Joy Edwards, Guest Contributor • firstname.lastname@example.org
Last April Kandee Wallace became Emory & Henry College’s first head cheer and dance coach. Wallace has been passionate about cheer and dance all her life.
She has been dancing since she was 4 years old. “Not only is dance a sport, but I view it a lot as an art form,” Wallace said.
One common misconception people have is that cheer and dance are the same sport, but “they are two very distinct and different things,” Wallace said.
“I started [cheerleading] when I was 10 years old. I was in the fifth grade and that was the earliest anyone in our school could start cheerleading in an organized manner,” Wallace said.
Wallace began coaching in high school when she was 16 years old. She said that where she grew up cheerleading “was not a very big thing.”
Because of this she would watch YouTube videos and teach her teammates from what she had learned. When Wallace graduated high school, she continued to volunteer in the cheerleading and dance realm.
“I kind of volunteered as a judge and worked clinics and stuff with other local high schools in the area throughout my first year of college, and then that’s when I started volunteering with the All Star team,” Wallace said.
Wallace continued on to become a coach of the All Star team before she graduated from college. Once she graduated from college with her volunteering and coaching experience, she went to be on a team in Colorado.
After being in Colorado and sort of volunteering with the team she was on, she saw a job opening for head cheer and dance coach at a club team. This was her first actual head coaching job.
Next in her career she took a break before taking the job she had prior to joining E&H. She had been teaching tumbling at a local dance studio when she received an email from someone she didn’t know informing her of the E&H position.
“I’m super excited to be here, and I love my job,” Wallace said. “It’s such a rewarding job. I get to come into work every day and teach these kids new skills that otherwise they may never [have] experienced.”