Robin Hare Gruver, Beth Klug, and Gay Kuykendall were instrumental in the formation of the state championship for dance team.
Prior to 1986, the state dance championship was overseen by the Oregon High School Dance and Drill Association (OHSDDA). The OHSDDA would later go on to become what is now today as the Dance Drill Coaches Association of Oregon (DDCA).
In 1987, the OSAA took over responsibility for the dance and drill state championship, with involvement from the OHSDDA to manage the logistics.
The DDCA is pleased to be able to recognize the lifelong contributions Hare Gruver, Klug and Kuykendall have made in shaping Oregon dance team.
The DDCA Lifetime Achievement award was first presented in 2007 and recognizes individuals for their level of achievement throughout their career as a coach, an associate, or judge.
Robin Hare Gruver
After graduating from the University of Oregon, Robin returned to her high school alma mater, The Dalles where she started her coaching career as an assistant swim coach. From there, Hare Gruver would make the move to Thurston, where she taught PE and coached the dance team (1970-1991). Under her direction, the Cabaret would win two OSSA dance and drill championships (1987, 1989).
Hare Gruver’s competitive nature and organizational skills made her become the best she could be and then she instilled those same qualities in her dancers over the years.
From 1982 to 1986, Robin served on the DDCA board of directors and was part of the OSAA championship staff. For six years (2004-2010), she served as the OSAA dance competition director. For many years, Robin was the smiling face that greeted dancers as they prepared for their warm-up time on the state floor and handed coaches their state check-in packet.
Klug was part of the modern dance group at Pendleton. After obtaining her master’s in business education, she began her teaching career and helping with dance team behind the scenes.
In the 1970’s, Klug created and ran the OHSDDA Inspection Judging program at local and state competitions. She served as the competition director for the Putnam fall competition in the 1970s and 1980s.
In 1981, she joined the coaching staff at Clackamas. For the next 11 years, she would coach alongside Peggy Schlegel and Pat Keavney.
Klug was instrumental in dance state being moved to Veterans Memorial Coliseum. She would go on to serve as the state director from 1981 to 1992.
Klug was also willing to go the extra mile to ensure dance team had the best chance to be successful.
Kuykendall began her coaching career at Gervais, where she also taught business classes. After five years at Gervais, she moved to Gladstone. She coached the Gladettes for five years and won three AA state titles (‘78, ’79, ’80).
Kuykendall served a OHSDDA (and later DDCA) board member from 1975 to 2000. For 15 years, she also served as the inspection program director and the judges director.
Kuykendall has always been supportive, helpful, and a positive influence in our association and feels blessed to have had all the opportunities she did with dance and dance team.