New coaches join the Knightettes


Lexi Basil

The two new coaches were both competitive studio dancers when they were younger. They now bring that experience to the team.

Emily Howell, Staff Writer

The 2019 season of fall dance team has kicked off, and the Knightettes have continued to bring their synchronized technique and energy to BSM football half-times. Keeping them working hard and staying motivated are new coaches Taylor Delong and Whitney Schutt. 

While it is her first year coaching at BSM, Delong, a studio dancer from age 2-18, also draws upon her dance experience from four years on the University of Minnesota’s Dance Team, where she was a senior captain and won 4 National Championship Titles. Bringing another valuable skill to BSM athletics, she also works for a University of Minnesota athlete-ministry program.  “I minister to college athletes to help them grow in their relationship with Jesus,” Delong said. 

Schutt, a gymnast until the age of 7, was a competitive studio dancer until the age of 14. She was a part of her high school dance team for all four years, and at this time, she was with an all-star dance team that competed at Worlds. She continued her passion at St. Thomas where her team won four national championships. From there, she danced as a Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader during the 2018-19 NFL season. She also does work outside of her fall coaching position at Target Corporation headquarters. “I am extremely passionate about Target and I love where I work,” Schutt said. 

The coaches have a range of goals for the Knightettes this fall season. “ We challenge them to grow in their skill sets, technique, and endurance, and have fun while training with their best friends,” Delong said. While working on individual strength and endurance building, the team aspect of the fall season is just as important. “I truly believe, when a team is bonded and have trust in each other, they can accomplish anything,” Schutt said. 

This coaching approach is proving to be successful for the team, and especially beneficial for first-year Knightettes. “They push us really hard to do our best and they get us wanting to work hard to be a better team,” freshman Emily Fleetam said. 

The importance of fall dance team is to prepare the Knightettes for the winter competition season. “[The coaches] are doing a good job building endurance up and getting new girls used to the intensity of coaching that goes on in the winter season,” Liv Schmitz, senior captain, said.

[The coaches] are doing a good job building endurance up and getting new girls used to the intensity of coaching that goes on in the winter season”

— Liv Schmitz

A top priority for the coaches is stressing the importance of putting in the hard work now. “All we expect of our girls is that they are putting their all into this team so whatever they do dance-wise after the season, they feel well equipped and prepared whether that is winter dance team, studio dance team, or other sports,” Delong said. While this season will require lots of effort from the Knightettes, it will be a chance for enjoying their time dancing. “My hope is that the girls can soak in all of these fun moments with each other and truly embrace every chance they get to dance on the football field,” Schutt said.