High School Dance Team
Both the SMA Varsity and JV Dance teams perform during halftime for our Varsity and JV Basketball team home games.
Head Dance Coach: Amber McGown
Amber was born and raised in Denver and attended St. Mary’s Academy for her high school years. Dance has always been a part of her life and started when she was young. She continued to pursue dance and competed in competitions with the studio she attended. Amber was a part of the dance program for 2 years at SMA before she went off to college at Gonzaga University. While in college, she was a part of the Hip Hop team for 3 years and was chosen to be coach her senior year. After college, she taught several dance classes at studios in the Denver area before committing her time to being the dance coach at SMA. It is an honor for her to see our program grow, and be a part of it again! This is her 5th dance season and she is excited to take on another year!
JV Dance Coach: Katie Knepler
Katie was born and raised in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. Performance was a huge passion for her, and greatly loved to entertain. This was apparent in early years of ballet, cheerleading and show choir at Prospect High School, and dancing at Harper College. From there, she spent the next 7 years dancing professionally for semi-sports teams such as Chicago Slaughter Indoor Football, Kane County Eagles, Chicago Rush Arena Football, & Chicago Soul Indoor Soccer. During her years with the Chicago Slaughter, she captained, choreographed, and coordinated the team, and the team was named “Best Dance Team in the IFL” in 2011. She also coordinated and choreographed during her time with the Chicago Soul. During these years, Katie had many performance opportunities including KissFM’s “Fatabuloso” Concerts, a national commercial with Mike Ditka, halftime performances for the USA Mens Volleyball Teams, and countless community events. She has also performed with entertainment groups “Blooze Brothers” and “Big Fun Band”.
During 2010, Katie was inspired and impacted by her coach, Wynne Lacey, by her compassion to coach and work with women and sought out the next challenge. Katie became the Dance Team Coach of North Park University in Chicago that year, and ran it until she moved to Denver in January 2016. Her team grew from club status to becoming part of the athletic department. They have also numerous division titles from NDA during the competition participation.
In the spring of 2015, Katie joined up with “Bella Cain”, a high-energy Top 40 Country band. She performed at their concerts, fairs, and country festivals in Illinois and Wisconsin alongside dance members called “Bella Girls”
Here in Denver, Katie is an independent entertainer with DTP Events/Dance Trax for corporate events and Mitzvahs.
Katie is anxious and excited to start a new chapter of coaching in her home of Denver and with the incredible SMA organization. She is honored to be able to work alongside a strong community of teachers and coaches.