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New coach is 'Rocke' of Lion's dance team

By Leah Allen
On February 13, 2012


New Head Dance Coach for Texas A&M University-Commerce Ashley Rocke's evident passion for dance has taken her far beyond just being a coach.  

Forming the Lion's Dance Team is not her only profession in dancing. "I go as a self-contracting person and do choreography for different dance teams. I do a lot of dance team training anyway, and I'm the choreographer for TG Hair Company. I go worldwide and do events for them."

Having careers in dance have led Rocke to discover another great passion of hers. "I love being at home as much as I love to travel because I thrive off of meeting all cultures of people. I feel like I've been blessed to go really far on the other side of the world just through dance, and that's something I've found out I really, really like."

Rocke shared about her visitation to Asia when she got to see the Forbidden City in Beijing. She has also gotten to experience the scorching temperatures in Dubai.

In addition to being a world-traveler, Rocke also has what she believes is a full-time occupation at her home in Dallas. "My biggest job at home is I'm a mom," Rocke said with pride about her 13-year-old daughter who also dances.

Dance has always been a part of Rocke's life. "I started dancing when I was 3. I've always had dance in my heart…I always kept it as a thread through my life."

A&M-Commerce gets to experience Rocke's expertise in dance with the formation of the Lion's Dance Team. "We're going to create a dance team here to support the basketball program," Rocke said, who was brought to the university into the Athletics Department in October. "We'll be supporting men's and women's basketball with halftime entertainment and spirit."

With a positive outlook on the future, Rocke stated, "It just adds nothing but energy to the whole field house when you have stands full of students and everybody cheering. It makes everybody play better, we dance better, and it's just part of university life…It's the stuff you remember for a lifetime."

Even though Rocke has been here since October, the dance team will not be formed until April. In order to have the best kind of team she said, "There's a lot of groundwork and foundation that you have to put in place."

Official tryouts for the team are on March 24. Girls who make it past preliminaries will go on to finals on April 21.

"I can accept probably up to 20 people, but I'm thinking in my head anywhere from 12 to 15," Rocke said concerning the size of the team. "It just depends on who auditions and depends on who comes. You can only make the biggest cake as the ingredients you have to make the cake with."

Once the dance season begins, Rocke plans to be commuting to the campus to train the team Tuesdays and Thursdays. "We'll select our team, and we'll start training, learning choreography." There's a summer lapse, but they will report back and start training in August "nailing out" choreography and routines. They will be ready for the first basketball games right around November and possibly events before then such as Homecoming.

In her past dance experience, Rocke has worked with the Dallas Maverick dance team and other various dance groups. "I'm a dance hustler. I like to take on projects. It's the invitation to be creative that makes me go for it sometimes."

As excited as Rocke is about the future of the Lion's Dance Team and enjoys reflecting on her past adventures, she prefers to take life one step at a time. "I live for the moment, that's my most memorable thing. Just love the present moment that you're in because it's the only thing that you have control over."

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