Southwestern Michigan College announces Laura Odenwald as

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Dowagiac, Mich., July 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The new coach of the Southwestern Michigan College SMC dance team has traveled from Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, Md. To Cherry Grove Road from Dowagiac.

Laura Odenwald, wife of MSC President Dr. Joe Odenwald and former Maryland State Champion, will serve as the new team’s volunteer coach starting in the fall of 2022, when the college joins basketball, volleyball and the struggle between male and female university students after 25 years of hiatus. NJCAA cross-country returns this fall.

The spouses of SMC presidents traditionally give back to the college. Volunteering to train a new competitive dance team, that’s how Odenwald, who started ballet at age 6, decided to share his time and talents.

The dance team will provide students with a performance-oriented extracurricular sport while providing the camaraderie and support of a tight-knit team. The team will entertain SMC spectators while competing nationally in the National Dance Alliance (NDA) spring competitions.

“I am thrilled to be a part of this opportunity for our students, as well as entertaining our community,” said Odenwald. “We have so many dance studios and talented dancers in the area, but very few community college dance teams. I think this is an area where SMC can really stand out!

“While the team’s primary goal is to perform at SMC basketball games and in the community, my goal is also to make them a championship winning team in the competitive dance world. Over the next few months, I will be reaching out to dance studio owners and high school coaches to introduce myself and begin the recruiting process, ”she said.

Odenwald said the dance team will perform at halftime of each men’s and women’s basketball home game and perform short sideline routines to the music of the pep’s band during the matches.

It will be a sport all year round, from August to April. Dancers will also be required to attend an NDA dance camp each summer as a team. Practices will typically take place three times a week for two hours, with more during the competitive season. The dancers will also have to train alone.

“I’m looking for 10-20 talented and hardworking dancers with a solid foundation in ballet and jazz technique,” ​​she said. Experience in hip hop, pom and kick-line style performances is also desirable. Dancers must have experience in a college-level dance studio and / or dance or pom-pom team.

When selecting the dancers, Odenwald said she would be more concerned with technique and dance style in general than with performing specific movements. However, at a minimum, dancers should master double pirouette turns, high kicks, touch jumps and basic jazz jumps. Odenwald built her own solid foundation in ballet technique, then added jazz, modern, and hip hop as she progressed in her training.

“I plan to provide a number of leadership opportunities for the students on the dance team,” she added. “A captain and a co-captain will be selected through a nomination and application process. There will also be other positions, such as choreography coordinator, bodybuilding coordinator and social coordinator.

Odenwald, who received a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University in 2010, danced for four years in his varsity pom-pom team at Quince Orchard, which won several Division I competitions. In the 2003-04 season, QO won first place at the Maryland State Championship, County Championship, Liberty Bell Championship and Green and Gold Championship. Odenwald served as the team’s captain and co-captain and was personally recognized for her sportsmanship and hard work with the 2005 QOHS Cougar Award.

Since then, she has continued to dance for fun and exercise and can’t wait for dancing to become a part of her life again.

Students interested in learning more about the team should contact Coach Odenwald at [email protected] Anyone wishing to officially audition will be invited to provide an audition video and complete a questionnaire. Odenwald will also be available to meet with recruits on campus. Sports scholarships will be available, with details to come.



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