Cardinal dance team coach in Hall of FameAlexandria dance team coach Christine Reilly received a prestigious honor recently when she was inducted into the Minnesota Association of Dance Teams (MADT) Coaches Hall of Fame.
Alexandria dance team coach Christine Reilly received a prestigious honor recently when she was inducted into the Minnesota Association of Dance Teams (MADT) Coaches Hall of Fame.
Reilly has guided the Cardinal dancers for five years and coached at Anoka for seven years before arriving in Alexandria. During that time she has watched the program grow each year from five kids in 2004 to 18 this past year.
Reilly has emphasized sportsmanship, responsibility and goal setting to try and get her athletes to perform to the best of their abilities. She has also used her enthusiasm for the sport to try and make the learning process for young dancers an enjoyable one.
“The most gratifying part of coaching for me is the teaching aspect,” she said. “I love sharing the joy with athletes when they have mastered a skill.”
Reilly has been a member of MADT since 1994 and served on the board of directors from 2001-2007. During that time she has seen a lot of coaches inducted into the hall of fame. Now that it’s her, it still has not really sunk in.
“To be honest, I am still a bit overwhelmed with the recognition,” Reilly said. “For years I have looked up to and admired the coaches in the MADT Hall of Fame. Throughout my 12 years of coaching, I have had the opportunity to work with many of them and learn from them. I am extremely honored to be inducted into the MADT Hall of Fame.”
Reilly led a young team to an eighth-place finish in the high kick at sections and an 11th-place finish in the jazz routine. Through the course of the season, the Cardinals always maintained a positive attitude that was noticed throughout the Central Lakes Conference.
They were honored for that by being recognized with the Sportsmanship Award, which is voted on by all the coaches in the conference. It is an award that reflects the philosophy of their head coach.
“I emphasize the importance of respecting competitors and appreciating their efforts and talents,” Reilly said. “I have always expected my team to handle victory as well as defeat with grace and feel that it is my job to model this for them.
“As a head coach, one of my goals has always been to have a well-respected team within the school, community and state.” “It is my belief that well-respected teams gain that respect due in large part to their sportsmanship.”