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Stepping Up

Angie Price coaching Dancing Blues to recent and sustained success

Dancing Blues Coach Angie Price and her family

From The Ichabod - Spring 2019

Angie Price sat at the top of the arena at a national dance competition and listened to the results. The coach was optimistic but still ready to console her team after another year of disappointment. Her oldest daughter, Josie, sat with her Dancing Blues teammates down below.

“They started from the bottom and went all the way up to first place,” said Angie, aa ’88, aa ’89, b music ’89.

“They announced sixth place and it wasn’t us,” said Josie, b music ’13. “They announced fifth place and it still wasn’t us, and we were like, ‘Oh, we did pretty well.’”

The announcer continued to not say Washburn University.

“They announced third placed and we were like, ‘Oh my gosh, we got second place,’” Josie said. “And then they announced second place and it wasn’t us. We couldn’t believe it. We started crying.”

The 2013 national championship was the ultimate culmination to her Washburn dance career.

“We had some trials and tribulations leading up to my senior year,” Josie said. “We worked really hard and felt like we hadn’t been recognized until that moment.”

Married and now Josie Dease, she’s a first-grade teacher at Logan Elementary School in Topeka. Angie’s other daughter, Abby Price, ba ’19, is a philanthropic services associate at Topeka Community Foundation.

“Dancing for my mom was my favorite thing I did at Washburn,” Josie said. “I was so proud to be part of that first championship.”

Including that first championship, the Dancing Blues have won national titles at the American Dance/Drill Team event in five seasons. This year, they won in jazz and hip-hop routines, as well as an overall championship. The expectation for success has grown since Angie started coaching the Washburn dance team 31 years ago in 1988.

“It wasn’t a competition dance team back then,” she said. “I had to change the reputation from it being some girls who get together for fun and perform at games to being a high-quality, competition dance team.”

The Dancing Blues now rehearse in a studio in Petro Allied Health Center, they receive scholarships through the music department and have a solid group of fans and donors. Before the recent success, Angie would have to seek dancers just to try out. Now, they contact her.

“The University has been extremely supportive of the Dancing Blues,” Angie said. “I tell my team each year, ‘You’re not just a Dancing Blue at games. You’re a Dancing Blue all the time. People are going to recognize you. You’re representing all of us and Washburn.’”

Josie was a part of the first national title and she has choreographed four championship routines. Abby was on the team the last three years, competing in two national championships.

“As you’re walking around campus or in the community, people will say, ‘Hey, you’re a Dancing Blue,’” Angie said. “It’s a constant feeling of being a representative of the University. It’s really cool to have people approach you like that.”

As Angie continues growing the program, she must balance the artistic side with the technical side of putting together championship routines.

“The technique expected now has increased dramatically,” she said. “Just doing a lot of turns is not necessarily that entertaining. However, when you get to a competition, you have to put in those things to increase your score.”

Angie co-owns Infinity Dance Studio with Josie. She has also choreographed community musicals – one of many ways she gets to have fun with the artistic side of dance.

“Dance is an art and you should be able to choreograph how you want,” she said. “When we perform at basketball games, the main objective is to entertain the crowd. Generally, the routines are fast, energetic and designed to get the crowd excited. At football games, we complement the movements of the marching band and enhance their show.”

Angie’s husband, Scott Price, ba ’88, rounds out a family of four Ichabods. The two met in high school at Kansas All-State Choirs. After getting a Washburn degree in communications, Scott worked in radio for 10 years and then worked as a firefighter for 24 years before retiring as a battalion chief. He supports Angie and their daughters and is proud of what they’ve accomplished.

“It’s a family business for sure,” Scott said. “I’m very proud of both my daughters and all of their accomplishments. They’ve taken their education much farther than I have.”

Like her daughters, Angie remembers loving dance since early childhood.

“I asked my mother recently, ‘Did I ask to take dance lessons, or did you just put me in it?’ And she said, ‘You asked over and over until I put you in.’

“And I’ve always loved it,” Angie said.

The Dancing Blues with their 2019 national championship trophy

Dancing Blues National Championships at the American Dance/Drill Team Collegiate Championship
2013 – Jazz
2015 – Jazz
2017 – Jazz
2018 – Hip-Hop
2019 – Overall, Hip-Hop, Jazz

 

Ichabod Magazine 2019 fall cover, Ichabod Plaza statue at sunset

The Ichabod tells our story with features on alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends, along with the latest campus news. Read the 2019-20 fall edition online and look for it in mailboxes in October.

View past editions

 

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