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 overall on the team

Kelsey Duncan-Savage

The 2019 IDTA Coach of the Year recipient was selected from nominations that were submitted by team members, parents, family members and fellow coaches. IDTA received 60 nominations for the 2019 Coach of the Year award. 

The 2019 IDTA Coach of the Year is Kelsey Duncan-Savage of Clinton.


This year’s Coach of the Year has coached for seven years and has won 10 State Championships, 4 Grand Champion titles, and 3 High Point awards.

Some words from her nominators:

“Kelsey puts her heart and soul into her team and loves each one of the girls like her own. She spends countless hours not only with practices, games, and competitions but also with fundraisers, listening to judges’ tapes and amending the choreography to make the dances the best they can be. She gives up time with her family for her girls and they are forever grateful. She truly loves what she does, and you can see it on her face as she watches her team take the floor each time! She has such love and pride for the team and completely deserves this honor.” 

“Her dance team is very diverse. If it weren’t for their love of dance, her dancers probably would never have met each other considering their lives at home. Her dancers come from families of doctors to single parents to only grandparents raising these young ladies. This coach has brought together a group of girls and has turned them into young ladies. They are smart (she makes them strive for their grades. She says school comes first). She has them practice manners and she teaches them life skills.”

“Kelsey is like a second mom to her team members! She cares for them like they are her own kids. She talks to them about school, friends, and grades. She also attends activities they are in outside of dance and makes them feel really special. She plans team building activities to make their bond stronger.”

 “In order to improve dance technique, Kelsey set goals for each girl and had them master their certain skill by a specific date. Of course she set aside practice time to help each dancer achieve the skill. Every few weeks she evaluated each practice to see if her dancers achieved the set goal for each week. If her team had not met the goal, she changed her teaching style in order to see if it helped her dancers. She believes that everyone learns in different ways. She always accommodates each dancer to make sure they fully understand before moving on.”

 “Her community suffered two big losses this year... a suicide of a 7th grade girl and the tragic accident and death of a freshman cheerleader both within a few months of each other. This coach called and spoke to all the girls and attended sessions with them at their schools and with counselors. She also took the team to the services of both girls. The team donated purple cheerleading bows to the High School team in honor of the cheerleader and wore the bows all fall themselves. They also wore ribbons and bracelets in memory of each girl. The parents are extremely grateful for the compassion and love she has for the girls.”

 “For community service, Kelsey and her team cleaned up the grounds after their town’s annual apple-n-pork festival, and she and her team made blankets for a family who recently had a house fire. This past summer, the team and coaches volunteered at a low-income housing complex and served lunch for the kids and parents. They also spent time playing games and doing educational activities with the kids. They did this each week all summer long.”

 “Kelsey is a region rep and consults with several teams in her area. She went to college for dance education and stays current in the dance world by attending seminars and meetings and competitions. She has her own personal learning network of dance coaches and studio directors that she is a part of.”

“Kelsey spends an enormous amount of her personal time with her girls to make them a family, not just a team! She sees the best in every single girl on the team and encourages the girls to push their limits to be the best they can be, both as individuals and a team.”

“She has also proven to their community that dance is a sport and the team works just as hard and can be a winning team like any other.”

“She wants her dances to impact the world."

IDTA Business Members
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© 2018 Illinois Drill Team Association

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