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Friday, June 24, 2016

HHS Dance Team Erin Janson is Officially Retiring

HHS Dance Team 
After ten years of coaching, four Kentucky Dance Coaches Organization (KDCO) State Championship titles, four top-eleven finishes at the National Dance Alliance national competition, and one JamFest Grand Champ title, Highlands High School Dance Team Coach Erin Janson is officially retiring from that position.

Janson, who was the first coach of the new dance team back in 2006, brought a tradition of excellent dance and winning to the team.  Additionally, she saw it grow from one Varsity team into Middle School, Junior Varsity, and Varsity teams that number 58 dancers between the three.

Janson’s statement on what drove her decision to step-down is below:

“Deciding to retire from coaching was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made. This team has been my blood, sweat, and tears for the past 10 years, and it will always be one of my proudest accomplishments and fondest memories. With a demanding career and a second child on the way, however, I knew that it was time for me to pass the torch and focus on my family. 

I have no concerns about the future of this program, as I know I am leaving it in extremely talented and capable hands. I will always be their number one supporter, and I will cherish my experience with this team for a lifetime.  I am blessed to have had this amazing opportunity, and I will forever be grateful to the school district, community, dancers, and families who believed in me and in this program. It became more than I ever dreamed it would be, and I could not be more proud to have been a part of it. I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for the Highlands Dance Team.”

The “talented and capable hands” in which Janson is leaving the team are those of current Junior Varsity coach, Erinn Thompson.

Despite having “big shoes to fill upon (Janson’s) retirement,” as Thompson put it, she is confident in the ability of the strong team of coaches to “continue the legacy (Janson) has created.”  Thompson, who has been dancing since the age of six and danced for the Northern Kentucky University dance team, is joined by returning middle school coach Cat Watson (for her 7th year) and newly hired JV coach Sam Reynolds.

RELATED: Highlands Grad Gives Dance Lessons to Underprivileged Girls 

Additionally, she plans to rely heavily on what Janson has taught her over the previous three season; says Thompson, “I am very thankful I have been able to have (Janson) not only as a mentor but a great friend these past three years.  I am beyond grateful she has entrusted in me something that I know means the world to her.”

In addition to continuing the success of the program, Thompson also plans to continue on with the team’s many traditions.  Says Thompson, “I hope to continue all the traditions set in place by Erin Janson- from dancing in the Fort Thomas parade (…), hosting camps to create relationships with and inspire young dancers, cheering on Highlands athletics and promoting team spirit, to working hard all year and ending our season with a nationals trip (…) to compete against some of the best high school dance teams across the country!”

Cat Watson, Erin Janson and Erinn Thompson. 

One such tradition, the summer dance camp, is currently accepting registrants.

The camp is set to take place on Saturday and Sunday July 16th and 17th at the Highlands Middle School gymnasium (10 am-1 pm on Saturday and 1 pm-4 pm Sunday).  Children ages 3 and up are eligible to attend the two-day camp where they will learn two full dance routines and ultimately get to perform these for the parents at the end of camp.  Additionally, technique will be learned, games will be played, and each attendee gets a t-shirt!  The cost of the camp is $45 for registrations received prior to June 26th, $50 for all others including walk-ins (registrants after June 26th are not guaranteed a t-shirt size).

For more information, contact Coach Thompson at or check out the flyer that was distributed from the Fort Thomas Schools to all students on Thursday June 23rd.

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