At the start of January, the Royalettes welcomed the new coach, Ashley Foot, to the team and despite only having one practice, the girls are already seeing quite a difference in their team.
Foot has been dancing for twenty-four years and has been coaching for ten years.
“I love [coaching], honestly. [However, the reason I came to PGHS was because] the old coach didn’t return and the AD asked me last minute to finish the season,” Foot said.
Earlier on in the year, the two dance teams (JV and Varsity) combined to form one big team. This caused a lot of problems with both routines and simply getting along. Many of the dance team members disliked the change.
“ I don’t like it, I really don’t. They made two teams for a reason and it’s not a bad thing that someone is put on JV. I think that so late in year that we shouldn’t merge into one team especially with so many games left,” said junior Kylie Gochenouer.
Others, such as sophomore Rhiannon Dalton see this as a good thing.
“It is going to be different but I think it is going to be productive,” Dalton said.
Despite the differences of opinion in the team, Foot has found a way to combine the two teams and productively coach them. Dalton went on to explain how their first practice with her went.
“It was really productive, everything was really good and we got a lot of things done that we [typically don’t] get done,” Dalton said.
The girls, especially after that first practice, have come to appreciate Foot, expecting great things from her in the future.
“She’s taught us over half a dance already and it’s a really good dance, so she’s doing good,” junior Courtney South said.
“ I think she’ll do really well because she has experience with other different types of sports,” Dalton said.
As Dalton and South mentioned, their practices have been quite productive. South and Gochenouer point out several distinctive coaching techniques of hers.
“She just makes us do [the routines] a lot and do it how she does it. [She] just makes us work hard,” South said.
Gochenouer agreed with South’s words but elaborated a little.
“She doesn’t slack off so she keeps us very organized in the short time we have had her. She doesn’t let the girls run over her like past coaches have and is doing well to not let us get down because we are now one team, since they combined varsity and JV,” Gochenouer said.
Foot described her reasoning behind her methods.
“I believed [in] practicing until you can’t get it wrong. The more you practice, run it over, and answering any questions [is crucial.] Demonstrating is key. If they don’t understand [the movements], showing them helps them a lot. There’s no need to sit there and yell about everything. If they don’t feel appreciated and respected, they will give less,” Foot said.
From the dance team’s perspective, the only way is up. They feel as though with Foot as a coach, the team can only improve.
“She will help us be more like a team, help us come together, and actually perform better as one,” South said.
Foot also expects a lot from the ladies as they do with her.
“I expect them to give one hundred percent and perform to the best of their abilities,” Foot said
While Foot isn’t sure she would be able to continue to coach at the high school after this season, she is positive that she will continue to coach in general as long as she can.