IDTA Coach of the Year

Nomination and consideration criteria  for Coach of the Year include:

- Goal setting and achievement

- Demonstration of team improvement

- Demonstrated effort to improve coaching skills

- Demonstrated positive community contributions

- Overall impact on their team

Courtney Gillette

The 2021 IDTA Coach of the Year recipient was selected from nominations that were submitted by team members, parents, and fellow coaches. 

The 2021 Coach of the Year is Courtney Gillette of Hinsdale South High School.

Courtney is deserving of this recognition for her consistent and unwavering effort and positivity, even when faced with increasingly challenging times during a year filled with so many unknowns. She has coached for 12 years and has won 13 varsity state championships with IDTA. With the inception of IHSA competitive dance in Illinois, she was an advocate for IDTA and fought to allow her team the opportunity to compete within our organization.

Some words from her nominators:


“Coach Gillette has been the epitome of strength and hope for us all. Her focus was on giving our girls, especially our 8 seniors, the season that they deserve. She kept her enthusiasm during remote practices and inspired these dancers to stay focused with the hopes that there will be a virtual season.”

“Coach Gillette would go above and beyond, making sure we were still practicing, even on Zoom. By having the resilience to keep practices on Zoom, it shows how much she really cares about our team’s success!”

“When restrictions lifted in January and we were given clearance to start practicing in person, varsity Danceline had two unfinished and unclean routines. Coach Gillette and the varsity dancers managed to finish choreography and clean two routines in one week of practicing. By the end of the first week, we were ready for our first competition.”

“This year, Courtney was focused on keeping her girls engaged through consistent practices, both online and in-person. She knew that when so many things can be ‘up in the air’ that they would need that structure of routine. While practices have adapted and changed, the girls were asked to commit - commit to learning dances, commit to each other, and commit to keeping communication open and expectations for the season realistic. She also asks that they let dance be their time away from what is on their mind or stressing them out.”

“Courtney’s dancers want to give back to her because of what she gives to them. During the difficult times this season when the girls felt like giving up from being depressed, not being with their friends, and dancing alone, Coach stood in their corner and cried with them. She encouraged them to keep fighting and that the fight would be worth it. She encouraged them to be optimistic and to keep hope. There is not another woman that I would have picked to influence and mold my daughter like Courtney has the past four years.”