Now in its 49th spectacular year, Miss Dance Drill Team USA (MDDTUSA) is the FIRST, ORIGINAL & OFFICIAL national dance competition in the United States for school dance teams, drill teams, dance studios, and recreational dance programs. MDDTUSA has been dedicated to providing outstanding staging, music, workshops and cameraderie to hundreds of thousands of students since the founding of our non-profit organization in 1967.
We are dedicated to the advancement of students through dance education & pep arts. MDDTUSA spearheaded from 1967-2001 by our energetic and dynamic founder Dr. Kay Crawford, who organized the 1st Modern Dance-Drill Team in America (Texas, 1929). The Miss Dance Drill Team USA Pageant originated as Dr. Crawford’s college thesis project at Santa Monica College in California (1968). The event served as a showcase for the performing arts of Drill Team…
And 50 years later it’s still going strong!
Executive Producer/Artistic Director Brenda Caspary-Crawford is continuing the Crawford Family Legacy. Her accomplishments come from many years of hands-on experience in both the dance-drill team world and professional dance industry. Brenda also directed and owned Studio C School of Performing Arts along with her children, Dennis, Tina & Dee Caspary.
Miss Dance Drill Team USA is internationally renowned and participating dance teams & drill teams have been invited to entertain and perform spectacular productions such as:
Opening Ceremonies Los Angeles Olympics (1984)
1994 World Cup Closing Ceremonies
Super Bowl Half-Time Shows
Closing Ceremonies for Liberty Week (New York)
Celebration Ceremonies for Pope John Paul II
Down Under Games Entertainment in Australia
Euro Disney Opening Ceremonies in Paris
L.A. Clippers NBA Half-Time Shows
Celebration of Independence in Singapore
Miss Dance Drill Team USA culminates every year with awards for America’s Best at the Miss Dance Drill Team USA Nationals & Pageant. The winners represent America in Miss Dance Drill Team International!
We believe in the concept of helping the youth of America and the World experience a better and more fulfilling life through the enjoyment of dance & pep arts. We are constantly expanding our horizons and working on greater involvement with other state organizations. We are united in spirit leading the way in fine arts education, as well as pursuing Dr. Kay Teer Crawford’s dreams, goals and aspirations for talented youth in America.
Dr. Kay Teer Crawford
Founder of Dance-Drill Teams & Miss Dance Drill Team USA
In Loving Memory
August 16, 1914 – August 29, 2001
Dr. Kay Teer Crawford: A Great Lady
(A Private Interview Given By: Dr. Kay Crawford to Gayle Gile Wolf, class of ’53)
It was 1928 in Edinburg, Texas and a talented, young high school girl began to dream. She spent hours observing the boy’s ROTC units marching, and learned all she could. She began to formulate and develop ideas that would lead to the creation of dance and drill team. She shared her ideas and inspired other girls to start strutting for fun and entertainment. Thus was the birth of Dance Drill Team, a unique and innovative creation. The young Kay Teer Crawford set herself a goal- to make Drill Team a part of the American scene.
Kay Crawford was the first pioneer of Dance Drill Team. She was focused and knew what she wanted to do. She had inherited her drive and determination from her proud, optimistic and tenacious mother, Bell Teer, who was a descendant from the Camache Tribe of Indians. This determined spirit drove Kay as she pursued her education. Pat Marshall Gentry recalls her years of knowing Crawford, and knows her to be a dynamic person always looking ahead with great ideas, most usually carried out. She was always enthusiastic and innovative…I think I learned then how to start something, follow through and accomplish a goal. I am still a very goal oriented person.”
Crawford worked her way through Edinburg College, Baylor, and the University of Texas, where she wrote the first master thesis on Drill Team in 1939. She passed her doctoral exams in 1943, and was awarded a doctorate degree at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Texas. She was now ready to make her dream a reality.
Crawford was anxious to share her ideas about Dance Drill Team to everyone. These ideas took off across the country like wildfire, as groups began to form and spread. She continually assisted and advised the many evolving groups of drill teams. She helped with new performance styles, costuming and prop ideas. Her creativity never ran out. Her shows began to appear at televised half-time events as Crawford was succeeding in her path toward making drill team a household word.
