Midland University is proud to announce the addition of Ashley Counterman as its new Director of Dance and Dance Head Coach, effective August 16th. Counterman joins Midland after serving as head coach of the Western Michigan University dance squad since 2012.
“Ashley brings an incredible amount of experience coaching highly successful teams, and we are thrilled to have her join Midland in this role,” said Anne Sorensen-Wang, Director of Performing Arts. “She is knowledgeable, engaging, and her inclusive teaching style and love of dance is something that all of our students will appreciate. We are so proud of the achievements of the Midland Dance Program and the dancers’ hard work and team culture. I can’t wait to see where they go from here.”
A native of Otsego, Michigan, Counterman earned her undergraduate degree at WMU and was a four-year member of the Broncos dance squad. During her freshman season, WMU captured the Division 1A championship at the NDA National Championships. After graduating from WMU in 2010, she returned in 2012 as head coach of the dance team. During her tenure, the Broncos would advance to the NDA National Championships on three occasions and earn several top 10 performances.
Counterman also spent the past eight years teaching Spanish at nearby Mattawan High School. “I loved teaching, but my passion has always been dance, and I wanted to pursue that,” Counterman said. “I felt in my heart this was the right time to focus on dance, and I’m so thankful Midland has given me the opportunity.”
She brings with her an extensive dance background that dates back to when she was three years old. Counterman began competitively dancing when she was eight and taught at a dance studio for ten years after starting college. Counterman said it didn’t take long for her to recognize that Midland was the place she wanted to continue her coaching career. “I quickly realized the sense of community at Midland,” she said. “Everyone is so friendly, and they all take care of each other.”
Midland’s Dance program features the Warrior Wildfire competition team, the Midland Dance Company, the Game Day team, and the Premier Dance Company. Counterman is excited about the variety each group offers and for the opportunity to continue to see the program move in a positive direction. “I’m really excited for all the different teams and the community outreach and teaching opportunities that exist within those teams,” she said. “Something I haven’t done recently is being able to use creative props and styles with our dance teams, so I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be creative once again. I want to see the program continue to grow in terms of numbers, talent, and titles we will be competing for.”
To learn more about the Midland University Dance Program, visit midlandu.edu/student-life/performing-arts/arts-scholarships/dance/.