Nicole Bennett has been coaching the Carbon High School Drill Team for nine years. During that time, Bennett has seen numerous dancers and teams composed of anywhere from 10 to 24 dancers. Those nine years of choreography and costumes, however, came to a high point at the state drill competition in February where she was named as 3A Drill Coach of the Year.
Bennett had been nominated for the award previously but had never been chosen as the award’s recipient. Bennett was nominated by fellow 3A coaches and was named the recipient after a voting process.
For this coach, however, the joy found in her duties comes not only from plaques and trophies, but from the dancers she associates with and trains.
“It’s not just about winning to me,” Bennett explained. “It’s about making them better people and teaching them life skills.”
It was for this reason that, at the same competition, Bennett was elated to see her dancers walk away with the sportsmanship award.
“They totally deserved that award,” she explained remembering how the team congratulated rival team Emery High School after the Spardettes had been awarded at the meet.
Not all of her coaching career has been easy, though.
“At the end of last year we lost a girl to a car accident,” Bennett remembered. Against the backdrop of such an event, Bennett had to help her dancers flourish this year.
“I’ll never forget this year because of that, because of the special bond we had getting through this situation,” she confessed.
The next time the Dino Dynamics march onto a football field or basketball court, chances are their dance moves and sequinned costumes will dazzle you. However, pay attention to the red-headed figure standing by, watching. Pay attention as she watches her dancers, with a gaze like that of a friend or an older sister.
“I love these girls so much,” Bennett explained. “It’s about them.”
Photo courtesy of Nicole Bennett