Caught up with preparing for the football half time dances and fall competitions, Kara Lee Kyllo, new head coach for the West Linn High School Debutantes, couldn’t be happier with her busy job.
“She has a lot of fresh ideas,” Olivia Steele, senior and dance team captain, said. “The way that she choreographs is very different.”
Beginning gymnastics and dance before age seven, Kyllo always thrived on music and movement. While she has been coaching dance for the last 21 years at high schools in Molalla, Gladstone and Canby, Ore., she still exudes the enthusiasm and confidence that the award–winning team values so highly.
“I love working with the dancers, helping them set goals and with achieving them,” Kyllo said. “It is an amazing transformation to be a part of.”
For Steele, receiving Kyllo, as well as Bethany Haqq and Julie Leftridge, assistant coaches, has been a blessing.
“As a coach you have to create the choreography and sets as well as work together with parents and the dancers. Our old coaches couldn’t do this well and were too involved with the politics of the dance team,” Steele said. “[Kyllo] respects our ideas and will come to us before she makes a big decision for the team, it makes a huge difference when we perform.”
As 2016’s state competition becomes tougher, only five teams perform for the final spot, Kyllo is working on creating a strong dance with an even stronger theme.
“She hasn’t told us what our dance for state is yet but she tells us it will have a meaningful story,” Steele said. “Whatever it is, she’ll make it really come alive. She is excited about what she does which makes us dancers excited about what we do.”
As Kyllo choreographs and coaches many of the routines the debs will perform throughout the year, she aims to have fun and show the community how much effort the team puts into their sport.
“We are hoping to increase our skills, become more competitive in our division and have a better presence in the high school,” Kyllo said.