New Coaches

Being a new dance team coach can be overwhelming. UDA has excellent resources to help new dance team coaches throughout their season. The Varsity Spirit Dance Coach Manual gives coaches all of the information they need to run a successful program. The manual covers a variety of topics, such as working with your administration, why camp is important, effective ways to schedule practices, game performances, costuming, competitions, and much more! The manual covers a variety of topics such as working with your administration, why camp is important, effective ways to schedule practices, game performances, costuming, competitions, etc... The list goes on and on!  Here is a short excerpt on fundraising.


How do you raise money to pay for camp or those cute new uniforms? All kinds of different organizations, teams, and groups have fundraisers to help offset the cost of being involved. Dance Teams and Cheer Teams have some of the highest expenses since many schools do not fund the teams. Here are some things to consider when planning fundraisers:

  1. Choose the Right Fundraiser: Your squad can do several different fundraisers. It is important to pick the one/s that you feel will not overwhelm your squad and that will result in the best return. Keep in mind your timeline, the access to the money, or how supportive your community and school will be of the fundraiser.
  2. Approval: Many schools require fundraisers to be approved. Always check with your Athletic Director, Principal, or other administrator to make sure that any fundraiser is ok to do. Many schools will also have you fill out paperwork regarding each fundraiser.
  3. Benefits: What do you get out of fundraising? If you pick the right fundraiser, it could cover the cost of camp, camp clothes, uniforms, competitions, coaching cost, etc. Make sure the fundraiser you pick is not so time consuming that it makes the benefit of doing it worthless.
  4. Preparation/Organization: If you have a Booster Club or parent group that helps in setting up a fundraiser, make sure everyone knows his or her role. Make sure that you have organized responsible parents to help with each fundraiser. The set up of a fundraiser is as important to you and your program as the follow-through.

How to Start a Dance Team

This manual serves as a guide for building the foundation of a quality dance team program. It is designed as a workbook that poses questions and provides information that will help you make the program planning choices that best fit your skills and the needs of your dancers in the context of the school or community in which you work. Here is a short excerpt from the How to Start a Dance Team manual on budgeting.

Question: What are some guidelines for setting up a team budget and organizing fundraising activities?

Once you have mapped out the year-long plans for your team, you will be in a position to create a projected yearly budget. Below are examples of items that your team might include:

  • Summer camp
  • Camp clothes
  • Shoes
  • Team bags
  • Warm-ups
  • Uniforms
  • Props or backdrops for routines
  • Buses for travel
  • Competition fees
  • Music and music editing
  • Choreography
  • Clinic/workshop attendance
  • Pom pons
  • Banquet
  • Senior scholarships
  • End-of-the-year video and awards
  • Competition costumes
  • Travel to competitions or special performances
  • Coach’s fees for competition, travel, and other expenses
  • Start-up costs for fundraisers
  • Team building activities
  • Carry-over to start the next year

Estimate the amount of money each item will cost, and always round up. Make a timeline for when the funds will be needed, so that when you plan your fundraising activities, you can match them to the due dates. Conducting fundraisers that meet projected expenses are imperative in order to pay for your budgeted items. If a fundraiser falls short of your expectations, be sure that you have prioritized your expenses and can make cuts.

Budget and Fundraising Considerations

  • The fundraising activities you choose should fit the school and/or community’s needs and situation.
  • If selling products, aim to make a 50% profit margin.
  • Try to offer a product or service that no other school group offers.
  • Get all fundraising activities approved by your administration and be sure that they fit within district legal policies.
  • Keep meticulous records of money collected and deposit monies promptly. Never put yourself in a situation where you might be accused of mishandling team funds.
  • Consider turning over the fundraising responsibilities over to a Parent Booster Organization.