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2014 DX Advisory Panel
Dance Xtreme invited some of the most respected figures in dance together, in order to help develop innovative additions and changes for AmeriCup 2014. This panel is comprised of school, rec, and all star coaches who've attended the AmeriCup in the past. Their experiences, while in Minneapolis, have played a vital part in the restructuring of the 2014 championship. Look what they accomplished!
Re-structured the Grand Championship • Fine-tuned the Score Sheet • Selected Coach/Kid Gifts • Brought Back the One-on-One Discussions • Determined Award Hardware • Confirmed Schedule
Meet the Advisory Panel
MELISSA STRONG has been a dancer, choreographer, and teacher for over thirty years. She founded 5678! Dance Studio in North Sioux City, South Dakota, in the summer of 2000 with 40 students. The studio has now has over 275 students. This is Melissa’s 14th year as head coach for the Dakota Valley High School Dance Team. They are three time South Dakota Class A State Champions in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Before becoming a sanctioned high school sport in 2010, Dakota Valley also won National Honors at AmeriCup competing in the Division 3 High School category, as well as regional and local awards. Her studio teams, 5678! All Stars, have taken home national, regional, and local titles since they started competing in 2002. Melissa has received several awards during her time as a dance coach and instructor. She was recognized by Dance Spirit Magazine as being a “Who’s Who of U.S. Dance Directors” in 2004. She was also awarded Coach of the Year – Top Five in the Nation by AmeriCup in 2006 and 2011. Melissa graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. She has been married for 15 years to Josh, and has two beautiful children.
This year marks MAGGIE HAEN’s 11th consecutive year attending the DX AmeriCup Championships. She has 24 years of dance experience; 14 of which involve either dancing or coaching with competitive dance teams. Maggie was a member of the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Dance Team where as a junior and senior, Maggie served as a Captain; coaching and choreographing the team to two national titles at UPA AmeriCup. She began her coaching career with the Little Chute Dance Program in 2008, leading the junior varsity team to their first state title. Maggie began co-coaching at the varsity level five years ago, and has accumulated many awards, including four state titles. She helped pave the way for LCDT’s to attendance at nationals for the first time in program history and has since obtained six national UPA/DX AmeriCup Championship titles. In 2012 Maggie and Beth DeBruin were named the DX National Coaches of the Year. Perhaps the most notable of awards received by the LCDT were the 2011 Team Academic and the 2012 Andrew Lawrence Sportsmanship Awards. Maggie whole heartedly believes, that beyond the glitz and glamor of the sport, there’s an overall importance in enhancing the lives of the dancers.
KATHY NIENOW started a competition dance team at Badger Middle School in West Bend over twelve years ago, and is the current head coach of the West Bend Middle School Competition Dance Team. The team has won the Wisconsin State Hip-Hop Title for the past two years, most recently earning Middle School Division Champions at the 2013 DX AmeriCup. Kathy was named the 2013 DX National Coach of the Year, after being one of the Top Five coaches in both 2011 and 2012. Not only does Kathy instill a passion for dance in her dancers, but also believes their experiences within dance. She believes skills such as teamwork, developing self-confidence, dedication, and setting high expectations for academics are the most valuable experiences, benefiting them in other areas of life. Kathy consistently encourages her team to give back to the community. They participate in all local parades, perform at Celebrate Families, organize an elementary school dance clinic where proceeds benefit the Open Shelf Food Pantry, and volunteers to help out at the Washington County Heart Walk. By day, Kathy enjoys teaching sixth grade at Badger Middle School.
LORIE EVERS is the head of the Freedom Dance Program, in Freedom, WI. She is also one of the coaches for the Varsity Team at Freedom High School and is in her 21st year of coaching. She started loving dance at a young age and continued as a member of her high school pom/dance team and a captain her senior year. Lorie started working at Freedom High School shortly after, where she took the opportunity as the Varsity Pom/Dance Coach. Since then, Lorie has built the program from the ground up. Freedom now has a varsity, middle school and elementary team. Freedom Varsity Team was 2006, 2010, 2013 Division 4 Pom WACPC State Champions along with 2010 and 2013 Division 2 WACPC High Kick Champions. They have won numerous awards at AmeriCup including Division 3 Pom National Champs 2004, 2007 and 2009, Division 3 Hip Hop Champs 2004, Division 2 Jazz Champions in 2009, Division 2 Pom Champs 2013, Division 2 Kick Champs 2013. The team was Grand Champion Runner up in both 2012 and 2013. In 2009 Lorie was Nominated as one of the Top 5 UPA Coaches of the Year. She is on the executive board and Secretary for the Wisconsin Association of Cheer and Pom Coaches. Lorie is also their Dance Competition Committee Chair and Fall Conference Director. Her job is Administrative Assistant to the Athletic Director at Freedom High School.
PILAR MARTINEZ is the assistant coach for the Little Chute High School Varsity Dance Team and has been with the dance program for three years. In that time the teams has won three consecutive State Championships, six National titles, and several other honorable awards including the Andrew Lawrence Spirit and Sportsmanship Award. Pilar attended the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, where she studied Arts Management and Dance. During her time there, she had the amazing opportunity to work with professional companies Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and River North Dance Chicago. When she’s not coaching, Pilar keeps up off-stage at her day job in fundraising at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton, Wisconsin. Pilar is proud to be able to give back to a younger generation and have an impact on such talented dancers.