Dr. Kay Teer Crawford began a revolution that has led to a span of over 15,000 teams nation wide. She herself has personally taught over 55,000 students whose lives have been improved by knowing this exceptional and noble lady.
Aside from teaching drill team, she counseled many kids in careers, private life, and school life. “They’ll remember the counseling more than the subject matter,” she says, “Few are willing to take the risk of counseling kids for various reasons. When they ask me for help, I don’t like to see them disappointed.” Crawford’s relationship with “her kids” flowed naturally from her.
Crawford is described by Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser, President of Attitude Concepts, Inc., as one with an “ability to take time for each and every person she meets, to make all people feel worthwhile as a valued contributor to our society. She is a teacher’s teacher and an exemplary role model for all who seek to ‘make a difference.'”
Crawford’s credentials continued to mount, and she decided to begin the ultimate competition and performance spectacular for Pep Arts participants. Origination in 1968 with only 268 participants, the pageant has had to limit it’s entries to a capacity of 6,000 for most of it’s history.
The crown, roses and trophy ward competition features the world’s top Drill Team performers. They are judged by the recognized top adjudicators in a total of twenty two categories which include: dance, military, novelty, prop and show drill teams, song leaders, cheerleaders, flag twirlers, high kick, coed, and male drill teams, as well as a foreign country division. 200 volunteers form across the nation gather in an annual “homecoming” to stage this huge competition and pageant for capacity crowds in Los Angeles.
The pageant rose to international status in 1981, with teams form South Africa, Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Germany and Lithuania. In it’s first appearance in 1983, Japan received a standing ovation form an appreciative crowd. Japan’s enthusiastic marchers wore brilliant red, green, and gold satin embroidered costumes with red feathered-like head dresses and gold stockings. The total cost of the costumes was $2000 each. “Japan never does anything in a small way,” says Crawford after working with them for several years.
It is Crawford’s observation that the foreign performances, exchanges, and competitions that she is fostering with the Japan Cultural Association and other countries have encouraged better relations between the countries as they look toward the Olympics.
Continuing to help Dance Drill team move forward, Crawford was the editor and publisher of a magazine she originated in 1972. It grew into a national and international distribution. Her publication titled “Let’s Cheer” was the first and only national drill team magazine devoted exclusively to high school and college Pep Arts activities. The magazine focused on the concepts and philosophies of drill team and was the official publication of the North American Association of Drill Team, later renamed the California Association for Dance Drill Team Advisors.
The non-profit publication became a “bible” for drill team directors and participants. Somewhere she found the time to write a hard cover book titled The World of Drill Team. It is a “how to” book for drill team enthusiasts and is frequently used as a high school and college textbook nationally. These publications are a refection of her dedication to constantly helping others learn the all about Dance Drill Team.
To the average sports enthusiast, Drill Team is only a ‘spectator sport’, but the athletic skills and agility required by the performers to do their stunts may lead them to participate in the ultimate athletic competition, The Olympic Games. This is the plan Kay Crawford has in mind for this emerging international sport.
This goal was made possible though Kay’s participation in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. Crawford was selected by David Wolper a producer of world wide large group entertainment, with high credentials. She had assisted in planning the high profile half-time entertainment for seven Pro Bowl, four Rose Bowl, and four Super Bowl games. For the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, she was a member of the design committee which directed the performance of 1200 Los Angeles and Orange County Drill Team girls, as well as other Olympic staff. This was the first time Drill Team girls were included in an Olympic ceremony. The audiences were thrilled, as Crawford once again put on an amazing show.
Richard Moore, president of Santa Monica College, said, “[Kay Crawford’s] productions had a freshness and vigor which captivates audiences with their costumes, surprises, and exquisite timing She is an indefatigable optimist who could choreograph wither six people or a troop of 600. She help spell-bound grandstands of people to which the half time show was the one moment when victor and defeated cheered together. She organized and sustained locker rooms far more elaborate than the football teams. With her batons, hats, and costumes she established college pride, no matter what the prowess of the athletic crew.”
