Victoria Ogier is the head coach of the Farragut Middle School dance team. While she’s helped her young team win a national title, she’s learned from them, too. They’ve taught her to be thankful and humble when you win, gracious when you don’t, and to never stop trying to improve.
She’ll use those lessons as she moves to the next stage of life – as an accountant with PwC in Atlanta. It will be hard to say goodbye. She grew up in Farragut and was on the dance team herself in middle and high school. She served as assistant coach and head coach to the middle school team while earning her undergraduate degree from UT. She’ll graduate with a masters of accountancy in May.
“I’m absolutely devastated,” she says of leaving her coaching role. “It was one of my favorite things I’ve ever done.”
The previous dance coach, who coached both the middle and high school teams, asked Victoria to assist with the middle school team the summer after high school graduation. She served as assistant coach until she took over as head coach in 2017. Up until that time, the team had placed at the state meet a couple of times, but in 2018, they won state titles in both pom and jazz divisions. In 2019, they took second place in pom at the Universal Dance Association National Dance Team Championship in Orlando.
At the 2020 national meet, held in January, the team got first in pom. The school had never had a national title in dance before, so it was a heady time for the young team – and their young coach.
Then the pandemic hit. There were no more performances at school, and instead of spending the summer practicing together, the 13-member team practiced virtually from home. They had camp in Knoxville instead of traveling to Ohio. Like all Knox County School students, they were placed on quarantine if they were exposed to COVID.
The competition season was also affected. The team won both pom and jazz divisions at a virtual state meet and won both divisions at the regional Smoky Mountain Championship. But nationals was postponed until April 2021, and the team won’t be able to attend because of scheduling conflicts, Victoria says. All of the girls on the team are competitive studio dancers and spring is studio competition season.
She couldn’t be prouder of the team, even though they missed the chance to compete for another national title. The girls are dedicated, kind-hearted and hard-working, she says.
“Trophies are awesome, but at the end of the day, who you are is more important than what’s on your walls.”
They’ll have many future opportunities to compete. Victoria thinks the five 8th-graders will try out for the high school team, and the middle school team has already met their new coach, Macy Brink, a member of the UT Dance Team.
Middle school is an age of a lot of personal growth, Victoria says, and she enjoyed mentoring them as they learned how to get along with each other and how to set goals for the future.
“To coach these girls, to be a part of their lives, molded me into what I am now.”
Town of Farragut marketing and public relations coordinator Wendy Smith is your reliable Farragut insider.