THERESA KUBALAK has over 30 years of gymnastic, cheerleading, and dance experience combined. She is the founder, co-owner, and choreographer of Green Bay, Wisconsin’s first All-Star Dance Studio, the Power of Dance, LLC. She has been taught by world-renown choreographers and danced in the pre-game show during Super Bowl XXIX. Theresa has coached and/or choreographed pom, jazz, kick, and hip hop routines for five award winning high school teams. She is a state and nationally decorated choreographer with her routines placing in the top five at the local, state, and national levels. Theresa has experience at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, as well as directing and performing on three professional dance teams. Since opening her studio, her teams and routines have received numerous awards. In 2009 & 2010, her hip hop and contemporary routines were awarded Best Choreography, and her jazz routine took home the Federation of Dance Competition’s award for Most Entertaining. In 2011, two of her jazz routines were named Encore Champions at the Triple S Dance Competition. In 2011 and 2012, two of her hip hop routines were both nationally and World ranked, both receiving a bid to Dance Worlds by UPA. In 2010, Theresa was awarded National Coach of the Year by UPA and joined the Dance Xtreme Advisory Panel in 2012. She was invited to join the United States All Star Federation’s Regional Board in 2013. Theresa’s former students and faculty have received numerous college scholarships, danced professionally around the nation, and have opened dance studios of their own. She believes in a strong community and is an advocate for the arts in Wisconsin.
BETH DeBRUIN comes to DX with over twenty years of dance experience, going into her 11th year as dance coach at Little Chute High School. Her early years included a background in tap, ballet, jazz, and hip hop; later a member and captain of her high school dance team. Beth immediately transitioned to a coaching role following high school. Her diverse repertoire includes choreography of title winning state and national routines, organization of local competitions, as well as experience in music mixing and cutting for a number of teams. Most recently, Beth led her team to the third consecutive state pom championship and a state championship kick title. They have won six national titles in pom, kick, and jazz; five of which were DX AmeriCup national titles. Over the past seven years, her team hasn’t placed below 3rd at the state competition in pom. In 2012, Beth was named AmeriCup’s National Dance Coach of the year, along with her co-coaching partner, Maggie Haen. Together they were honored by receiving the Andrew Lawrence Sportsmanship Award in 2012. Beth is an accountant by day and enjoys spending time with her husband.
APRIL MALLOW is the head coach of the National Champion Brookfield Dance Academy Senior All-Stars. For the past 25 years of her dancing career, April has performed, directed, coached, and consulted with some of the top dance programs in the Midwest. She has attended DX Nationals as a dancer, captain, or coach nearly every year since 1998. A three-year captain of the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point Dance Team, April helped lead the team to multiple national championships. Since graduating college, she has spent the majority of her time coaching in the All-Star world, as well as choreographing for numerous high school & collegiate dance teams throughout the Midwest. Individually, April was in the Top 5 for both Performer of the Year & All-American at the 1999 UPA AmeriCup, and was a 2013 DX Coach of the Year Finalist. Aside from being the head coach of the BDA Senior All-Stars, she is also the Senior Coaching Director at the studio, helping lead the overall direction & artistic vision of the competitive program.
ANGELA NIEMAN is in her sixteenth year as Head Coach of the 2008-2012 State Champion Washington High School Highsteppers Dance Team and her fourteenth year as owner and Head Coach of Champion Legacy All Star Cheer & Dance Academy in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She was elected to serve on the inaugural National USASF Dance Advisory Panel, on which she still serves. She is a member of the UPA Hall of Fame and in 2013 won the Dance Xtreme Legacy Award. Her International Hip Hop team won the Bronze Medal at the 2010 USASF World Dance Championships. In 2013, her Senior All Star Team earned Silver Medal Honors in Hip Hop and placed 5th in Jazz. Champion Legacy teams hold numerous national titles as well as four Dance Xtreme AmeriCup National Grand Champion titles in 2013. Angela’s high school dance teams have won UPA Grand Champion honors and five consecutive State High School Dance Championships. Coach Nieman has three children and is a high school teacher in Sioux Falls, where she has taught Algebra, Spanish, and German and currently teaches Introduction to Dance.
MANDY McVEIGH is the head coach and owner of Brookfield Dance Academy. Her passion for teaching children is what has driven her studio to the top. Mandy started what was originally named B'Dazzle, in 2005, while attending the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, earning a degree in Elementary Education. During the next seven years, she grew the program from just six dancers to 180 dancers, recently opening up a new state of the art studio under the name Brookfield Dance Academy. BDA has received several UPA honors, including: 2011 Division Champs, the 2011 Andrew Lawrence Sportsmanship Award, and several All American, Solo, and Duet division titles. In addition, Mandy was named the 2009 UPA National Coach of the Year. She continues to make BDA a vibrant community of dancers and teachers, who have a high regard for each other, the art of dance, and the value of the work they do. It’s her priority to uphold a positive environment where young dancers can grow as respectable individuals with increased self-esteem, self-discipline, and take pride in their accomplishments.
DEANNA SCHICKER owns and operates Foursis Dance, Gymnastics, Music & Cheer with her three sisters in Waterford, WI. Deanna started the Dazzler Dance Program while in high school at 17. The oldest of four, her younger sisters quickly joined her in growing the program. The teams have grown from one team of 10 to 7 teams with over 100 dancers. Deanna has won many "Best Choreography" awards for her work in pom, kick, and hip hop routines. The Dazzlers have won many team and individual honors and awards throughout their 16 year existence, including, hundreds of local, state, and national titles. The Dazzlers are current National Champions winning various titles from 2006 - 2013, and have won over 100 National and Grand National Championship Titles. Deanna is also in her 4th year of coaching the Waterford Union High School Dance Team who are currently 3-time SLC Conference Champions, 2-time WACPC Regional Champions, and WACPC State Runners-up. Deanna and her sisters were honored with National Coach of the Year-Top 5, in 2011, and were inducted into the DX Hall of Fame in 2013. Deanna joined the DX Advisory panel in 2012. Deanna has been married for 11 years and has three daughters and a son. All three girls compete in the Dazzler Dance Program, where they have held DX National Performer of the Year titles since 2010.