Amidst all the dedication, success, and many accomplishments, Kay Crawford has had a continual commitment to family activities. Kay was married for over fifty four years to Jim Crawford (deceased November 24,1997), the active former president of Engine and Equipment Company, California. She is a 49 year resident of Redondo Beach, California, and a mother of four grown children, as well as nine grandchildren. Her daughter Kris was a song leader and athlete in school and her other daughter Jan is presently a Drill Team instructor in Alhambra, California. Jan Crawford was crowned Miss Drill Team USA in 1970. One of her sons, Kim, was a college professor and her other son, Jay, is President of a major international corporation.
Kay opened a special office she had built on her property in the shape of a little red schoolhouse, done in detail including a tower and a school bell which the college students gave her when she retired. From here she continues her international Drill Team operations, special Pep Arts events, works on spectacular events, writes for a magazine which is the founder of “Dance Drill”, works on the production of Miss Drill Team USA/International Pageants, and take s care of two grandchildren.
In fifty years, Dr. Kay Teer Crawford has grown to be the Dean of American Drill Team. She has been there form it’s humble beginnings when she organized the first American Drill Team in September of 1930 in Edinburg, Texas. Dr. Crawford has now, in 71 years, grown into being Dean of Modern World Dance Drill Team. She says, “In my span of life I’ve found… Sports are desirable. Education is essential. Health is vital. Refusing to be average in a less than average world is necessary. In your serious moments, remember that God is the life.”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE ON DR. KAY CRAWFORD!
Executive Producer/Artistic Director
Brenda Crawford is the current Executive Producer/Artistic Director of our nation’s most historic dance & drill team competition, the prestigious Miss Dance Drill Team USA Nationals & Pageant. Now based in Orange County, California, she has spent a number of years successfully cultivating the growing resurgent success of Miss Dance Drill Team USA, which in recent years has additionally served as host of the coveted Miss Dance Drill Team International, a world championship-level competition that provides our nations’ dance teams & drill teams with an opportunity to earn international championship titles through their respective entries at the annual pageant (Brenda’s late mother-in-law, the legendary Dr. Kay Teer Crawford, was the founder of Miss Dance Drill Team USA/International).
Brenda Crawford‘s influence spreads not only within the dance-drill team industry, but through private dance studio programs as she owned and operated a school of performing arts for 15 years before committing full-time to MDDTUSA in 2001. Her ties to the entertainment industry are also impressive, with all three of her children enjoying successful careers in the entertainment industry: Dennis Caspary (a very well known and well-respected Southern California-based industry choreographer & producer), daughter Tina Caspary (a noted award-nominated actress, choreographer & owner/designer of a major activewear company), and son Dee Caspary who is currently one of the world’s most influential choreographers (with such credits as Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, among others). As a mentor, she has also enjoyed watching many of those under her tutelage enjoy their own successful dance careers, including notable NBA dancers and even a number of other dance industry professionals who have enjoyed respected positions as choreographers, studio owners, producers & dance-drill team circuit judges. As a well-respected professional within the dance/performing arts & dance-drill team circles, she continues to pursue her enduring influence through tireless cultivation of the well-respected Miss Dance Drill Team USA/International program.
In an effort to continue the legacy of Dr. Kay Teer Crawford, we are currently accepting applications for new regional charters. Whether it be a U.S. state charter or international charter (i.e. Japan, Brazil), please CLICK HERE TO CONTACT US regarding any new and/or renewing charter inquiries. While all interested parties from all regions are encouraged to apply, we are especially interested in establishing new charters in Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington State. International organizations are also welcome to apply for their own charter organization.
Our MDDTUSA charter organization is an excellent business opportunity for all supporters of Dr. Kay Crawford’s precision dance competition legacy. All are welcome to learn more about the charter application process. And we will help you get set-up along the way with the utmost levels of professionalism, guidance and support.