Assistant coach of the year honorees for 2022: Catie Mingear, Marline Bueno, Emily Salter Cook and Emily Sword.
Assistant coach of the year honorees for 2022: Catie Mingear, Marline Bueno, Emily Salter Cook and Emily Sword.

Catie Mingear, Marline Bueno, Emily Sword and Emily Salter Cook have been named the 2022 Dance Drill Coaches Association (DDCA) assistant dance coaches of the year.

The DDCA assistant coach of the year award recognizes outstanding assistant coaches for their contribution to Oregon dance team. Honorees are nominated and selected by the DDCA membership. The award was first presented in 2020.

4A/3A/2A/1A assistant coach of the year 

Catie Mingear, Woodburn, started her coaching journey right out of high school. Dance team is in her blood.

She danced with Ann Finch for six years, spent three years on middle school dance team, and was a four-year member of the Woodburn Hi-Liners. As a senior she was named team Captain.

In addition to being a coach, Mingear spent several years as an instructor at Thunderbird Dance Camp and has taught both adult and teen dance classes.

She has inspired those that she has coached to be both better dancers and good humans. Her drive to lead by example sets standards for her team to strive for, and her love of the kids in her program is evident in the bonds she builds with them. The Woodburn Hi-Liners proud to call Mingear “coach.”

5A assistant coaches of the year

Marline Bueno, Parkrose, feels very lucky to have been given the opportunity to join the Parkrose Elite dance team her sophomore year in high school. She felt very fortunate to be coached by such amazing women like Kelly Jones, Caysie Duax, Shannon Nguyen and Laurie Van Alstyne.

After graduating high school, she began my coaching career with the Parkrose Middle School Junior Elite in 2001. She coached the Junior Elite for four years. The program provided a low-cost opportunity for youth in Parkrose to learn about dance and served as a feeder program for the high school team.

In 2003, Bueno was invited to join the Parkrose Elite as an assistant coach. She’s been coaching the Parkrose Elite for 20 years. She participated in countless hours of practice, brainstorming themes, picking music, Captain beach trips, choreography and so much more.

She had the opportunity to coach the Elite alongside Caysie, Shannon, Laurie, and Samantha Roberts.

Together they lead the Elite to three State titles in the Show Division, eight second place finishes, and numerous Top 6 drill down awards. The Elite placed in the Top 5 at the State Championship every year from 2003 to 2018. The Elite also captured four DDCA Category Championship titles during her coaching career.

Along the way, she’s also worked with other dance team programs to design forms and select music. Bueno is passionate about theme creation and design and has enjoyed helping other coaches bring their vision to life.

Fast forward 22 years later somehow, she still manages to make time for dance. The experiences, memories, and friendships she forged along the way will stay with her forever.

Emily Sword has coached at Silverton for 15 years. Being a coach for the last 15 years has been an unforgettable experience, and one that she cherishes.

Sword grew up dancing under Paula Magee at Silverton Ballet & Performing Arts Co., and developed a passion for dance education under her guidance as her teacher and coach.

Growing up doing youth sports is where Sword developed her competitiveness.

When she combined her competitiveness with her love of performing on the Silverton Foxes Dance Team, it became an integral part of her identity.

Being a coach gives her the opportunity to help dancers unlock their own potential and inner confidence, and her hope is that they are able to carry the things they learn into whatever paths they choose as adults. No matter where their lives take them, Sword hopes her team knows that she will always be in their corner cheering them on.

6A assistant coach of the year

Emily Salter Cook’s coaching career began with Sprague after graduating from the University of Oregon.

This "hobby" of hers quickly turned into her greatest passion.

She is a firm believer in leading by example. She prides herself on her strong work ethic and continuous dedication to bettering herself. Salter Cook spends her free time taking dance classes, creating new workouts for her team, and watching an endless amount of dance videos to feed her choreographer soul.

Her goal is to turn her dancers into the best athletes they can be by pushing them past their limits. She hopes to teach them that they can do anything they put their minds to if they push through, persevere, and never give up.

Some of her favorite coaching moments are when she sees the look on a dancer’s face after they finally achieved a skill they've been working on for weeks, or when they come off the floor after a performance and tell her they gave it their all. She loves getting that full heart and teary-eyed feeling when she sees how proud they are of themselves. To know she played even just a small part in helping them reach their goal is the most rewarding feeling.

Dance has shaped her entire life. From the time she started dancing at age 11 with the Crossler Crocs to now, coaching her alma mater, Sprague.

She owes all her successes to dance, to her team, and to her co-coaches, Vernita Reyna and Olivia Zuercher. Salter Cook is so grateful to coach alongside two incredibly strong, inspiring women. They are her biggest role models and two of her closest friends.