Erin Sibbald ‘15 Returns to Midland University as Director of Dance/Dance Coach
Midland University proudly announces Erin Sibbald ‘15 as its new Director of Dance/Dance Coach. Sibbald was a three-year member of the Warrior Wildfire Dance Team from 2012-2015 and has more than four years of coaching experience at the collegiate level.
Since its inception in 2011, Midland University Dance has become one of the elite programs in the nation. The Warriors have captured three NAIA national championships and have earned numerous top-three finishes. The 2021-22 squad placed third at the national tournament last March.
Sibbald (Markham) is excited about the opportunity to return to her alma mater and continue the program’s strong tradition. “Dancing at Midland was one of the greatest experiences of my life,” she said. “I met my husband (Tom) there, along with numerous friends, and the culture of the team was what helped evolve my passion for coaching.”
Under the guidance of her coach and longtime mentor, Trish Cristiano (Ryan), Sibbald said her love for coaching was fostered through the Warrior program. “As team members, we had a lot of ownership and pride in the program, and we all wanted to leave our mark,” Sibbald said. “Trish moved mountains for the program, and she remains a friend and mentor to me to this day. We have a great alumni base, and I am excited to continue that connection with the program.”
After graduating in 2015, Sibbald guided the Iowa Western Community College program for two seasons, helping the program experience exponential growth during her tenure. She later served two seasons as an assistant coach for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Spirit Squad. “The dance community has always been a very supportive group, and coaching has always felt like the right fit for me,” she said.
Joan Korte, Director of Arts, said Sibbald will bring unlimited energy and enthusiasm to the dance program. “I am so excited to see Erin take Midland Dance to the next level,” Korte said. “She has the experience and excitement that will challenge and inspire our dancers. As an alum, she is committed to Midland University and is ready to hit the ground running.”
A native of Harlan, Iowa, Sibbald said many factors that brought her to Midland as a student helped lure her back as a coach. “I’m a small town kid, and Midland always felt like a place where I could have a purpose,” she said. “Everything about the school and the program was the right fit for me, and I feel the same energy being back here again. Everyone here has been so supportive.”
Sibbald is looking forward to the opportunity to maintain, and even elevate, the lofty standards that have been set for the program. “As an alum, you feel a special type of pressure to not only maintain those standards but even bump them up a bit,” she said. “I’m a competitive person, and I’d like to see us add some more national titles to that collection.”
Sibbald and her husband, Tom, have an 18-month-old daughter, Lucy.