Kathy Budzien-Varsity Dance Coach

April 6, 2009
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�5, 6, 7, 8!� Mrs. Budzien has been enthusiastically shouting these numbers in our High School’s cafeteria for 25 years, and she has loved every minute of it. Although Mrs. Budzien has been a well-accomplished math teacher, my experiences with her have been through her incredible coaching of the dance team.

To Mrs. Budzien, being a dance coach isn’t just about instructing her athletes in dance, but it’s also about taking the extra time to make our experiences memorable. She takes time out of her schedule monthly to plan team outings. Whether it’s ice skating, seeing a ballet, going out to dinner, or hanging out at Devil’s Lake, she helps bring us lifelong memories.
She also spends hours making phenomenal locker decorations. Each one is precisely cut, glued, and taped. We always receive compliments from passing students about how professional and detailed they are. She has no obligation to do this. She does it because she cares.
Staring at grid paper is another activity she spends an excess amount of time doing. She uses this paper to make our perfectly designed dance formations. When someone is missing or sick, she doesn’t just leave a hole in the formation. Instead, she takes time out of her day, and redoes all of the formations. This helps her set the high standard of our Arrowhead Dance Team.

Mrs. Budzien has done more than adding extras to our dance season. She is a confident believer in every dance member on the squad. Last year, our team had a rocky season. Due to unfortunate personal problems, we lost a handful of members from our team. Our squad downsized from 19 to 13. As you can imagine, it caused hardship to the remaining teammates. When a member had to leave us two weeks before our regional dance competition, we thought it was over. Fortunately, Mrs. Budzien was there to motivate us. Without her, I don’t think our team could have pulled through the losses. She was our Elmer’s glue. I remember her telling us, “Everybody who is left here has their heart in the team and if we work together, we can make it.� With her help, we ended up placing third at regionals, and fifth at state. Mrs. Budzien taught us the value of perseverance, and showed us how it can pay off. It was one of the most successful years in our dance squad’s history.

Unfortunately, this year, Mrs. Budzien has decided to retire from coaching, but we will never forget everything she has taught us. Mrs. Budzien is a rare jewel. If you meet someone like her, consider yourself lucky. She has touched every dancer she has coached, and their families too. The most important lesson I’ve learned from her is I can do anything I want to; I just have to work at it. Like she always says, “It’s mind over matter.�

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