Paula Magee, Cori Mingear, and Vernita Reyna have been honored as the 2020 Dance Drill Coaches Association Coaches of the Year.
Paula Magee, Silverton, 5A Coach of the Year
Magee began her dance training at an early age in Southern California. While she trained extensively in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap and lyrical, it is there that a solid technical foundation and true love for dance were instilled. She began teaching in 1976 and in 1989 made the best decision of her life: to move to Silverton, Oregon and open her own studio.
In 1994 she was asked to coach the dance team at Silverton. She knew little to nothing about Oregon dance team, but after attending a competition and the yearly DDCA conference, Magee jumped in with both feet. She was most excited about giving dancers a place to compete, perform, and shine among their peers. What a crazy, fun filled 25 years it has been. Since that time, Silverton has enjoyed much success including four state titles. While Magee is proud of the trophies, if asked, she will tell you that she rarely remembers the placing or routines, but always remembers the kids, the laughter, and the friends.
Cori Mingear, Woodburn, 1A-4A Coach of the Year
Mingear began her coaching career in 1998. As a wife and mother of four, she dedicated herself to saving the struggling dance program at her alma-mater, Woodburn. From 2001-2009, Mingear served her dance community on the DDCA Board of Directors. She was awarded the DDCA Service Award in 2004.
Mingear strongly believes in the power of TEAM, and the idea of collectively working towards a common goal. She has coached the Hi-Liners, one of the longest running dance programs in the state of Oregon, for over 20 years. She is incredibly thankful to those who have mentored and loved her along the way.
Vernita Reyna, Sprague, 6A Coach of the Year
One of the original dance teamers, Reyna performed at the very first state championships as a Woodburn Hi-liner in the 1970’s. She went on to become heavily involved in the dance team world as both a coach and a judge. She spent four years coaching dance team at South Salem before going on to be a performance judge for 26 years in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington. She served as a performance judge for 20 Oregon state dance championships.
When the call to return to coaching came, she joined the staff at Sprague in 2005, taking over as head coach in 2009. In the 15 years she’s spent coaching the Olyannes, her passion and enthusiasm for dance team and her dancers only grows stronger year after year. Her team feels incredibly fortunate to have a coach as loving, encouraging, and nurturing as Vernita leading the program at Sprague. She teaches us that through dance and teamwork, we can all come together to create a truly wonderful experience.
The DDCA Coach of the Year award was first presented in 1993 and recognizes one coach per classification who has demonstrated outstanding coaching characteristics during the previous year. Candidates are nominated by any member of DDCA. The DDCA membership votes to select the honoree.