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Goddard dance coach sticking to her routine

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A photo of the Eastern New Mexico University dance team with coach Logan Miller, front left. (Submitted Photo)

By Zac Alfers
Special to RDR Sports

Dancing is an acquired skill that takes a serious amount of dedication and discipline and most importantly, excellent timing. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been forced to alter their daily routines, which has thrown off the timing of their everyday lives.

Logan Miller, left, holds the 2012 state championship trophy for dance/drill. (Submitted Photo)

Despite setbacks from the coronavirus, newly hired Goddard High School dance coach Logan Miller says she is excited to get to work and is passionate about passing on her knowledge of dance.

Miller moved to Roswell two years ago when her husband, Cody, received a coaching position with the Goddard High School football team. Miller says she still has a tremendous desire to impact the dance community and when she saw that a coaching position was available at GHS, she seized the opportunity and immediately applied.

Miller was offered the job in July but has not been able to get the jumpstart on the season she would have hoped to have given due to the New Mexico Activities Association guidelines that are currently in place.

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“It was hard to get hired and then not know when I was supposed to start,” said Miller. “I couldn’t hold practices or in-person tryouts where the kids come to me and learn from me. They had to learn from a video then come tryout with masks on, not knowing who I am. Not being able to meet the girls the way I would like was really hard.”

The tryouts Miller mentions were held on Aug. 18 and with all participants present being required to wear masks, she said it had an eerie feel to it. For the most part, the team doesn’t really know what one another looks like, Miller said, and being deprived of face-to-face meetings has made it difficult to build the chemistry that is so vital to a successful sports program.

Frustrated but far from defeated, Miller and her team are now focusing their attention on Sept. 8, the earliest date to hold in-person practices. Even though this will be a significant first step toward competing this season, the practices will bring their own challenges.

NMAA rules dictate that teams will only be allowed to train together in pods of five athletes and one coach. At the moment, the Goddard High dance team has 14 girls, which will be broken up into three separate groups.

Miller is concerned that without practicing together as a complete unit, her pods might progress differently. She says trying to get all 14 dancers to move, spin and leap the same way, given the circumstances, will prove to be problematic, however, Miller is up to the task.

Miller possesses a loud and strong coaching voice, which allows her to easily articulate what she wants her team to improve on. She has been dancing since she was 2 years old and has experience teaching jazz, ballet, hip-hop and pom.

“We are pleased to have Logan Miller as the new head coach of the Goddard High School dance team,” said RISD Athletic Director Britt Cooper. “She brings a love of dance and brings the background to build an excellent dance program at Goddard.”

As a young kid, Miller danced her way through various studios before she got to high school. She attended Eldorado High in Albuquerque where she was a four-year member of the dance team and a New Mexico State Champion as a junior. Miller then took her talents to Eastern New Mexico University where she danced for another four years before rejoining the team as a coach.

During her life-long participation in dance, Miller has been a part of large teams and small ones throughout the years in both dance and competition. She knows what it takes to be the best program in the state and that is the mentality she wants to pass on to her girls.

“We are not going to let this pandemic affect us,” said Miller. “Once the team is able to meet in person, we are going to get right after it. We are not going to let these adversities defeat us and we are going to come out of this stronger than we were before. The main thing is that we will come out of this together.”