked at Bobbie’s School of Performing Arts, and assisted the dance team last year. Sosa has attended the Edge Scholarship program in Hollywood, performed with bands and charities, and taught at Bobbie’s School of Performing Arts as well. Sosa explained that being close in age to many of the dancers on the team helps him work with them. “It wasn’t that long ago that I was in their shoes on the same team so I know how they feel,” Sosa said.

Steinkamp and Sosa work together to choreograph the team’s dances for football games, rallies, and competitions. Sosa explained that this year they want to improve “the way we as coaches approach each practice” and to bring more energy to the team.

“There’s a lot of collaboration amongst the coaches,” Steinkamp said, “We each play a different role while bringing our unique gifts to the team and program.”

Miller, who previously worked as an assistant coach to the Westlake Dance Team, works behind the scene to run the team. She explained that this year she doesn’t get to work as closely with the dancers as she did last year. Despite the responsibility of directing the team, Miller is choreographing one competition dance.

This year, instead of selecting which dancers will be in the smaller dances, as they had done in the past, Miller is having them audition for the parts. “I want them to experience an audition,” Miller said, “Some of them want to be professional dancers so I want them to get that practice of an audition.”

Along with changing the logistics of the team, the coaches are focused on creating a close bond between the dancers and becoming involved with the students both on and off the stage. “My goal for the team is to have them feel like a family,” Sosa said, “I just want them to enjoy everything they get to do.”

Steinkamp, too, places importance on the bond between the team. “(My goal for the team is) to be united, respectful, and to work as a team,” Steinkamp said. “And if we win, to win with grace and humility.”

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