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Klein Oak Dance Coach Receives ‘Director of the Year’ Award

Klein Oak Dance Coach Receives ‘Director of the Year’ Award

Dance Coach and Director of the Klein Oak Strutters Dance Team, Ms. Shelby Polansky, is dancing her way to success as the recently named “Director of the Year” by the Texas Dance Educators Association (TDEA)

Ms. Polansky's years of hard work, commitment, and profound dedication to excellence in dance education secured her to top honors. 

"It was an honor to be recognized by the incredible women and men I look up to, including dance teachers from studios, directors from schools, dance company owners, past board members, and more," Ms. Polanksy said. "It's a huge honor even to be considered amongst those people as someone that they look up to."

Ms. Polansky is a Klein ISD alumna herself—attending Klein Oak High School—and is the proud Director of the Strutters Dance Team. She keeps busy teaching everything from Dance Wellness for Athletes to Intermediate Dance 1 and 2. Ms. Polansky is in year 26 of her teaching career and has taught at the elementary, intermediate, and high school levels.

In 2007, Ms. Polansky was blessed to return to her alma mater as the Director of the Strutters. This dedicated educator is in her 17th year directing at Klein Oak. She has been honored to experience having both her daughters on her team, numerous Regional, State, and National Titles, and was even awarded a Resolution from Judge Cagle for her leadership and community service.

Ms. Polansky is grateful to see her team members and students grow and transform over the years, especially within the familial atmosphere she fosters within the Strutters.

"With my team, I have students from their freshman year to their senior year, and I get to see them grow and evolve from young 14-year-old girls to adult 18-year-old young women, and that transformation and being a part of that journey with them is so rewarding," Ms. Polansky said. "I love being able to help instill confidence in them and help them become self-sufficient and understand that they can do all things."

As for her goals, Ms. Polansky emphasized the team's continuous push for improvement in dance ability, technique, and performance quality. She highlighted the importance of maintaining a team culture built on respect, communication, and a sense of family.

"Every year, our goal is to maintain our team culture," Ms. Polansky said. "Our team must be built on respect, communication, organization, and timeliness, but we also work hard for everyone to feel safe and appreciated and be a part of a family—like a real sisterhood.”

Ms. Polansky is grateful for the support of her family and acknowledges the crucial role they played in her success. Her husband, kids, and upbringing in a family with a coaching passion have been instrumental in her journey as a dance educator.

"My family is what has helped me get to where I am and helped me become successful and be able to do the things I do," Ms. Polansky said. "Without my family's help, it would have been challenging to raise my two girls and do this job successfully."

Ms. Polansky's story is a testament to the dedication, passion, and resilience required to excel in the field of dance education, and her Director of the Year Award is a well-deserved recognition of her contributions to the dance community. 

Your #KleinFamily is so proud of you, Ms. Polansky, and grateful for all you do for your students and staff. Congratulations!


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Klein ISD is a school district in Klein, Texas, located in northwestern Harris County. The district spans approximately 88 square miles and serves more than 54,000 students in 33 elementary schools, 10 intermediate campuses, one high school program of choice, and 5 high schools.

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