Claire Schmit takes over Cheer and Dance
Written by Beau Grant on February 5, 2024
Competitive Dance at Kansas Wesleyan University just got underway as the Dance hosted the Coyote Classic on January 25. The Coyotes claimed the victory with a score of 63.7 points which was 20 points over the second-place finisher Bethel College.
A large part of this can be thanks to Head Dance Coach Claire Schmit. Coach Schmit joined the staff in March of 2021. She was extensive in all types of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, and contemporary.
Coach Schmit has been choreographing dances for teams since she was a teenager and has won several awards for her work.
But Coach Schmit’s life just got a lot more challenging as she was named interim Head Coach of the Kansas Wesleyan cheer team after the previous coach was dismissed from the University.
Coach Schmit is up to the challenge of coaching both sports, “Cheer and Dance are similar in purpose; to entertain and lead the crowd in a positive gameday environment”. She also commented on the safety aspect of cheerleading, “Cheerleading is extremely dangerous and takes a lot more caution and vigilance when it comes to coaching”. Taking over a team in the middle of the season would be challenging for anybody but luckily this is not new for Coach Schmit, “While the mid-season switch isn’t ideal, it has happened before, Balancing cheer and dance warm-up and performance time at the competition will also rise a challenge as cheer and dance compete at the same time on the same day”.
While Coach Schmit does have quite a bit of experience she says it will take more than just her for this change to go smoothly, ‘I cheered from the age of 13 to 19 and originally went to college on a cheer scholarship, the cheer background helps, but NAIA college cheer is a whole new ballgame, so I will really lean on my captains for their leadership and guidance.”
A link to Coach Schmit’s full bio can be found here: Claire Schmidt – Dance Coach – Competitive Dance Coaches – Kansas Wesleyan University (kwucoyotes.com)
She also commented on how the girls have been taking this transition, “I’m thankful that the girls have been flexible and resilient through this transition”.
The next competition for Cheer and Dance is on Friday, February 9th when the Coyotes will travel to York Nebraska to compete in the York Crown Classic. The Cheer team did not officially compete in the Coyote Classic due to late pullouts by other teams, so no trophy was awarded.
So, Coach Schmit will be looking to keep the Dance Team on track and see if the cheer team can claim its first victory of the season.