Rachel Levetzow moved to Oxford five months ago, and since then, every day has been different. As the new head coach of the Ole Miss Rebelette dance team, Levetzow, with an adventurous spirit, embraces every challenge and new opportunity.
Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Levetzow graduated from Missouri State University and became a professional dancer. She spent years dancing and traveling with different companies, including Shoji Tabuchi Theatre and Carnival Cruise Lines, but was disappointed when an injury stalled her dancing career.
“I got really injured, but I still loved dance so much,” said Levetzow. “I just couldn’t do it anymore. I knew the next thing that would be equally as satisfying and wonderful would be coaching.”
When considering coaching as an option, she reflected on her own past coaches.
“In high school, I had one of the most amazing coaches I’ve had in my entire life,” said Levetzow. “His name was Brette. He was a father figure to all of us, a great coach, and just a phenomenal person.”
For Levetzow, coaching was a job that allowed her to combine a passion for dancing and helping people.
“My undergrad was in social work,” she said. “I really loved helping people and seeing them grow from point A to point B in their everyday normal life,” said Levetzow. “I realized that I could utilize my love for helping people grow here as a coach.”
Levetzow began learning what it means to be a college dance coach. She now has multiple years of experience coaching at a collegiate level.
“I don’t think any day is ever identical to the day before, and I have been doing this job for 10 years,” said Levetzow. “Each day always brings something new.”
The Ole Miss Rebelettes perform at football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and volleyball games. Levetzow attends weekly meetings about each sport.
“It’s all about making sure that we schedule performances that are going to lend to and enhance the atmosphere of each specific game,” Levetzow said.
Levetzow started a recent morning by meeting with the directors of the Pride of the South band about an upcoming halftime performance.
“I had a meeting with the band first thing this morning so that we could go over charts and make sure that my thoughts and ideas for our performance worked well with what their plans were,” said Levetzow. “Today, I’m working on planning out our basketball season performances as well as continuing to plan for our Junior Rebels fundraiser coming up next week.”
Her typical day involves being available to answer phone calls and emails regarding other aspects of her job aside from planning performances and fundraisers. Communicating with recruits, figuring out travel plans, ordering uniforms, and seizing every opportunity to get ahead with scheduling are some things involved in a college dance coach’s day in the office.
“You have to plan ahead. That’s the way this job works,” said Levetzow. “I begin planning most all of my work about three months ahead of when it is scheduled.”
Once office hours are over for the day, all the planning she has done is put into action. The Rebelettes practice each afternoon and have different game performances and appearances throughout the week. Levetzow’s driven presence sets the tone for the way her team attacks anything they do.
Lindsay Weldon, a senior member of the Rebelette dance team, said, “Rachel is a very experienced dance coach who exudes confidence that rubs off onto the team to create a positive practice environment.”
A day in the life of a college dance coach involves working in the office, running productive practices, and striving to make each game day better than the last. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with carrying out each daily tasks. However, her most important responsibility is never losing sight of what inspired her to become a coach in the first place.
“There isn’t a specific memory or moment that has made me stick with coaching this long,” she said. “It’s just this continuous cycle of seeing how much each member of my team grows, from the first day of practice until the day they graduate. There is really nothing more rewarding than that.”