Passion for Dance Podcast - Ep. 146 - Amanda Gaines
university of minnesota dance team

Ep. 146 – Amanda Gaines

Episode 146: “Dream On” with U of Minnesota Coach Amanda Gaines


If you’re a part of the dance world, you probably saw the University of Minnesota's jazz dance routine at UDA Nationals with the passion and technique and the now viral turn section. But how do they pull off two incredible routines year after year? Well, I invited the University of Minnesota's coach, Amanda Gaines, to the podcast to tell me all about it on this episode!

Today's episode covers all four pillars of the podcast. Coach Gaines shares how she motivates her athletes, her mindset, and personal coaching philosophy, how her dancers learn to be resilient after mistakes, and the value of having a solid community around you.

Coach Amanda Gaines is in her 12th season coaching the University of Minnesota dance team and her 16th total season with the program. She’s been an integral member of the Golden Gophers, winning 17 different national championships between 2006 and now, and she's graciously agreed to come on the show and tell us all about it – including whose crazy idea it was to turn, do an aerial, and keep turning. Tune in to catch all the great coaching advice and behind-the-scenes stories from the University of Minnesota Dance Team Coach, Amanda Gaines!

The team will not have a perfect performance. You may, but the team will not. And it isn't about individuals having a perfect performance. It is about how does the team come together to have the performance that they need to have in that moment. And so, how do you fight through those moments? How do you recover? How do you support each other through those moments? That is what's motivating them versus, “I have to hit this, so I don't get cut, so I don't lose my spot, so I don't let people down.”

– Amanda Gaines

Key Highlights –

  • [4m 41s] – How Coach Gaines Prepared for UDA Nationals
  • [11m 22s] – Coach Gaines’ Cleaning Process 
  • [15m 58s] – Coach Gaines’ Coaching Values and Coaching Philosophy
  • [19m 35s] – How Coach Gaines Motivates Her Team to Stay Dedicated
  • [27m 18s] – What Makes Coach Gaines’ Pom Routine Special in Her Eyes 
  • [29m 12s] – “Dream On” Jazz Routine
  • [34m 30s] – The Aerial Turn Set
  • [38m 45s] – Coach Gaines’ Post After Nationals
  • [43m 55s] – Coach Gaines’ Hope for the Future of Collegiate Dance

Resources –

Follow the University of Minnesota Dance on Instagram:

Learn more of the University of Minnesota Dance Team:

Leave a voice note for the podcast:

Sign up to my Email List: 

The Relevé Dance Coach Membership is there to replenish your personal, mental, and emotional energy and help you create dancers who are mentally tough, resilient, and motivated. Join the Relevé Membership here:

Be sure to visit me on Instagram @dr.chelsea.pierotti for more mental skills advice for dancers

Word of mouth is still the best way the show can grow! If you have a dance friend out there who you think would benefit, please share this episode with them!


Amanda Gaines

Coach of the 22x National Champion University of Minnesota Dance Team

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